Pipkin's 92-page report says Ventura's crime rate is "relatively low." He determined Ventura officers' "uncommitted time" — hours not spent handling calls, making arrests or doing paperwork — to be about 40 percent.
"A 35-40 percent overall uncommitted time level is a reasonable target/goal for a community of approximately 110,000," he wrote.
The uncommitted time, however, fluctuates from as low as 10 percent between 8 a.m. and noon to as high as 67 percent between 4 and 8 a.m., Pipkin wrote.
The more the uncommitted time, the more the "police force is able to provide a higher level of service to the community in the form of proactive policing," he wrote.Each police agency and each community they serve is different. I'm not going to go out on a limb and say how much uncommitted time your officers should have. However, I do believe that it is important for an agency to maximize the amount of uncommitted patrol time your officers have.
Let's face it, the clearance rates for many crimes is pretty low. It is extremely hard to solve a crime after the fact. Preventing a crime before it happens, or interrupting it as it is beginning to occur is likely to be easier and a whole lot more cost effective. Prevention or interrupting a crime is easier if your officers are not tied up on a call.
Has your agency measured your officers uncommitted patrol time? Did you feel they need more or less uncommitted time?