Essay: Consulting Police Report Consultant

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Consulting Police Report

Consultant's Report

Imaginary City has been hit hard by the recent economic downturn in the past few years. Unemployment has risen dramatically and crime has also climbed as well. It appears that IC has not managed their books very well and find themselves in financial woe as many public programs and organizations must cut their resources.

Imaginary City's law enforcement is under severe financial strain and is considering outsourcing policing services to the state. The city has a diverse population of 120,000. The city manager has a good sense of policing and law enforcement history and the mission of the police. She believes that the local police are no longer necessary given the change in crime patterns and lack of effectiveness of the police. State police would be more effective, she argues. However, most of the city council disagrees with the city manager's proposal and wants the local police to remain intact. They believe only local police can meet the needs of the local population.

The mayor of Imaginary City recently proposed that all local government organizations look for ways to cut spending and possibly preserve their existence. The Mayor mentioned outsourcing as one avenue of approach of cutting back, but left the decisions to the leadership of each organization to develop their own plans.

As a financial consultant to the Imaginary City Police Department (ICPD), it is my job to gather the background information and discuss ways that the unit can help solve the larger financial problems of the city. The ICPD must make cuts and this audit of its performances will determine if the ICPD needs to outsource any or all of their work to help save Imaginary City from its financial problems.

The Problem

Many of the police departments around the country are streamlining patrols, reducing training and cutting back on some preventative programs as their budgets fall victim to the struggling economy. Imaginary City, a middle-class city of about 145,000 people, has a force of 189 officers and 114 civilians. Because of a reduction in real-estate and property tax collections that pay for public safety services.

The city has gone through the non-personnel related expenses in our budget, and has had to cut everything possible. Some of the training monies have been drastically reduced, and there is virtually nowhere else to cut except in the personnel area." Imaginary City, a community which has repeatedly ranked as one of the best places to live in the country, will see the effects,.

Personnel costs represent the bulk of most departments' budgets. The police chief says the city's financial woes have hobbled his department and threatened the safety of officers, residents and visitors. A worried citizen testified to determine whether the city is eligible to fix its finances in bankruptcy court that he has found "deplorable conditions" of facilities and equipment

Analysis

The role of police unions and labor relations in law enforcement agencies are topics that have received little attention. A recent study reported that in the past 33 years, there have been only 19 published items -- scholarly articles, books, book chapters, or reports by government agencies or private nonprofit groups -- on police unions in the United States (Walker, 2008). The study also reports that "the neglect of police unions has seriously impeded understanding of American policing, particularly with respect to basic police management, innovation and reform, police-community relations, and police accountability

Issues such as budget cuts, privatization and civilianization, recruitment, health care, and pension benefits, to name a few, affect everyone in the departments. To most effectively address and resolve the challenges facing law enforcement agencies, union and management need to work together. The Koper et al. (2013)) recently wrote about the issues of hiring and retention in police forces and it is clear that Imaginary City is also going through some of these same problems. The wrote " new analyses measuring the perceptions of police suggest that grant money, crime, calls for service, and population were some of the leading contributors to police growth from 1996 to 1999. Fiscal constraints and the lack of qualified recruits were two of the leading factors associated with police decline during this same period. Some factors linked to police staffing may be differentially associated with police growth and decline; most notably, crime may contribute to growth in staffing but not have much influence on reductions in staffing."

If Imaginary City would like to salvage its city in some way of fashion, it must address the police force issue as it is presented in this case. Too much money is being spent on crime fighting and something must give. A delicate balance must be struck to find a sweet spot where citizens and their property are being protected, but at a reasonable and practical cost. There are some solutions available that this consulting firm would recommend to help curb this problem and bring about a resolution that can help bring a reasonable conclusion to this very serious and detrimental problem that Imaginary City is currently experiencing.

The resulting actions to the proposed solutions of this consulting report will produce some tactics and ideas on how to best approach the major issues contained within the details of this emerging problem. No single tactic or idea may be best suited for Imaginary City, but incorporating pieces, or perhaps all, of the recommended changes needed must come from the leadership and the decision making branch of Imaginary City.

This consulting firm recommends that these ideas are incorporated with the police values and principles that drive the city's force. Only when these tools are applied in a manner that is consistent with the morals and ethics of the police force itself, will they produce any long lasting and sustained results that can both take care of the rising crime and the threat of the depleted police force that is rising.

Strategic Outsourcing

Outsourcing has gained much traction as a way to alleviate strained budgets within police forces across the nation. New organizational formats and technology has allowed this practice to flourish and grow to some benefit in other areas. Northrop (2013) discussed its successes in San Jose, CA in a recent article. She wrote "In evaluating police services, several factors can be important, including, response time, patrol service hours, crime data, traffic citations, personnel complaints, use of force, community outreach efforts and emergency services coordinating and training."

If Imaginary City is to used outsourced and private companies to assist with their duties it should be on a limited basis only. The relationship between the community and the police is too delicate to risk by putting private police on the streets and this work should never be sent to private organizations. The relationship between the law, police officers and citizens must be preserved as a public and open act and process. The risks associated with private policing efforts are too great and go against the many liberating and freedom principles associated with American and the American way of life.

Outsourcing other aspects of the Imaginary City's police department should be considered however in a limited role. Lesney (2008) discussed these points in analyzing this trend in other cities. He wrote "Critical technical components need to be put in place before engaging the services of an outside vendor. For example, the transition from analog audio recording to digital audio technology is critical for taking advantage of the capabilities of state-of-the-art outsourcing technologies, particularly the ease of uploading audio files and the downloading of completed transcripts via a secure Internet site." These types of activities should be explored in minimizing costs but a large scale overhaul does not need this type of attention.

Recommendations

This consulting firm ultimately recommends to not outsource any police work of any kind. Imaginary City needs to find… [END OF PREVIEW]

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