Strategic Planning and Property Crimes


Strategic planning is a critical tool in assessing the efficiency of an organization’s delivery processes. Police departments of various departments regularly develop strategic plans covering a definite period detailing their goals and visions and a roadmap on how these will be attained. This paper analyzes the strategic plans of the policed departments of four cities, Mexico City of Albuquerque, and Plano City, Texas. It looks at the goals set to alleviate property crimes and the methods put in place to ensure the attainment of such goals. It also analyzes the latest crime data statistics to gauge whether there is progress based on the implementation of the strategic plans.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Albuquerque Police Department strategy plan covering 2013 to 2017 is detailed in a lengthy document containing 178 pages but elaborately drafted. The plan has a table of contents that breaks its contents into five main goals; the plan then lays out different specific objectives to achieve each goal and lists several sections detailing how the objectives are to be achieved. The plan also entails ways in which the success of each goal and objective will be assessed. The thorough outline makes it easy for readers to pinpoint the specific information they want on the document and access it efficiently without having to rummage through the whole document. As detailed in the plan, communication with the stakeholders is very effective.

Plano, Texas

The Plano Police Department Strategic Plan is intended to cover 2022 to 2026. Unlike Albuquerque’s detailed plan, Plano’s plan is shallow and vague in detailing the department’s goals and how to achieve them. The plan has five strategic goals similar to Albuquerque’s, but they are squeezed into an 11-page document covering almost half images. The plan just lists the goals, the objectives under each goal, and actionable terms to achieve the objectives and the goals but fails to explain how to achieve these goals. Even though the plan emphasizes the critical role played by the community members in achieving its goals, plans should entail more detail discussing the processes and measures to ensure these goals are achieved. Plano’s plan does not communicate effectively to the stakeholders.

Oakland, California

Similar to Plano, Oakland’s strategic plan is not very detailed. The plan runs for three years, covering 2021 through 2024. It outlines five goals, lays out objectives for each goal, and actionable plans for the objectives, just like Plano’s plan. The key notable features in the plan are the engagement of the community as a key stakeholder in the city’s security. The department is eager to recruit officers from the community and even includes a phone number where interested individuals can apply through a text message. Overall, Oakland’s strategic plan clearly communicates its goals to the stakeholders, but it could be more effective with more details.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City’s police department strategic plan was for 2018 to 2022. Like Plano’s, Salt Lake City’s plan has a detailed contents page that makes it easy to navigate the document. The plan is detailed in 35 pages, but only ten pages are dedicated to the actual strategies majority talk about the department’s values and the working environment of the department’s staff. The strategic plan entails three goals, and only one discusses crime and how the community can be engaged to reduce it. Overall, the plan seems to concentrate more on the police department and downplay the community’s role in averting crime. The general organization of the plan and the many abbreviations used throughout the paper makes its communication to the stakeholder less efficient.

Best Practices in Reducing Property Crime

One example of an evidence-based method of reducing property crime is encouraging community-police engagement (Peak & Glensor, 2012). This strategy entails growing interpersonal relationships between the police and community members. Close ties and interaction between police and the community helps the communities build trust in the police and engage with them fully in investigations, thus facilitating crime reduction. For instance, strengthening the relationship between police and the community is the second goal in the Plano and Oakland plans and the third in the Albuquerque and Salt Lake City plans. One of the primary methods used to reduce property crimes pegged on community-police engagement s neighborhood watch, which is included in the plans for the four cities. However, Plano has an outstanding emphasis on neighborhood watch as a crime reduction strategy.

Another critical practice for reducing personal property crimes is implementing innovative technologies. This entails increasing closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) and improving street lighting in areas prone to property crimes (Byrne & Marx, 2011). The deployment of technology as a plan to reduce property crimes and other crimes, in general, is contained as a goal in the Albuquerque and Plano strategic plans. Oakland and Salt Lake City plans do not entail the use of technology as a strategy to reduce property crimes.

FBI’s Uniform Crime Report on Personal Property Crimes

Based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report data, the number of reported property crimes in Oakland City, with a population of 434,036, was 27,868 in 2019. In Plano, Texas, with a population of 291,611, there were 4,908 reported cases of property crimes in 2019. The FBI UCR website does not give the number of property crimes reported in 2019 in Albuquerque because the data was overreported hence its exclusion. In Salt Lake City, Utah, with a population of 202,426, there were 11,452 reported personal property crimes in 2019. From the above data Plano, Texas, has a relatively lower rate of personal property crimes than the other two cities. Unfortunately, Albuquerque’s data was excluded, but compared to the other three cities, it had the most well-detailed plan, with the roles of every stakeholder laid down. After Albuquerque, Plano also had a relatively detailed strategic plan and emphasized using technology and engaging the community through neighborhood watch to reduce property crimes. The efficiency of Plano’s plan can be seen in the pretty low reports on property crime rates compared to the other cities.

Conclusion

Strategic plans are crucial in any police department in curbing property crimes. They detail their goals, the means to achieve them, and measures to assess the implementation process. Making the strategic plans available and accessible publicly helps to inform the public and makes the police departments accountable at the end of the strategic period. The strategic plans should also be more detailed to offer more insight to the stakeholders and enhance their efficiency in implementation.

References

Albuquerque Police Department. (2012). Strategic plan 2013-2017. https://www.cabq.gov/police/documents/FY13-FY17_Strategic%20Plan.pd

Byrne, J., & Marx, G. (2011). Technological innovations in crime prevention and policing. A review of the research on implementation and impact. Journal of Police Studies, 20(3), 17–40.

Oakland Police Department. (2020). Strategic Plan 2021 -2024. https://cao-94612.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/OPD-Strategic-Plan-Final-Armstrong-v2.pdf

Peak, K., & Glensor, R. (2012). Community policing and problem-solving: Strategies and practices (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Plano Police Department. (2021). Strategic plan 2022-2026. https://www.plano.gov/1367/Strategic-Plan-Reports?contentId=c9d128b6-cb60-4df0-8687-a6a266e01dc1

Salt Lake City Police Department. (2017) Strategic plan 2018-2022 https://www.slcpd.com/2017strategicplan/

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