Toledo, Ohio

Identifying Criminals through the Prolific Offender Surveillance and Apprehension Team (POSAT)

Toledo Police Badge

Site LE Agency
Toledo Police Department

Site Researcher
Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D., and Shanhe Jiang, Ph.D., University of Toledo

Site Focus
Violent Crime

SPI Strategy
Problem-oriented policing, Offender-based policing

Site Cohort

Site Profile
Medium urban area of 80.69 sq. miles with a population of 281,150

Project Overview

In response to rising crime and dwindling resources, the Toledo Police Department (TPD) sought innovative approaches to be able to “do more with less” through SPI. A 2012 arrest of a single suspect (who had 54 previous burglary and theft arrests) cleared 23 open burglary cases. In October 2012, a suspect was charged in the homicide of an infant. In the 12 months preceding the homicide, the suspect had been charged with 49 other offenses, including robbery, drugs, and weapons charges. This evidence suggested that incapacitation of these prolific offenders could result in a notable decrease in citywide and neighborhood specific crime. The TPD developed a Prolific Offender Surveillance and Apprehension Team (POSAT). The POSAT was responsible for identifying prolific offenders in the community, targeting them for surveillance and proactive investigation, apprehending them when sufficient evidence of a felony crime exists, and working in close cooperation with the prosecutor’s office to assist with the fullest prosecution of the offender.

Data Highlight

  • Since 2008 the homicide rate for the city of Toledo increased 84 percent and total number of shooting incidents increased 79 percent.
  • Between 2008 and 2011, there was a 20.3 percent reduction in the number of sworn personnel employed by the department due to a decrease in the overall city budget.