After several months of efficiency studies conducted by Matrix Consulting Group, changes will be made in the Columbia Police Department's Patrol Division. In September, CPD began participation in the study which was designed to analyze the Patrol Division's efficiency and productivity in its current deployment. The study included a department-wide survey and multiple individual interviews between Matrix and CPD staff.
On October 28, 2015, Matrix presented their Preliminary Analysis of Patrol Issues to the department. The report focused on three key areas of consideration -
- Community Trends and Emerging Service Areas
- Assessment of the Patrol Beat Structure
- Patrol Deployment Practices & Shift Schedules
Matrix's report noted population growth directly translates to additional workload for patrol, the current beat structure is effectively positioned, two-officer patrol units were not a sustainable practice given the call volume, and shift alternatives should be considered.
On December 2, 2015, Matrix presented three schedule options focused on maximizing proactivity in the Patrol Division. During the following week, command staff collected input from the Patrol officers and supervisors regarding the presented schedule options, and a fourth schedule option was created.
On December 8, 2015, the following schedule changes were made to amplify efficiency within the Patrol Division; these changes will go into effect on February 28, 2016:
- The Patrol Unit officers will remain on 12-hour shifts.
- The current Patrol rotation will be kept and an additional "power shift" that Matrix recommended will work 10-hour shifts from Wednesday-Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
- Shift changes will be pushed forward by two hours.
- The Downtown Unit will report to Patrol Division supervisors.
- Specific officers will be assigned to different shifts to handle traffic incidents under the Patrol Division. These officers will also be available for calls for service when needed.
One of the most valuable parts of this study was the in-depth analysis of call volume by day of week and time of day. This provided valuable information regarding the deployment of personnel over the course of a 24-hour day, 7 days per week.
The study cost $48,000 and was paid for through asset forfeiture & budget funds. An additional $12,500 was approved on November 16th by City Council to be allocated towards a study on CPD's Criminal Investigations Division. Matrix will be providing a final report of their analysis that will be made available to the public upon receipt. The preliminary report provided is a draft pending the final report.