Mayor of Virtual City

Background: You are employed on the staff of the Association for Municipal Cities — a “think-tank” organization of researchers who take on projects for various mayors and city managers. You specialize in research on the organization and operation of the police department. The League’s latest client is the City of Virtual. The Virtual City Police Department was created 63 years ago. The department has emerged as one of the primary policing agencies in the state. It has become a modem police department with 155 sworn officers. There are 70 civilian employees appointed to positions ranging from clerical support to correctional officers to crime scene technicians. The department is considered “medium” size in the spectrum of police departments across the country. (The organizational chart is the same as the chart for Project 1.) You are informed that the Mayor is aware of some members of the City Council who are keenly interested in purchasing and deploying surveillance drones. These unmanned aircraft would be equipped with cameras which would feed real-time images to an intelligence center in the Virtual Police Department headquarters. While the drones would spend most of their “flight time” on patterned patrol, they could also be dispatched to support calls for service, locate suspects, track fleeing vehicles and otherwise serve in a response mode in support of “first responder” police units. The Mayor is also aware that there is opposition from other members of the City council who may acknowledge some benefits to the surveillance drones, but who will challenge her on the cost, potential for Constitutional-based privacy violations, etc. A significant number of councilpersons feel the money could be better spent on more sworn personnel and civilian technicians. The Mayor has asked the League to prepare a literature-research position paper for her on moving forward with this proposal (or not) based on the pros and cons uncovered in your research. She may ultimately use this objective research document as part of her portfolio on the appropriate use of technology in support of public safety. Assignment: As a member of the staff of the Association for Municipal Cities, you have been assigned to prepare a research paper for the Mayor of Virtual City on the purchase of the surveillance drones and initiation this support unit. She has asked that you present both the pros and cons as objectively as possible. Your personal recommendation is not part of this research report.