1- A data collection plan is defined as a the “relationship between the performance measure, the performance objective, the performance evaluation method, and the data source(s)” (More, 2012). This is to include the elements of “collection strategy that includes the method and source, development timetable for new data collection efforts, and administrative schedule.”
This is something that police agency commonly use in order to store large amounts of data and then have a snapshot of what is occurring. One example of this is monitoring traffic patterns such as collisions and times of days. The method of doing this is generally it will be one of two ways. The first being the police agencies data system automatically populates the collisions and times based on the report writing system which it is written in by the officers. The second way is pulling a report of all collisions weekly and physically having a person transfer the information. They then look into the data by transferring it into a map. These maps allow officers and specialty units to get a clear snapshot of what is occurring where and how can they start attempting to stop it. The third is the administrative schedule of constantly updating the data and forming plans to combat the issue. This could be assigning motor officers or beat officers to certain intersections in order to attempt to have people slow down and in return control the collision by having them not occur.
These types of plans are so important for police agencies because it allows a large amount of data to be clearly looked into and in return allows for an action plan to be made.
More, H. W., Vito, G. F., & Walsh, W. F. (2012). Organizational behavior and management in law enforcement (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall (Pearson) ISBN-13: 9780135071526
2- Data collection aims to gather and measure information on variables of interest, which enables individuals to answer research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes. Law enforcement agencies use data to help guide and improve resource use within the department and in the community. This establishes clear and concise objectives that are attainable when implementing the agency’s mission. According to More et al. (2012), a data collection plan clearly defines the relationship between the performance measure, the performance objective, the performance evaluation method, and the data source.
The elements in a data collection plan include an explanation of data availability, cost of acquisition, and any alternative sources (More et al., 2012). It starts with a collection of strategies that incorporate the method and sources; secondly, the development timetable for new data collection efforts; and lastly, the administrative schedule. The use of these elements helps agencies evaluate the functions of the department and its officers. It uses procedures to transform data into indicators and modify the existing record collection processes to generate helpful performance indicators (More et al., 2012).
The use of data is to review the unprocessed data into comprehensible performance information. After the data is processed and incorporated, it gives the manager a conclusion on any variances and what has transpired, which leads to potential corrective actions. Law enforcement’s data collection plan is based on the information they want to be collected and the resources that need to be evaluated. For example, this can be measured whether prevention strategies have effectively reduced auto thefts at the local mall. That is conducted by collecting the number of officers patrolling the area, the number of service calls and other resources to effectively reduce auto thefts. This will give the managers an indication of
what further measures need to be evaluated or methods to ensure the agency’s objectives are serviceable.
More, H. W., Vito, G. F., & Walsh, W. F. (2012). Organizational behavior and management in law enforcement (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall (Pearson) ISBN-13: 97801350715
3- Information is what dives an organization. This is especially true when talking about law enforcement organizations. Good data collection and analysis provides quantifiable, verifiable information and it is this information that feeds decision-making,
According to More, Vito and Walsh, often time what is needed is a data collection plan. A data collection plan is a clearly defined plan that identifies the relationships between performance measures, performance objectives and performance evaluations (More, Vito and Walsh, 2012) Furthermore, according to More, Vito and Walsh, a data collection plan has three elements. A data collection plan includes a collection strategy identifies the method of collection and the source it was collected from. It also includes a timetable for data collection efforts and an administrative schedule (More, Vito and Walsh, 2012)
The University of Illinois School of Business has a simpler explanation of what a data collection plan is. They say a data collection plan helps to ensure that data collected during analysis is useful and properly collected (University of Illinois, 2020). The university of Illinois also tells us that there are five elements to a data collection plan. They are selecting a measure, developing operational definitions, identifying data sources, preparing the data collection plan and implementing the plan and refining it (University of Illinois, 2020)
So how do you know if your data collection plan is effective? Following the elements from either More, Vito and Walsh, or the University of Illinois is a good first step, but the real test is whether the data collected is comparable. If the data collected can be recreated by other sources, in the future, then it is comparable, and your data collection plan is effective.
More, H. W., Vito, G. F., & Walsh, W. F. (2012). Organizational Behavior and Management in Law Enforcement (Third ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.. Retrieved from https://bibliu.com/app/#/view/books/9780132725996/pdf2htmlex/index.html#
University of Illinois. (2020). In Data Collection Plan How?to Guide. Retrieved from https://www.aits.uillinois.edu
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