Planning and Decision-Making:
The International Association of Chiefs of Police Research Center Board of executives, Smaller Law Enforcement Agencies Technical Assistance Program developed a New Police Chief Mentoring Project (IACP, 2013). Supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, the focus is to make available official support to newer law enforcement leaders in the first three years of appointment, who are serving in smaller populations less than 50,000 citizens. As cities expand geographically and demographically, police departments face additional challenges determining efficient and effective ways to make use of officers and resources.
Administrative planning and decision-making is necessary for efficient and effective operations management in any setting. Police administrative planning becomes the first step in successful management of the department. Planning provides administrative officials with better information, an analysis of the problem at hand, clarity of goals, objectives, and procedures. Planning results in more active distribution of resources, program development and performance, increased inter- and intradepartmental collaboration and organization. Planning provides the opportunity for greater public support and a clear sense of direction for the police department with increased commitment of personnel. There are many approaches to planning. However, the most commonly used approach is synoptic planning. Synoptic planning, as shown in table 8.1 below, is a cycle that can be improved upon with each situation and issue. In the first stage, preparation allows for all areas of concern to be addressed and upon implementation and monitoring the process clearly develops for additional planning in the focus area. Synoptic planning incorporates four activities, including preparation, choosing between alternatives, implementation, and evaluation. There are three main approaches to alternative selection, strategic analysis, cost-effective, and listing must/wants
Strategic analysis comprises a set of potential alternatives. The quantity of alternatives may be decreased by creating suitability studies of the chosen alternatives determining the course of an action being in accordance with policy, department rules, and laws. The retained and suitable alternatives then undergo feasibility studies to determine the possibility of action in accordance with standard conditions, operations, and restrictions. Analyzing the chosen course of action by application of cost, performance, effect of the alternatives on the criminal justice system, and time spent on implementation reveals critical limits and tradeoffs.
Planning is a way to prepare for the future. One definition of planning is intelligent cooperation with the inevitable. Planning recognizes problems and points the way to solutions, by taking a systematic, thorough look at the current situation and thinking about the implications for the future, can bring...