Back in 1829 London, Robert Peel and Company said that every police officer, "should be able to see every part of his beat, at least once in ten minutes or a quarter of an hour." That's a pretty good "response time." Craaazy, I thought. But is it?
I think there are 6,000 miles of streets in New York City. I know there are about 8 million people, and 35,000 police officers. Could we not just give every police officer 1,000 feet of street and 230 people to be responsible for? For some beats this would be less than one building. Any crime that happens on your 1,000 feet or to or by one of your 230 people would be your responsibility.
Sure, make it bigger or smaller for population density and crime rate and whatever else you want. And I understand that while on duty each officer would have to patrol six beats to make up for officers not on duty. But with beats that small, is it too much to ask for? Or if you prefer, just work with existing patrol officers and double the size of the beats. Still doesn't seem like too much.
I know it's crazy and would never work.... but why not?
Seriously, where have all the officers gone? And wouldn't it better to have a police officer take responsibility for me and my block rather than have two strangers show up 20 minutes after I call 911?