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It changes drastically across the country. A common practice is a phased approach where certain hours of the day or week utilize two officers cars etc.Eaglelord17, thinking a bit more about what you said. Specifically about what was called "giving the taxpayers a bang for their buck".
Productivity was calculated as Unit Hour Utilization. That's the formula used by "High Performance" urban systems.
( UHU = the number of runs divided by the total number of unit hours in the measurement interval ).
Metro Police may use their own formula to measure productivity. Or, they may use the same.
It would be interesting to compare productivity stats over the years to what they are now.
With Metro Police, I think their big change came with the introduction of the two-man car ( as it was called back then ) in 1976.
To maintain the same car count meant a significant increase in hiring.
Metro fought the arbitration all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, and lost. They still dug their heels. It took a work to rule to get it finally initiated.
"It took me 10 years to get two men in a car in Metro. We had guys beaten up, stabbed and murdered when they were one in a car."
Sid Brown, President Metro Toronto Police Association
Toronto Star, December 20, 1976
In 1972, Metro Police was made an essential service. They gave up their right to strike in exchange for compulsory binding interest arbitration.
In 1974, the arbitrator ruled in favor of the Metro Toronto Police Association on the two-man car issue.
Understandably, the higher ups were concerned that two-man cars would "drain" the car count.
This led to the 1976 slowdown by the union. Metro accepted the arbitration ruling.
Two-officer cars have been pretty common in American cities for decades. Remember Adam-12 ( LAPD ) and Car 54 ( NYPD )?
From the U.S. Department of Justice,
Not sure if two-officer cars are common in the rest of Canada?
"IN CITIES WHERE ONE-MAN PATROL PREDOMINATES, THERE IS PERSISTENT PRESSURE FROM POLICE UNIONS AND FROM THE RANK AND FILE TO MOVE TOWARD TWO-MAN CARS. IN MANY CITIES WHERE TWO-MAN CARS PREDOMINATE, THERE IS PRESSURE FROM POLICE ADMINISTRATORS CONCERNED ABOUT PATROL COVERAGE AND FROM CITY OFFICIALS CONCERNED ABOUT TAX RATES TO USE ONE-MAN CARS WHEREVER POSSIBLE."
Then you have agencies that have it outright forbidden in their procedures and others that leave it up to the unit commander.
With regards to the RCMP, the topic of the thread, it’s a detachment to detachment level decision, but ten years ago there was at least one division (province) that had set its own rules- I BELIEVE that is no long the case.
for my unit they could ride four to a bicycle for all I care as long as they stay on top of the calls properly.