Neighbourhood Policing—Measuring Police Performance (Synopsis)

Waterloo Regional Police Service

Description: In 2008, Waterloo Regional Police Service set up the Neighbourhood Policing model to measure police performance. This model uses performance measures to design equitable police patrol zones based on calls for service and allows for the strategic deployment of officers at the right places and in the right numbers based on service demands. Assigning officers to specific geographic areas creates ownership of local problems, improves police visibility, increases officer job satisfaction and provides neighbourhood-based policing that encourages problem solving and community partnerships.

Using modeling software called Managing Patrol Performance (MPP), the Waterloo Regional Police Service continually measures, tracks and reports on a variety of factors related to calls for service and the service provided. On the basis of these quantifiable measures, the police service is able to calculate how many patrol officers are required to meet or improve performance goals.
Objective: The Neighbourhood Policing model has several objectives:
  • increase efficiencies by strategically addressing the highest-demand areas of policing through more efficient or alternate provision of services;
  • adjust the time and location of officer deployment according to community demand;
  • increase officer time for proactive police initiatives and decrease administrative time;
  • identify alternate service agencies better suited to handle certain calls for service (e.g., mental health professionals);
  • improve response times to priority calls;
  • provide equalized policing throughout the community;
  • reduce hospital wait times;
  • provide a data-driven police response to community issues; and
  • increase officer availability within their respective zones.
Outcomes: Although the Neighbourhood Policing model was initially set up in 2008, actual deployment began showing efficiency results in January 2011. Measurable results to date include reversing a three-year decline in proactive patrol and achieving a slight increase; shortening emergency response times; centralizing the breath technician program in the region; achieving a more balanced officer workload; and providing equalized policing to neighbourhoods based on need. Capacity has also been developed for predictive analysis and forecasting based on previous experiences. New patrol zones, divisional boundaries and a new team policing approach were implemented in January 2011.

Positive feedback has been received from the Police Services Board, the municipal council and the public.
Resources: The resources required to develop the model include a consultant (about $30,000 annually), the MPP software licence ($20,000), the cost of an analyst (about $60,000 annually) and a computer and training (approximately $8,300). The changes resulting from this initiative rely on the restructuring of officer deployment within the police service.
Province: Ontario
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
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