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What is the difference between proactive and reactive patrol in police field operations?

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kisstopher603 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 30, 2011 at 10:48 AM via web

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What is the difference between proactive and reactive patrol in police field operations?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 30, 2011 at 11:01 AM (Answer #1)

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One way to think about the difference here is that proactive policing or proactive patrol is more of a crime prevention technique whereas reactive patrol or reactive policing is something that is done after a crime has already been committed.

Reactive patrol is more of a traditional style of policing.  It consists of police waiting for a crime to be reported and then going to the scene to try to apprehend suspects.  By contrast, proactive patrol attempts to prevent the crimes from happening in the first place.  For example, a proactive patrol might be based on intelligence or statistical work that the police have done regarding when and where certain crimes are likely to take place.  The police could then proactively patrol at the appropriate places and times to try to prevent crimes from happening.

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