8.1.8 Model "On the Road"

In the late 1960s, Sergeant Glenn Pauly6 played a key role in establishing a police resource allocation system based on an M/M/N priority queueing model in the planning office of the St. Louis Police Department. A detailed computer package was developed and, under Pauly's guidance, used by most of the district commanders in St. Louis. The package was so successful that it was picked up by IBM, modified slightly, and marketed as an IBM product.7

Later, IBM's package was implemented in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). However, shortly thereafter the LAPD changed operating procedures to the "Basic Car Plan," which tended to queue calls in a police beat more frequently so that the beat car could respond to more of them. Thus, "beat identity" became the key objective rather than response-time reduction. The IBM model, employing as it did assumptions from the M/M/N queueing model, no longer accurately portrayed operations in Los Angeles, and consequently fell into disuse. In this case, the model was not flexible enough to adapt to a new set of operating procedures nor were there personnel within the LAPD who could perform the modifications (see [HEBE 78b]). 6 Now a Captain, retired. 7 Later Pauly was promoted out of the planning office, and the resource allocation package in St. Louis fell into disuse. Here an in-house advocate vanished by promotion.