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Village Policing in an Urban Enviroment - The Irvine California Police Department - A Descriptive Case Study

NCJ Number
G W Boyd
Date Published
109 pages
This study of the Irvine, Calif. police department describes the goals, development, and current operations of a unique police force using team policing and giving patrolmen many investigation and other non patrol duuties.
Irvine, incorporated in 1971, covers 42 square miles, about two-thirds of which are undeveloped. Close to military bases, transportation centers, and receation, it is a planned city of connecting villages with a population of 50,000 that is expected to double in the near future. An even larger, transient population employed by various businesses is also expected. Prior to 1971, the Orange County Sheriff's Department provided police services to the Irvine area. However, great increases in population led to the creation of the Irvine Public Safety Committee in 1973; a study followed with the purpose of designing a fully operational police force by 1975. The Irvine police department, now fully installed, is designed to foster independent thinking, decisionmaking and as much cooperation as possible on all command levels. All personnel are consulted in department goal setting. Irvine uses modified team policing and establishes the uniformed field offcer as a generalist responsible for all police functions on the beat. Detectives, traffic and other units exist to assist the patrolman, rather than forming specialized units as in traditional police organizations. It is concluded that the next few years will determine whether or not a police department organized on the local, or village concept, can survive among the pressures of urban sprawl and subsequent crime problems. Appendixes, bibliography of 59 citations, and tables are provided.