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by Peter Moskos

May 23, 2008

Is foot patrol right for you?

Foot patrol may not be right for everyone. How do you know if foot patrol is right for you and your neighborhood? Ask your mailman. If your mail is delivered in a cart pushed by a walking mailman or woman, police should be on foot. If your mail is delivered by truck, foot patrol may not be right for you.

Side effects of foot patrol include decreased fear, better quality of life, fewer broken windows, more fit police officers, greater interaction between police and neighborhood residents, and generally improved police/community relations.


Steve said...

What percentage of a major city is actually covered by postal workers on foot?

Foot patrol does sound like an effective tool, but it seems geographically limited in our times.

PCM said...

I think mail in all parts of major cities i delivered on foot. And older suburbs, too. Am I crazy? I've never lived anywhere where it wasn't.

And I'd guess that most crime happens were mail is delivered on foot.

Steve said...

It's probably some historical bias on one of our parts. I've lived pretty much all of my life in Atlanta, and I would hazard a guess that the majority of the bad neighborhoods here are not served by postal workers on foot. Then again, Atlanta might be the exception.

Most of the bad neighborhoods here seem to be in blighted suburbs that were more or less abandoned by the middle class as the city sprawled out.

How that breaks down for the rest of the country I have no idea. The newer vs older city distinction might be a crucial one though.