Police officer productivity is an understudied topic in police research. Prior studies on productivity have primarily relied on rudimentary statistics, such as calls for service and arrests. A more advanced method for evaluating productivity should (a) account for the diverse activities of patrol officers, (b) weight different productivity outputs, (c) evaluate officers in terms of available minutes for self-initiated activities (productive time), and (d) offer agencies the flexibility to select, prioritize, and weight patrol activities most relevant to their jurisdictions. Borrowing from a baseball sabermetric called Value Over Replacement Player, we create and test an innovative statistic called Value Over Replacement Cop. This metric analyzes 12 patrol activities and generates a single number by which to quantify and evaluate a patrol officer’s productivity. Using data from a midsize U.S. Police Department (325 sworn officers), we find strong support for the validity of this new metric.This is a good start. But the problem is that this measure doesn't take into account crime, the prevention of which is the primary purpose of police. Crime needs to be the main variable, not indicators of police officer "productivity" (which aren't unimportant, but still).
March 10, 2015
Value Over Replacement Cop
This was gonna be my idea! "Bobbies and Baseball Players: Evaluating Patrol Officer Productivity Using Sabermetrics." So kudos to Luke Bonkiewicz because he actually researched and wrote the article and I didn't. Here's the abstract from the current issue of Police Quarterly (2015, Vol. 18(1) 55–78):