Purpose - Neo-liberal policies have had a profound effect on the organization of policing in Canada by rationalizing provincial and federal initiatives that off-load policing costs to municipal and regional councils. This paper aims to comparatively analyze the effect of these initiatives on service delivery for regional versus non-regional police services. Design/methodology/approach - Four measures were used to assess efficiency: per capita cost, cost per criminal code offence, number of officers per 100,000 population, and number of support staff per 100,000 population. Three measures were used to assess effectiveness: violent crime clearance rate, property crime clearance rate, and total criminal code clearance rate. Findings - Analysis of the data reveals that, despite claims surrounding regionalization, regional police services are not demonstrably any more effective or efficient than non-regional services. Research limitations/implications - Utilizes official crime data and police expenditure statistics. A national survey of police service delivery and citizen satisfaction is needed. Practical implications - These results can inform municipal and town council decisions about regional (or provincial contract) versus local police service provision. Originality/value - The first comprehensive comparative Canadian study on the efficiency and effectiveness of police regionalization. The article empirically challenges the purported relative effectiveness and efficiency of larger regional police services versus smaller non-regional services in Canada.

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Department of Law and Legal Studies

Lithopoulos, S. (Savvas), & Rigakos, G. (2005). Neo-liberalism, community, and police regionalization in Canada: A critical empirical analysis. Policing, 28(2), 337–352. doi:10.1108/13639510510597942