Boosting OPD’s Uniformed Officers

On first blush, I’m a big fan of new Police Chief Val Demings’ plan to move undercover officers to a uniformed detail in order to beef up visible officer presence. It seems like a highly wise move that will hopefully have a fast impact on arrests and crime in the city.

I’d be lying if I said this stat wasn’t a little troubling, though:

Last year, eight officers in the uniformed drug squad were responsible for 716 arrests, compared with 83 made by the plainclothes unit, according to department statistics.

One would think, hey, if the undercover officers are doing well, don’t mess with success. However, I’m putting some faith in the new regime, and at the very least, this seems a step toward shaking things up in an effort to shake loose some reduction in area crime.

4 Comments so far

  1. John Frost (unregistered) on January 10th, 2008 @ 1:26 pm

    I think you might be mis-reading that statistic. That said, it’s pretty pointless given that we don’t know the ratio of arrests per officer, nor do we know the type of crime the arrest was made for. If those 83 arrests all got big distributors off the street that’s more important than 800 people arrested for possession.

  2. Matt (unregistered) on January 10th, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

    Fair point, and again, I still am in favor of the plan, but I don’t know that I’d call it a misread…perhaps my way of choosing to read it wasn’t in agreement with yours. :)

  3. Terry Howard (unregistered) on January 10th, 2008 @ 5:30 pm

    I ponder sometimes whether it would be more effective to do the infiltrate, gather info while crimes are being committed and build a case approach… or the uniformed officers breaking up street corners, sitting on top of known drug dealers 24-7, making criminal business unbearable approach.

    When you consider that police’s primary complaint about the system is that most of their arrests end up bouncing out of court on technicalities or given short sentences that lets the criminals back out in no time flat… maybe we’d be better off just trying to make the business of being civil menace an entirely unpractical one. If it comes to be that operating a criminal operation in Orlando only gets the cops in your business all day every day, standing in front of your house, following you around… seems you’d pack up and leave.

  4. Terry Howard (unregistered) on January 10th, 2008 @ 5:36 pm

    Hah, have to also say: I wonder if this policy covers the embarrassing practice of our city’s finest dressing up like Grinch’s and elves. If this chief ends that nonsense I’ll know she’s for real!

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