A network spatial analysis simulating response time to calls for service at variable staffing levels
A case study on strategic police defunding in the city of Chicago
New York University, New York, USA
2 University of California, Berkeley, USA
Accepted: 16 November 2021
Published online: 18 December 2021
In light of recent events, there has been a surge in discussions of defunding police. On one hand, policy that reduces police presence aims to reduce frequency of police violence. On the other hand, downsizing the police force triggers concerns of public safety and police response time. In this work, we use spatial analysis to examine the impact a reduced police force may have on response time. Modeling the transportation system of Chicago as a network, we simulate the response of police officers from stations to incidents. We then use this simulation to calculate the impacts of resource re-allocation from police to alternate responders. Using Chicago’s large, open-source police incident response database, we use our simulation to predict how the response time changes subject to various crime and policing scenarios. Our model suggests that the current response time distribution can be maintained with a 30–60% reduction in police staffing levels if some incidents are re-allocated to alternate responders.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021