The Reform Era of Policing (Foot Patrol vs. Automotive Patrol)


Police patrolling is very important in a certain community whether using an automobile patrol or simply by just foot patrolling. But of course there are advantages and disadvantages between these two in terms of keeping order in the community, responding in the crime or accident scenes, apprehending some criminals or violators.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an automobile car when patrolling than just by simply just foot patrolling or not using an automobile car and vice versa? What is better to use in keeping order in community, responding in crime or accident scenes, or apprehending criminals or violators?

Police Foot Patrolling vs.

Police Automobile Patrolling

Policemen patrolling without using automobiles of any kinds have many advantages. First policemen who are foot patrolling are the economical and cost-effective type of police patrolling because it does not need an automobile to their jobs and of course gasoline in order for the car to function. Policemen not using vehicles are more acquainted at the people living in a certain community.

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They can talk to the people face to face. people trust them and have open communication with them with regards to the problems in the community Compare to policemen patrolling using their vehicles they do not talk frequently to the people in the community because they will just arrive if somebody calls for help because there is a crime happening.

They can easily notice or see if there is a crime or problems that are happening and they can easily respond to the situation.

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Unlike for policemen using automobiles just only waiting if there such crime that is happening. People feel safer when they can see policemen patrolling in their areas because some criminals will not attempt to do violations or crimes if they can see policemen just walking within the neighborhood unlike for policemen who are only visible when the crime is already happening like in chasing criminals or violators. Policemen who are foot patrolling can chase criminals even in the crowded people, people who are in a hurry for their works or just simply walking across the streets.

Policemen patrolling using vehicles cannot because they cannot pass by in a place crowded with people because if they do they might run over some of the people that could eventually injure or kill them foot patrolling can chase criminals who ran in fields or in places filled with trees like forests unlike policemen who are vehicle patrolling cannot because their automobiles cannot go to places like that. Foot patrolling policemen can chase criminals who jump over fences, hedges or barriers unlike vehicle patrolling cannot because they are using cars and cars cannot jump over fences or hedges. (Tyler, 2001) But of course there are also disadvantages in foot patrolling.

Foot patrolling policemen are slower to response in problems such as criminal scenes they have a poor communication with other foot patrolling policemen. Weather affects jobs of foot patrolling policemen. If the weather is not good, they will just stay in a place far in some people doing some scenes or violations. Foot patrolling policemen spends a lot of their time in the office. Most of patrolling policemen are rookies or new to the service. They have more things to know in order to become an expert foot patrolling policemen. Most of foot patrolling policemen are lazy sometimes they do not do their jobs. Some do not respond to the calls because most of them are not in the departments they are just in some place foot patrolling.

Some neighborhood is just too large for the foot patrolling to cover all that is why there are some criminal activities that are not responded. Some criminals and violators do not receive enough or proper punishment because of legal constraints on arrest. Chain of command does not work because some of foot patrolling policemen do not follow the programs or duties assigned to them by their superiors they just do the things to them are enough or appropriate. Some people in the community want to be out of their community if the community they are living in is not that rampant in terms of crimes.

The expectations of the people in the community is too high to the foot patrolling policemen where sometimes that expectations are not met making the people frustrated. Some calls are passed to the foot patrolling policemen by the vehicle patrolling policemen making them doing some work that others should do. There are many calls within the community that foot patrolling policemen cannot respond to all of them. Some of the problems or demands of the foot patrolling policemen are not addressed by their officers because they are in the community which is far from their departments where they can voice out some of their concerns. And lastly some of the foot patrolling policemen has lack of dedication in their duties to the community. (Trojanowicz & Pollard, 1986)

Like foot patrolling policemen vehicle patrolling policemen also have advantages and disadvantages. There are many advantages in terms of policemen using cars or automobiles for patrolling. Some of the advantages are It is easy to chase a criminal or violators running away for a criminal act or violation that they have done when the policemen patrolling are using cars or automobiles even though the criminals or violators are also using any kinds of cars unlike in foot patrolling policeman if they are chasing criminals who are using cars they will have difficulty chasing them or worse the criminals can escape and they will not be caught and punished for the crime or violation that they have done.

And once they are caught the policemen who captured them can send them immediately to the police department or jail. It is easier to respond for the policemen when they are using automobiles when some people are calling them for help because an emergency or crime is happening because it is easy to arrive in the place where it is happening unlike in foot patrolling policemen because they are not using cars they might arrive in the said place that the criminals have done their criminal act or they have escaped and leave the place already. It is easy for the criminals to notice if there are policemen around if policemen are using cars for patrolling and once the criminals has noticed it will stop them from the crime or violation they going to commit.

And lastly, if the police are using cars when they are patrolling they can cruise around the neighborhood and can check or investigate if there is a crime or possible crime that might happen.(National Institute of Justice (U.S.), 1995) But of course there are also disadvantages in using cars for police patrolling. Some of the disadvantages are it is costly and expensive.

The policemen should take care of their cars so that the cars will be maintained for a longer used and once it is totally wrecked and the policemen can no longer use them, the government have to spend money to buy cars for their replacement. The government also spends money for the maintenance of these cars and of course for gasoline in order for these cars to function. (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research., 1999)

Summary and Conclusion

Police patrolling are very important for a community to retain peace and order whether they are foot patrolling policemen and the ones using cars or automobiles. There are many advantages and disadvantages for both depending in the place the crimes or violations are happening but they are both needed by the community so that crimes and violation in the community will be lessened or totally be eradicated.


  1. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. (1999).
  2. Effects of Community Policing on Tasks of Street-Level Police Officers in Ohio, 1981 and 1996. from
  3. National Institute of Justice (U.S.). (1995).
  4. Community policing in Chicago : year two. Trojanowicz, R., & Pollard, B. (1986).
  5. Community Policing: The Line Officer’s Perspective. Retrieved March 27, 2007, from
    Tyler, N. (2001). Public Safety in Downtowns.
  6. Retrieved March 27, 2007, from
Cite this page

The Reform Era of Policing (Foot Patrol vs. Automotive Patrol). (2017, Mar 24). Retrieved from

The Reform Era of Policing (Foot Patrol vs. Automotive Patrol)
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