A new study has been released by POLICE QUARTERLY: “The Supply and Demand Shifts in Policing at the Start of the Pandemic: A National Multi-Wave Survey of the Impacts of COVID-19 on American Law Enforcement” by Cynthia Lum, Carl Maupin, and Megan Stoltz. This study reflects a partnership between the CEBCP and the International Association of Chiefs of Police to document the impacts of COVID-19 on U.S. policing in the first three months of the pandemic. Access the study here.
We report the results of the only multi-wave survey of a large and geographically diverse sample of police agencies across the United States to understand the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on law enforcement. Findings indicate an unprecedented and sustained shift in both the supply of and demand for police services during that time. While overall calls for service (demand) tended to decline in most agencies, some experienced increases in specific categories of calls. During the early months of COVID, agencies also reduced their in-person response to calls for service, arrests, proactive policing, and community policing activities (supply). These findings indicate a substantial change in the public safety landscape during that time, which was experienced by agencies of all sizes and from all types of jurisdictions. We explore how public health pandemics can lead to substantial, immediate, and potentially sustained changes to police deployment and police-community interactions that may impact public safety goals.