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Is Contract Police Program Effective?

As part of our current FY 2013 budget review process, I was looking at the  latest residents’ satisfaction survey on City’s contract police program.

The City currently employs 9.22 full time contract police officers in its pay roll (8 hrs a day). This means at any given time during 24 hours a day, we should be seeing nearly 3 (3.07 to be exact) contract police officers patrolling our entire city. We also have 2 full time PGPD officers who patrol the entire city in two patrols beats – Beat 7 in north and Beat 6 in south College Park. This means we have about 1.25 police officer patrolling our streets in each district, 24 hours a day.

Additionally the PGPD has some 8-10 officers who patrol in a much larger area, stretching from IKEA in the north to Eastern avenue in the south but  there is no guarantee that they would be in one particular neighborhood in one given time. There is also a fairly large number of UMD police officers who patrol the concurrent jurisdiction areas in south College Park. North College park is not part of this jurisdiction,

Per the residents survey, there appears to be fairly good number of residents who have not-so-good views of the current contract police program. For example, only 52% of city residents consider the effectiveness of the contract police program is either good or excellent, the rest consider it either poor or fair. Unless we lower our bar of measuring excellence and consider the numbers in the “fair” category lie within the satisfactory range, the survey results seem alarming to me.

This leaves me to question why residents think this way. Is this because we do not see enough police patrol cars on our streets or we think they are nor efficient enough to earn good marks. I will appreciate your feedback on this. You can email me at fkabir@collegeparkmd.gov or leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

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