LESSON 2/TASK 1
an entire shift responding to calls, while another is underemployed. Unequal work loads can also
adversely affect MP morale, and therefore efficiency and effectiveness. Balanced patrol areas allow
personnel to spend roughly equal amounts of time responding to service calls and preventive patrol.
An effective patrol distribution plan will also aid in determining the best type of patrols to use in various
The standards of distribution will vary. On one installation it may be based on the number of crimes or
accidents; on another it may be the number of sensitive facilities to be checked. The geography of the
installation will also affect distribution plans. Bridges, railroads, airfields, and rivers, for example, must
all be considered. No area can completely be denied protection.
Response time is another factor that must be considered. Response time in patrol areas should be
minimal. It also should be roughly the same in all patrol areas. The larger and more diverse the
installation, the more difficult it will be to equalize the patrol areas. However, compromises that must
be made should be based on objective data rather than intuition.
Distribution plans consider the varying number of patrols available for duty on any one shift. Depending
on the number of patrols on a shift, patrol areas may have to be readjusted.
A four step procedure is followed to develop patrol distribution plans. This method is used to ensure
that all factors are taken into consideration to accomplish the objectives that have been discussed.
Before the patrol distribution plan is developed, certain policy decisions must be made. In a sense,
these function as the "assumptions" upon which the patrol distribution plan is based. As data is
compiled and analyzed, these policy decisions may have to be reconsidered and modified.
Regardless, they must initially be made; they represent the starting point for patrol distribution planning.
Policies must be developed to adequately distribute patrol force coverage. Which services will be
handled by telephone and which will require a unit to be dispatched? Which calls will be referred to
more appropriate agencies, such as Army Community Service or the unit commander? There must be
a clear policy on the degree to which patrol units handle