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Evaluating Patrol Officer Performance Under Community Policing: The Houston Experiment Research Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
36 pages
Publication Series

This analysis of the process used to evaluate the performance first-line police patrol officers and developed by the Houston Police Department as part of its effort to develop community policing concludes that personnel performance measurement can enhance other organizational efforts to implement a new philosophy of policing.


The development of the new process was intended to produce one model of performance evaluation that other police agencies might use in designing their own performance measurement methods. The first step in redesigning performance measurement was to be the development of new performance evaluation criteria, scaling methods, instrumentation, and processes for police officers. Committees analyzed the jobs of patrol officers, redesigned performance evaluation in terms of the agency's philosophy of Neighborhood Oriented Policing, and developed new methods of performance evaluation. The new process was evaluated experimentally to measure its impact on both officers and citizens. Surveys of officers and citizens indicated that a personnel performance measurement process designed to reflect and reinforce the functions that police officers are expected to perform can provide structural support for a philosophy of policing and can be a valuable aid in the implementation of organizational change. The project also produced several unanticipated benefits to police cadets, particularly in the areas of oral and written communication. 16 recommended readings.

Date Published: January 1, 1994