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One Week in Heron City: A Case Study (Case B)

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2009
33 pages

This is a case study of the meetings that occurred between the police chief and various departmental staff of a fictional police department ("Heron City") over a portion of a week (Wednesday morning - Friday morning) in order to illustrate staff interactions related to community policing, CompStat (an organizational approach to crime-reduction tasks), problem-oriented policing, evidence-based policing, and intelligence-led policing.


Late morning on Wednesday, the police chief met with a junior analyst in the Information Technology (IT) Department to discuss the operation of the Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) system as a tool in countering the significant problem of car theft in the city. The ALPR system was also discussed as a possible surveillance tool for identifying cars that might be following victims' cars in stalking cases. On Wednesday afternoon, the chief met with the compliance monitor for evidence-based policing. The compliance monitor is a criminologist who has been working with the department for 2 years in advancing the use of evidence-based policing. The meeting with the chief involved a discussion of the criminologist's responsibilities, the nature of evidence-based policing, and how it might apply to the prevention and investigation of the car thefts that are frequent in the city. On Thursday morning, the chief had another meeting with the junior analyst from the IT Department, a meeting that was initiated by the analyst to provide an update on his work with the ALPR system. Thursday afternoon the chief conversed again with the compliance monitor for evidence-based policing, who discussed the possibility of establishing an analytical unit to support operations. A Friday morning meeting with the junior analyst from IT Services focused on a report on the ALPR system's identification of one car identified as following three different women, possibly in a stalking scenario.

Date Published: September 1, 2009