Searching the Cushions for Change
Read the following scenario and answer the five questions that follow using APA style formatting where appropriate. Provide sufficient detail in your responses to demonstrate a good understanding of the material in the textbook regarding the philosophy of and management approach to community policing.
Captain Jones is responsible for preparing the budget for the Greenfield Police Department. The new chief has asked her to review the entire budget and find long-term and short-term cost reductions. He wants to shift some resources to community policing projects and would like to create an undercover drug unit. He encourages her to be creative and bold because he does not anticipate any increases in the budget during the next few years.
The Greenfield Police Department is a medium-sized suburban department. Three neighboring cities have comparable departments performing similar functions. Each of the four departments has their own booking and short-term holding facility and their own dispatch center. The county sheriff’s department operates a detention center for felons and long-term prisoners. Arresting officers transport their prisoners to the county facility and are often out of service for several hours during this process. Each city has its own SWAT team. The teams’ equipment was purchased through a federal grant, but the personnel costs are each department’s responsibility. The teams train frequently, but the county sheriff’s department also has a SWAT team that responds when requested by local police departments. None of the departments has an undercover drug unit. They
refer drug cases to state and federal agencies, but those agencies are often too busy for a timely response. A review of the Greenfield Police Department activity logs reveals that officers spend considerable time standing by for vehicle tows, directing traffic at civic functions and delivering documents to city council members.
- What creative ideas could Captain Jones recommend for consideration in the upcoming budget?
- Assuming that the Greenfield officers are still relying on preventative patrol, how could a change in strategy benefit the budget?
- Suggest some long-term cost savings Captain Jones could consider regarding dispatch and booking services.
- Is the continued support of a seldom-used SWAT team a good use of Greenfield Police Department resources?
- What other sources of creative funding may be available to support a drug unit?