Saturation Patrols

What does Saturation Patrols mean?

Definition of Saturation Patrols

Saturation patrol is defined as a concentration of a large amount of law enforcement personnel gathered in a particular location, more often a smaller geographical location or setting. This is mainly done so it appears there is a larger amount of authoritative presence in the area in comparison to civilian presence. This allows less crime to occur, or more control over criminal activity in case it decides to occur. Saturation patrol has proven to be successful as a deterrant for criminal activity and a means of controlling situations from breaking out into something much more damaging or catastrophic.

Saturation Control Situations

Saturation control is not necessary on an everyday basis in most communities. However, there are certain situations where it is necessary. These situations include:

  • Checkpoints
    • You can often see a saturation of law enforcement agents at places like checkpoints. At DUI checkpoints, for example, saturation patrols can be used to reduce the amount of drivers who could be driving drunk on a larger scale, or catch those who notice the upcoming checkpoint and try to avoid it by turning around. At border patrol checkpoints, the saturation of agents can be a great deterrant or mouse trap for those who try to smuggle drugs, goods, or people.
  • Riots
    • Saturation control can also be seen at places where riots have broken out, or where there is a threat or possibility of riots breaking out. Commonly, riots occur after controversial incidents, or even large public protests. Officers saturate these areas in order to prevent vandalism or violence.
  • Force concentration
    • This could be when military personnel saturate an area in order to intimidate or deter an enemy from causing harm or destruction against a certain people, place, or location.

Though saturation control can be criticized as a threatening presence, public servants such as our law enforcement have viewed it as a positive means to protect the public from further harm.

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