Police Resource Analysis (Police Staffing Studies)

   In many situations, agencies simply do not have the available time or skills to conduct their own studies. In other cases, they choose to remain out of the process to avoid any subjectivity on the results. We can conduct your entire study for you, returning on several occasions to review preliminary findings and final results.

   Studies conducted by Etico Solutions are based on an empirical workload analysis of your agency. We do not conduct "benchmarking" studies based on population or patrol activities due to the inherant limitations and assumptions of such methods. Our results are grounded in your own agency data and provide a solid foundation for the justification of our final staffing recommendations.

   For larger projects, Etico Solutions works in conjunction with other consulting organizations in the field of resource allocation and staff scheduling. Smaller resource allocation projects are conducted independently. Depending on the availability of valid and accurate data, a full resource study can take six to twelve months to complete. Pricing is subject to agency size, the scope of the study, and the availability and condition of the customer’s data.

Etico Methodology

   For a study to have meaning, it must be based on actual data generated by the division(s) being studied. The policies and history of your agency that govern the data collection practices currently in place—will play a large part in the time required for the completion of a study and the final degree of accuracy obtainable through the available data. Once the captured data is validated and organized, a careful examination is conducted to locate any other work that is being performed by your agency and not being captured for later use. It is in this crucial step that the experience of an external consultant can be of the most benefit.

   With valid and detailed data on the department, and a few key decisions made by your agency’s top administrators, a complete staffing recommendation can be prepared and justified for your agency. The final recommendation for optimal staff size is presented as part of a comprehensive report that explains how the basic raw data was slowly converted to a recommended staff size. Additional techniques for determining adequate patrol presence may also be introduced in the final report as well as a number of managerial charts depicting current performance levels and recommended performance levels.

   If adequate detail can be obtained from the agency data, Etico Solutions can include a staffing recommendation across the various districts, shifts, and days of the week. Multiple workload drivers can be used for this deployment plan, based on the preferences of your agency. Such drivers may include calls for service per district or shift, total time spent on calls per district or shift, or a targeted unobligated time chosen by your agency for each district or shift to spend on community oriented policing.

   Geographic workload distribution, or beat design, could also be examined in the study based on the desires of your agency and the availability of detailed data related to calls for service. Although this process can be automated with current software packages, there are certain advantages to manual methods of beat design. Creating patrol beats based on the data collected in the agency’s geo-coding schemes and the experience and collective thought of a number of your senior officers can often lead to a more grounded plan that fits the peculiarities of your agency and jurisdiction.

   The final issue that could be addressed in the resource allocation study is the current scheduling practices of your agency. Some schedules will provide the ability to staff proportionally to workload while others will provide not only inconsistent staffing but also uncontrollable staffing levels. Arriving at the most appropriate schedule for a particular agency is quite often a compromise between the desires of the officers and the needs of the agency administration. In lieu of creating or suggesting a new schedule for the agency, the report will indicate how the current schedule used by the divisions under review may impact, both positively and negatively, the ability to efficiently handle the workload of the agency. Shift alternatives can be offered in some situations upon request.