How do we measure effectiveness? Does this measure vary from agency to agency depending on the mission statement and the ability to operationalize the variable involved in the model? One of the chiefs of police I worked for measured effectiveness by counting citations and arrests. From a community perspective, is this the best measure of overall performance for a police agency? Not in my opinion. Other measures have been proposed, but operationalizing variables can be problematic. For example, how would you operationalize a variable that was intended to measure community residents’ willingness to share information about crime in their neighborhood? Wouldn’t this measure ultimately profess people’s trust in law enforcement—which after all, should be the goal.
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