Sociology Essays – Police Helicopter Patrols
Sociology Essays – Police Helicopter Patrols

Sociology Essays – Police Helicopter Patrols

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  • Pages: 14 (3627 words)
  • Published: August 7, 2017
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Police Helicopter Patrols

The Effectiveness of Police Helicopter Patrols

Introduction: Statement of Purpose

Fixed wing aircraft were foremost used in patroling in New York City in 1929. In 1948, it was besides the first community to utilize a chopper to help in jurisprudence enforcement operations. It was non, nevertheless, until the late sixtiess that legion North American communities began utilizing constabulary choppers. Today, more than 500 constabulary bureaus operate over 2000 choppers worldwide.

Whether communities should use choppers in jurisprudence enforcement has become a controversial issue. The argument is non over a individual issue. Rather, argument ranges over a broad array of subjects. Firm sentiments are held over whether choppers cost excessively much, do excessively much noise, invade privateness, and most significantly, whether they are a valuable jurisprudence enforcement tool.



, there is small understanding about the intent to which a constabulary chopper should be put. Is the premier aim to discourage offense? Is its intent to increase operational effectivity? Are they a valuable tool for everyday patrol? Does a constabulary chopper save lives with regard to chases? Previous surveies have attempted to turn to some of these inquiries, but none has done so once and for all.

Since the debut of the constabulary chopper, there have been legion commentaries on the mode in which operational effectivity is enhanced, but they take the signifier of anecdotal information that focuses on “good intelligence stories.”

Unlike vehicle, bike, and pes patrols, there is small research on the topic that is free of menaces to internal cogency and prejudice. There are no surveies that accurately compare categories of events where the chopper is used with similar events where the constabulary chopper was non used.

This research

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proposal will sketch a survey that is designed to reply one of these inquiries. In one manner or another, a assortment of issues will be addressed by this survey, but the end of the research is to go to to the most of import of the issues. Helicopters are really expensive to keep and run, frequently 5 times more so than their fixed wing opposite numbers. If a chopper is implemented to discourage offense, as research has frequently shown, is it non of import to warrant such a great cost?

The intent of this research proposal is to sketch a survey that addresses whether chopper patrols have a deterrent consequence on the rate of offense in a patrolled country. The research is designed to extinguish any menaces to cogency that plague old research, such as cyclic alterations in offense, population growing, prejudice.

Literature Review

A figure of surveies of the effectivity of the usage of constabulary chopper in the bar of have been conducted. A critical reappraisal of this literature is provided below.

The first statistical survey of the effectivity of constabulary chopper patrols on offense was conducted in 1966 in Lakewood, Rosemead, and Temple City, California, “predominantly middle-class residential metropoliss best described as the ‘bedroom communities’ functioning greater Los Angeles” ( Guthrie, 1968 ) . After bespeaking why Lakewood, Rosemead, and Temple City “make for ideal sister-city comparisons” Guthrie ( 1968 ) indicates the comparing legal power was all of Los Angeles County: “since all three metropoliss: Lakewood, Temple City and Rosemead are sub-divisions of Los Angeles County, a comparing with overall County information seems warranted.”

At the clip of the survey, the three metropoliss had a combined population

of about 87,000, while Los Angeles County had a population of over 7 million and Guthrie ( 1968 ) indicates that most of the other countries of Los Angeles County would non do for meaningful comparings with Lakewood since their demographics and rates of offense are so different.

The impact of everyday chopper patrol on seven offenses is examined: slaying and non-negligent manslaughter ; physical colza ; robbery ; aggravated assault ; larceny ; and car larceny. Guthrie’s ( 1968 ) study offers really small in footings of analysis and presents the undermentioned “summary of statistical findings.” First, in comparing Lakewood to Los Angeles, major offenses are said to diminish while junior-grade offenses addition:

When comparing the offense rates in the City of Lakewood with Los Angeles, one can province flatly that there was a extremely important diminution in offense rate for the “Seven Major Offenses.” This difference was found to be statistically important from a statistician’s point of position. However, with regard to minor or petty offenses, there was a change–but it was in the incorrect way ; junior-grade offenses increased during the Sky Knight period ( Guthrie, 1968 ) .

Second, an scrutiny of the seven major offenses leads to the decision that burglary “seems most likely” to hold been affected, but no item is provided as to the footing for such a decision: analysing the seven ‘Part I Offences, ’ we are necessarily led to reason that the offense of Burglary seems most likely to hold been affected by the coming of chopper patrol. There was a statistically important difference in the volume of Burglary discourtesies compared to Los Angeles while utilizing Sky Knight in the

City of Lakewood ( Guthrie, 1968 ) .

The largest job blighting Guthrie’s survey was choice prejudice. Comparing the offense rates of three little in-between category communities with such a immense, diverse metropolis will non bring forth consequences worthy of any decision. The varied demographics between the metropoliss will hold unmeasurable influence on the consequences. At best, Guthrie may hold decently observed a positive influence of everyday chopper patrol on the rate of burglary, but he does non endorse up this observation with any informations.

Effectiveness of Police Helicopter Patrol: A Field Study

Following what was considered to be the proved success in cut downing offense by undertaking Sky Knight in Lakewood, California, the metropolis of Long Beach, California, implemented a full-time chopper patrol in October, 1968. Harmonizing to Medak ( 1970 ) , the aim was to farther trial whether decrease in offense would be achieved.

The chopper patrols were implemented were based on two theories:

1 ) surveillance increases general disincentive, and chopper patrols are a signifier of surveillance, and

2 ) decreased response times increase subjugation rates and a chopper is able to response really quickly ( Medak, 1970 ) .

Medak’s research involved a pre and station trial with a non-equivalent comparing group of eight nearby communities. Crime rates for index offenses were to be collected from Long Beach and the eight other communities from the old twelvemonth. These rates would than be compared to the rates during the twelvemonth of chopper patrol in Long Beach.

Through his research, Medak concluded that the addition in offense in Long Beach ( 8.6 % ) is significantly less than the combined statistical addition for the eight comparing municipalities ( 10.9 %

) ( 1970 ) . These findings, nevertheless, can be put into a different context. When reexamining all the information, one notices that a alteration of offense rate of this size is exceeded or about equaled in three of the old six old ages. Therefore, offense rate alterations of this magnitude, in these metropoliss, are non rare events.

While Medak overlooked the information that would propose the chopper had no consequence on offense rate, the fatal defect in his survey was in his research design. When carry oning a pre-test post-test survey, one must be certain to choose tantamount comparing sets.

Helicopter Patrol in Law Enforcement: An Evaluation

In 1972, Columbus, Ohio implemented chopper patrols as an experiment which would prove whether their impact on offense. Fifteen precincts received chopper service, seven with full clip patrol and eight on an as needful footing. The research design in survey is pre / station trial.

Harmonizing to Lateef, in the precincts that received full-time chopper patrols, the frequence of the undermentioned happenings decreased in 1972, compared to 1971: robberies 8.6 % , burglaries 9.4 % and car theft 9.4 % ( 1874 ) . In the precincts that received helicopter aid on a called-for-service footing, robberies increased 22.2 % , burglaries increased 9.9 % and car larceny increased 28.8 % ( Lateef, 1974 ) .

Lateef’s appraisal of this information is funny. He could hold viewed the two sets of precincts as trials of the same hypothesis, with well different strength of patrols, which is what the early portion of the article suggests. Alternatively, he chooses to contrast the two countries: the mean lessening in 7 full-time patrolled precincts with the mean

addition in the other 8 precincts, as an indicant of a displacement consequence: “  choppers merely shifted the location of condemnable activity to the next areas” ( Lateef, 1974 ) .

However, Lateef concludes that chopper patrols are effectual in discouraging offense: “an overall lessening of 14 per centum in the offense rate in robbery, burglary and car larceny is a strong justification for the application of this new tool in constabulary work” ( 1974 ) . While the informations strongly suggests that offense did decreased in full-time chopper patrol countries, why did it increase in country which had merely as-needed chopper service? Can we cobclude that Lateef’s findings show that merely full-time chopper patrol is an effectual hindrance? Experiment in which each type of patrol is utilised independently needs to be conducted before a decision such as Lateef’s can be made.

Police Evaluation Research: An Experimental and Cost-Benefit Analysis of Helicopter Patrol in a High Crime Area

In 1978, a survey aiming high offense countries in Nashville, Tennessee was conducted. In this survey, two high denseness ( 5089 and 4480 individuals per square stat mi ) and two low denseness ( 410 and 505 individuals per square stat mi ) countries were selected. The choice of the zones was made by the Assistant Chief of Police based on the zones’ comparatively high “levels” of burglary ( Schnelle et al. , 1978 ) .

For the intent of the rating, the Assistant Chief was requested to police any given country for a lower limit of 10 yearss: “otherwise the Chief exercised complete discretion of how long the chopper would stay in an area” ( Schnelle et al. , 1978

) . The Chief decided the order in which the mark countries would be flown. The length of the intercession periods was 10 and 9 yearss in the countries of high population denseness, and 21 and 14 yearss in the zones of low population denseness ( Schnelle et al. , 1978 ) .

Schnelle et Al. ( 1978 ) study that the mean figure of burglaries per twenty-four hours decreased in the countries of high denseness, compared to the baseline and return to baseline yearss, but that they, in fact, increased in the countries of low denseness. The writers do non see the consequences as somehow canceling-out each other. Rather, they conclude that the deterrent value of chopper patrols exists in high denseness countries, but non in low denseness countries.

There are two defects in this type of research design. First, the starting and fillet of the chopper patrols was left to the head, except for the petition that, one time started in an country, they continue for at least 10 yearss. When the determination is left to person who has operational duty, as is the instance here, the research worker needs to see whether and how operational considerations could bias the consequences.

For case, what kinds of conditions might impact the determination to end patrols in one country or get down them in another country one time the 10 twenty-four hours lower limit has been achieved? When the rates of offense in an experimental country are low it is easier to go forth it, and when the rates are high in the about-to-become-experimental country it is easy to do the move. Unfortunately, both of these determinations impair

the internal cogency of the survey.

It is notable that in both high denseness countries, the intercession began when the figure of burglaries was at its highest point in the baseline period and that the motion out of the experimental period was at a point when the day-to-day figure of burglaries was lower than norm for the experimental period.

The 2nd concern is with the pronounced differences in length of the assorted baseline, intercession and return to baseline periods. No ground is given for the fluctuation and this leads to concern over whether they may hold been selected retrospectively, instead than prospectively, thereby biasing the consequences.

Evaluation: The Joint Helicopter Patrol Program

In 2000, the constabulary services of three parts west of Toronto were portion of a shared chopper plan: Halton Region ; Hamilton-Wentworth Region ; and Peel Region. The three parts shared a chopper over a five month period. Each part was allocated 12 hours of flight clip per hebdomad and each part had the chopper two darks per hebdomad on a rotating agenda ( Research Management Consultants Inc. , 2000 ) . The program for the survey and the footing on which it was funded identified public presentation marks to be achieved by constabulary chopper patrols in the three parts ( Research Management Consultants Inc. , 2000 ) :

  • Reduce the continuance of high velocity chases by uniformed and detective constabulary vehicles
  • Reduce response clip to dismay calls by 10 %
  • Reduce interruption and enter ( abode ) by 10 %
  • Reduce interruption and enter ( concern ) by 10 %
  • Reduce larceny of motor vehicles by 10 %
  • Increase cultivation of narcotics charges

by 100 % .

There is no indicant of the footing on which these marks were selected, but it is clear that the intentionwas to show that these marks could be met. Nevertheless, the maneuvering commission of the undertaking decided at the beginning that there would be no restricted countries where the chopper could non wing and that could be used as comparing countries for the intent of finding whether the marks were met. The maneuvering commission wanted “to do the chopper available to all citizens in the region” and “could non warrant what amounted to a denial of chopper service to portion of the population” ( Research Management Consultants, 2000 ) .

Due to the restrictions of the design of the constabulary chopper undertaking and the restrictions of the informations, the advisers found it “impossible to determine” whether the marks were met ( Research Management Consultants Inc. , 2000 ) . They besides note that, in order to measure effectivity in footings of marks, comparing countries should be used, which do non have patrols, and they recommend “better segregation of countries served and non served by the choppers - sooner within the jurisdiction” ( Research Management Consultants Inc. , 2000 ) .

Harmonizing to Research Management Consultants, Inc. ( 2000 ) , the chopper was found to be a “valuable tool” that “made a part to a wide scope of calls for service” and had “important impacts” that included “rapid response to precedence calls, ” “increased likeliness of detecting the suspect go forthing the scene” and “providing aid to victims.” Surveys of constabulary officers from all three services found strong support for the chopper on the portion

of officers who had experience with it.

Research Design

The undermentioned research proposal is divided into five subdivisions. The first subdivision, plan theory, outlines the by and large accepted thought that this research will prove. An analysis of what will be measured is outlined in subdivision two. The 3rd subdivision defines the method of experimentation. The undermentioned subdivision provides a model for analysis. The fifth and concluding subdivision will sketch the ideal trial community and how the survey will be implemented.

Program Theory

The set of thoughts on which is based the impression that a certain intercession should bring forth a specific consequence is called the plan theory. There are three critical elements in the theoryas to why chopper patrols may discourage offense. The first is that manque felons become cognizant that there is a constabulary chopper.

The 2nd is that manque felons consider that chopper has the capacity to do it more likely that jurisprudence surfs will be seen, successfully pursued, and apprehended than is the instance when there is no chopper. The 3rd is that such considerations makes a difference to would-be-criminals in that they alter their behaviour, as in non perpetrating offense, perpetrating fewer offenses or perpetrating offenses in different countries.

While this survey will non try to uncover the psychological facets act uponing would be felons, this plan theory will be used in concurrence with old research to specify the steps of alteration.

Measures of Change

Before design can took topographic point, the types of offenses that ought to be affected if constabularies chopper patrols service as a hindrance were identified. They were selected by citing the plan theory and the findings of old research. The claims of assorted

surveies include holding found disincentive for three types of offense: robbery, interruption and enter, and car larceny.

This research worker asked, what make these offenses have in common ; and how does that relate to the plan theory as to why chopper should discourage? All three of these types of offense have a ample out-of-doors constituent. If non committed wholly outside, they minimally requires acquiring to and off from the topographic point of the offense. These are all things that possible culprits may see and they may reason that the chopper can see them and do a part toward an apprehensiveness.

This leads to the consideration of what other types of offense and happenings may, likewise, be deterred if there is, in fact, a deterrent consequence. Using the above logic, other offenses affected may include larceny from car, belongings harm, trespass by dark, and calls approximately leery individuals and vehicles.

Pre-Post Design with Matched Equivalent Comparison Areas

Five sets of experimental patrols will take topographic point. During each set, chopper patrol will be used on one country while normal constabularies operations take topographic point in the other. Matching will be done by choosing countries from the same general country of the metropolis that in the past three old ages have had similar demographics, population denseness, and rates of offense defined in the steps of alteration subdivision.

Each set of experimental patrols will last four months. Two will happen in the first four months of the twelvemonth, two in the 2nd four months, and two in the 3rd four months. By implementing a year-round survey, two cardinal factors antecedently overlooking in other surveies will be accounted for: 1 ) Crime is

cyclic and frequently dependent upon different times of the twelvemonth, seasons, and vacations, and 2 ) If disincentive is expected to be observed, a twelvemonth will supply sufficient clip for it to construct up over clip.

The extent of patrols will change. There is no literature that indicates the strength of patrols that is supposed to do a difference. Some old surveies that claimed to hold an impact on rates of offense had patrols for really brief periods of clip, e.g. , nine and 10 yearss, in the instance of Nashville. In other instances no peculiar reference is made of the strength of the patrols or the length of clip over which they occurred. Three strengths of patrol are planned: intermittent ( 2 day/week ) , intensive ( 4 days/week ) , and really intensive ( 6 days/week ) . By using all frequences of patrol, the survey will besides be able to find at what point, if any, a chopper becomes a offense hindrance.

Model of Analysis

The analysis will be conducted as follows. What is being measured is comparative alteration in the incidence of the defined offenses and calls for service between experimental countries and comparing countries.

For this survey, incidence will be calculated as the figure of events per some unit of population in a given period of clip. The period of clip in this instance is four months. The unit of population used is per 10,000 population. This allows a direct comparing of two countries whose population is of different size because cut downing the figure of events to events per 10,000 population adjusts for differences in the figure of possible victims and figure of

possible culprits across countries.

Change refers to the difference in the incidence of each offense between each country during the four month experimental periods.

The expressions used for analysis are the undermentioned:

If [ ( C2-C1 )N+ ( C2-C1 )N+ ( C2-C1 )N] / 3 & A ; lt ; [ ( E2-E1 )N+ ( E2-E1 )N+ ( E2-E1 )N] / 3 than choppers serve as a hindrance to the defined offenses

If [ ( C2-C1 )N+ ( C2-C1 )N+ ( C2-C1 )N] / 3 & A ; lt ; [ ( E2-E1 )N+ ( E2-E1 )N+ ( E2-E1 )N] / 3 than choppers do non function as a hindrance to the defined offenses

If [ ( C2-C1 )N+ ( C2-C1 )N+ ( C2-C1 )N] / 3 & A ; lt ; [ ( E2-E1 )N+ ( E2-E1 )N+ ( E2-E1 )N] / 3 than choppers have no consequence on disincentive to the defined offenses

C2= Ratio of defined offenses to 10,000 population in comparison country in the same period of twelvemonthprior tochopper patrol

C1= Ratio of defined offenses to 10,000 population in comparison country in the same period of twelvemonthduringchopper patrol

E2= Ratio of defined offenses to 10,000 population in experimental country in the same period of twelvemonthprior tochopper patrol

E1= Ratio of defined offenses to 10,000 population in experimental country in the same period of twelvemonthduringchopper patrol

N= Trial figure in mention to the three, four month tests

Using the outlined research process and formulas regulation out all jobs associated with old surveies. By specifying the plan theory, the survey is able to place what is being studied. The survey is long plenty to construct up disincentive and multiple tests guarantee accurate consequences over

clip. Furthermore, the model of analysis regulations out any menaces to internal cogency by taking traditional grounds for alteration in offense rate such as population growing and clip of twelvemonth.


Guthrie, C. R. 1968. Aerial Surveillance Methods of Crime Prevention: Evaluation. Long Beach: Institute for Policy Studies, California State College.

Lateef, A.B. 1974. Helicopter patrol in jurisprudence enforcement: An rating.Journal of Police Science and Administration2: 62-65.

Medak, G.M. 1970. Effectiveness of Police Helicopter Patrol: A Field Study. Los Angeles: University of Southern California.

Research Management Consultants Inc. 2000. Evaluation: The Joint Helicopter Patrol Program. No topographic point indicated.

Schnelle, J.F. , R.J. Kirchner, J.W. Macrae, M.P. McNees, R.H. Eck, S. Snodgreas, J.D. Casey and P.H. Uselton, Jr. 1980. Police rating research: An experimental and cost-benefit analysis of chopper patrol in a high offense country.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis11: 11-21.

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