Improving Police Response Time Doesn’t Reduce Crime, So Why is it Still Important?

May 11, 2016

By Dr. Chuck Russo, Program Director of Criminal Justice at American Military University

In the summer of 2015, the New York Police Department (NYPD) launched an initiative to distribute smartphones to its officers with the intention, among many things, of improving response time of calls for service. In April, the NYPD said it reduced response times to crimes in progress by one minute, thanks to this smartphone initiative.

As early as the 1900s, improving response time and the efficiency of policy deployment have been top priorities of law enforcement administrators throughout the United States. Starting with entire departments on bicycles in 1905, followed by fully motorized patrol forces in 1910 (Wrobleski & Hess, 2000), agency administrators have been attempting to improve delivery of service to their communities.

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