The Police Foundation is constantly engaged in a variety of research projects. The toggles below will display more information about ongoing projects.
A law authored by former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis in 2011 required Texas law enforcement agencies to determine how many sexual assault kits had not been processed, and to submit any involved with “an active criminal case” for testing by April 1, 2012. Another recent Texas law requires all hospitals to have trained certified staff available to take sexual assault kit evidence.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) seeks to improve the amount of information pertaining to averted school attacks as a part of the data systems enhancement efforts that stem from the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative. NIJ will use a portion of this funding to enter into this Interagency Agreement with the COPS Office to collect systematically in-depth information regarding averted and completed school attacks through the development and implementation of a new data in-take platform.
The “Accreditation of Mexican Law Enforcement Agencies, Emergency Communications Centers and Police Academies to International Standards”, also referred to as the “Enhancing Professionalism in Mexican Law Enforcement Agencies” project is a joint initiative of the Police Foundation and the Commission on Accreditation in Law Enforcement Agencies, with funding support from the United States Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
In September 2015, the Office of Community Oriented Police Services (COPS) selected the Police Foundation as a provider for Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA). The purpose of the CRI-TA is to provide support to law enforcement agencies in building community relationships and organizational capacity through sustainable organizational transformation. According to the COPS Office, “Collaborative Reform is a long-term, holistic strategy that identifies issues within an agency that may affect public trust.
Compstat 2.0 will leverage the strengths of Compstat to enable law enforcement agencies to engage and build trust and accountability with the community by integrating and institutionalizing community policing more strategically and comprehensively. By expanding the metrics used in Compstat to include data central to the success of true community policing, including data related to citizen satisfaction, procedural justice, problem-oriented policing, complaints and use of force, crime can be reduced or prevented and legitimacy can be enhanced. This joint Police Foundation – Vera Institute of Justice project will seed a national initiative to develop, test, and implement national models for enhancing law enforcement agencies’ Compstat processes.
The challenge facing law enforcement agencies everywhere is to be able to balance resources and service levels within budgetary constraints and community desires. Law enforcement agencies are experiencing increasing demands for more effective decision making, more efficient management of resources, and the achievement of government outcomes. This project consisted of a review, survey, and site visits to assess strategies for reducing agency costs while maintaining service delivery. We developed and distributed a comprehensive international survey of the police agencies of fifty-one United Kingdom police services, seven Australian police forces and services, and Canadian police agencies. This process is now complete and two documents are under publication with the COPS Office (one a guidebook on cost reduction strategies and the other a full technical report of the project).
Sound crime analysis processes are essential for police agencies to successfully integrate data-driven, evidence-based practices and management strategies. Although police leaders may recognize the importance of crime analysis, there are significant knowledge barriers to integrating effective crime analysis into daily operations. The Police Foundation, International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) and International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA) are all committed to providing law enforcement executives the knowledge to effectively integrate crime analysis into their decision-making, and the operations of their agencies.
When law enforcement agencies respond to a high-profile event, major incident, or sensitive issue, the Critical Incident Response Program provides targeted technical assistance and an assessment of the event. The purpose is to provide an independent review of specific issues surrounding law enforcement/public safety and the community in order to identify practices and lessons learned that can have national implications. Services range from peer-to-peer exchanges, in-depth review and analysis, individual interviews with city officials and community members, and facilitated discussions and listening sessions.
The Police Foundation has developed a voluntary and anonymous reporting system (www.leonearmiss.org) that allows law enforcement personnel to anonymously share “close calls” in order to help their peers stay safe and prevent tragedies. Our mission is to encourage law enforcement personnel to share their near miss incidents in order to shield other law enforcement personnel from similar accidents, injuries, and possible fatalities, and to prevent other types of crises. A near miss is defined as a close call and/or unsafe occurrence that could have resulted in a serious injury, fatality, significant property damage, and/or a crisis, if not for a fortunate break in the chain of events and from which other law enforcement personnel could benefit and learn from the experience.
On October 25, 2010, at the 117th Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference, a new law enforcement partnership was announced to address the problems of gun crimes and violence. The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence is a collaboration among the following ten national law enforcements groups committed to working together to address gun violence. The NLEPPGV believes that law enforcement can play a unique and essential role in educating policy makers and citizens on the realities of gun violence in the communities they serve, and in developing common-sense, data-driven solutions to reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths from homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings.
The purpose of this project is to develop, host, and maintain a web-based, online flight and incident reporting system to (1) collect fight-operations data from public safety agencies from their use of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS); and to (2) make that information publically available for analysis by entities interested in the use of sUAS in the national air space (NAS). In making this data readily accessible to the public, NIJ seeks to make possible further research and study of law enforcement and public safety sUAS operations, and through such
Over the past two decades, the United States has faced remarkably low clearance rates (22.3%) for Part One offenses, which negatively impact communities and police alike. In order to improve the quality and equity of investigative outcomes, the Police Foundation, in collaboration with the National Criminal Justice Training Center at Fox Valley Technical College (NCJTC/FVTC), the Prosecutors’ Center for Excellence (PCE), and other partners, will provide training and technical assistance to the departments of hard-hit neighborhoods. The NRTAC will additionally provide technical assistance to at least three sites participating in BJA’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center Initiative.
The Public Safety Open Data Portal, or “PSODP”, is a web-based platform designed to encourage the creation and use of open data in public safety, in order to improve understanding of policing, improve transparency, enhance community trust and confidence in the police, dispel myths and highlight realities through data. Additionally, it is intended to support the formation of new insights, technologies, and approaches to crime prevention, response, and improved police-community relations. The PSODP will provide the public, law enforcement agencies, researchers, technologists, and other users with access to priority open data sets from state, local and federal law enforcement agencies, such as real-time, near-real-time and historical calls for service data, stops data, crime/incident report data, officer-involved shooting data, assaults on officer data and more.
For over a decade, research has shown that once a burglary occurs on a street, the homes on that street and on nearby streets are at a much higher risk of burglary over the next one to two weeks. But this research finding has not yet been translated into actionable crime prevention strategies for police agencies and tested in the United States using a randomized controlled experiment. This project aims to correct this deficiency by using the knowledge surrounding near repeat burglary to develop a crime prevention strategy.
The study identified the near repeat patterns in two police departments (Redlands, CA, and Baltimore County, MD). An automated system was developed to identify originator events, generate the near repeat high risk area (as a polygon), randomly allocate the event to treatment or control, and notify the project coordinator of the homes to be visited with crime prevention information. The project was designed to test whether notification of increased risk could interrupt the phenomena of near repeat burglaries. The study has been completed and results will be forthcoming. Additional work on further advancing the automated processing tool is underway.
Many law enforcement agencies are considering the use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) as a tool for lost person searches, officer safety enhancement, accident scene reconstruction, and other uses. These small systems can provide an aerial viewpoint at a fraction of the cost of manned aviation systems, but it is important for law enforcement agencies to recognize that the public is wary of invasion of privacy and other legal and practical issues associated with the use of “drones.” This project aims to provide comprehensive guidance for law enforcement on how to work with their communities to obtain support and enhance trust by applying the principles and practices of community policing to the acquisition and use of small unmanned aircraft systems.
The Police Foundation, in collaboration with the California Police Chiefs Association and the California State Sheriffs’ Association and with funding from the California Endowment, will be providing California law enforcement executives with four policy briefs designed to inform youth policing strategy and to best define the role of their officers in schools and communities.
The toggles below will display more information about past projects.
This report presents the results of the first truly representative national survey of how America’s rank-and-file police officers and their supervisors view critical issues of abuse of police authority. Officer responses are also analyzed according to rank, race, region of the U.S., and size of department. The survey instrument with responses is included. Presented are officers’ views on: Whether abuse of police authority is a necessary byproduct of efforts to reduce and control crime; What types of abuse and attitudes toward abuse are observed in their departments, including the code of silence, whistle blowing, and the extent to which a citizen’s race, demeanor, and class affect the way police officers treat them; What strategies or tactics-including first-line supervision, community policing, citizen review boards, and training-do police officers consider to be effective means of preventing police abuse of authority.
Since the events of September 11, 2001, security concerns have figured prominently in the national agenda. Government officials and the public now recognize a wider array of potential terrorist targets extending beyond military installations. These “soft targets”, or areas with public access, include transit hubs, schools, hospitals, and mass private spaces like amusement parks and sports arenas. One type of soft target that has received too little attention is the retail mall. With all the other soft targets that exist, why should citizens be concerned about attacks against shopping malls? One reason is that the nature of malls makes them very vulnerable: there are multiple entrances and exits, and they are open to the public. Large numbers of people come and go, making it easy for potential terrorists to blend in unnoticed. Many of the visitors carry large parcels that could hide a bomb or other weapon. There are multiple ways to attack a mall, ranging from automatic weapons to car bombs to bombs placed inside the mall, even to an attack using a biological or chemical agent.
The finding of the Police Foundation Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment (KCPPE) (Kelling, Pate, Dieckman, & Brown, 1974) that routine patrol did not affect crime has had ramifications on policing that continue today. Currently, police agencies have little ability to assess the effectiveness of their deployment strategies in relationship to their goals. Developments in technology, such as the Automated Vehicle Locator (AVL) – a global positioning device that can be placed in a vehicle for monitoring its location across real time/space – promise to provide an invaluable tool to inform Compstat and other directed patrol strategies (e.g., hot spots policing) in police agencies through measurement of police presence at all places and at all times.
Community policing emphasizes the importance of partnerships and problem solving. However, typically partnerships and problem solving do not involve victims of crime. Recognizing the potential for crime victims to strengthen crime prevention and problem solving efforts in community policing, this project sought to develop models for integrating crime victims and victims’ organizations into community policing activities. Project activities included: (1) establishing a baseline of current practices regarding the involvement of victims and victims’ organizations in community policing; and (2) identifying promising policies and practices involving victims and victims’ organizations in crime prevention and problem-solving efforts in community policing.
Marijuana legalization in Colorado has posed significant challenges for law enforcement resulting, stemming from the unanticipated consequences it has had on crime and public safety. Colorado law enforcement formed diverse partnerships to address the difficulties caused by conflicting state legislation and local ordinances, policies, and procedures. The situation was even more complex because marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.
Acceptance of constructive change by police and the community is central to the purpose of the Police Foundation. From its inception, the foundation has understood that to flourish, police innovation requires an atmosphere of trust, a willingness to experiment and exchange ideas both within and outside the police structure, and, perhaps most importantly, a recognition of the common stake of the entire community in better police services. The Police Foundation has done much of the research that has led to a questioning of the traditional model of professional law enforcement and toward a new view of policing–one emphasizing a community orientation–that is widely embraced today.
Police departments across the country have turned their attention to Compstat as an innovation in police management that combines state-of-the-art management principles with cutting edge crime analysis and geographic information systems technology. Compstat (computer comparison statistics), a management system initiated in the New York City Police Department, was implemented as a measure to control crime and improve the quality of life in that city. In the years since its appearance, its popularity among police and policy makers suggests that it is becoming the model of what it means to be a progressively managed department. Compstat programs have received national publicity and have been credited with impressive reductions in crime and improvements in neighborhood quality of life.
We identify a number of elements that full implementation of Compstat demands: mission clarification; geographic organization of operational command; data-driven analysis of problems and assessment of the department’s problem-solving efforts; effective problem-solving tactics; organizational flexibility; internal accountability; and external accountability. Little is known about whether and to what extent departments are implementing these elements of Compstat or whether new varieties of the program are evolving.
CopBook is a secure data, knowledge, and information sharing platform currently being piloted by the Redlands Police Department (RPD). CopBook is based on the Jive Social Business Software platform. Through a grant award from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the RPD has partnered with The Efiia Consulting Group to customize and deploy CopBook. Police Foundation Senior Research Associate, Travis Taniguchi, PhD, and Police Foundation President, Jim Bueermann, are the principal investigators for this project. The Police Foundation is responsible for managing the project and evaluating the impact of the platform on police operations.
The goal of this project was to develop and test a model protocol to guide law enforcement responses to stalking based on community policing. The objectives were: (1) to promote a strategic approach that encourages early intervention; (2) to broadly define the roles of functional areas within police departments, including 911 operators, patrol, and investigative units; (3) to present guidelines for developing and participating in a coordinated community response; and (4) to encourage the use of collaborative problem-solving techniques.
Crime mapping has emerged as one of the most important and popular innovations in American policing. Advancements in computer technology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have coincided with theoretical and practical innovations in crime analysis, investigation, and crime prevention. The innovations demanded by community- and problem-oriented policing require that departments incorporate a geographic, spatial, or local focus, and emphasize the importance of integrating crime mapping techniques into departmental management, analysis, and enforcement practices. Police agencies throughout the country are implementing and utilizing computerized crime mapping systems. Police officials and police scholars are working together to identify ways in which mapping can be used to advance community policing and problem-solving efforts. Recognizing the importance of mapping to policing, the Police Foundation in 1997 established a state-of-the-art Crime Mapping Laboratory with the goals of providing practical assistance and information to police departments, and to develop the physical and theoretical infrastructure necessary for further innovations in police and criminological theory.
The COMPASS model (Community Mapping, Planning, and Analysis for Safety Strategies), developed by the National Institute of Justice, offers a method for aiding police agencies in the development of more sophisticated and successful problem oriented policing models. COMPASS encourages the harnessing of data, knowledge, and skills in police agencies through the creation of partnerships with researchers and other relevant members of the COMPASS consortium. The Police Foundation served as the research partner for the COMPASS program in East Valley, California, from May 2002 through July 2004. The major focuses of the East Valley COMPASS initiative–regional data sharing and problem solving–were to be facilitated by a partnership of police and other agencies (e.g., probation and parole, United Way, school districts, hospitals, etc.) in seven jurisdictions in the East Valley–Redlands, Fontana, Colton, Rialto, City of San Bernardino, Highland, and Yucaipa. The main difference between East Valley COMPASS and other COMPASS projects was that seven jurisdictions, instead of just one, would contribute data and be part of the problem-solving partnership. This initiative called for the collaboration of not only police and sheriff departments, but also local governments, healthcare providers, institutions of higher learning, and the private sector.
Mistaken eyewitness identification is the leading cause of wrongful conviction of innocent people in the United States. The significant role that mistaken eyewitness identifications (EWID) have played in convictions of the innocent has led to a strong interest in finding ways to reduce eyewitness identification errors. In 2008, the American Judicature Society’s Center for Forensic Science and Public Policy, collaborated with the Innocence Project and the Police Foundation to examine eyewitness identification procedures in the field, namely the reliability of simultaneous versus sequential lineups administered under double-blind conditions using laptop computers. Sequential lineups are those in which photos are shown one at a time, whereas simultaneous lineups are shown as a set (sometimes referred to as an “array”).
The Police Foundation led the second phase, which had two purposes: (1) to validate the Phase I EWID study by assessing judicial outcomes and case strength ratings; and (2) to experimentally examine the extent to which knowledge of a positive identification, the identification of a “filler” in a lineup, or failure to identify a suspect in a lineup influences evaluation of other evidence in a case. The study was carried out in conjunction with the Austin Police Department and the Travis County District Attorney’s Office in Texas.
This 256-page report presents findings and recommendations from the Police Foundation’s year-long national effort that examined the implications of immigration enforcement at the local level. The project brought together law enforcement executives, policy makers, elected officials, scholars, and community representatives in a series of focus groups across the country and at a national conference in Washington. The report includes research on the rights of undocumented immigrants and the legal framework for enforcement of immigration laws, demographics, immigration and criminality, evaluation of federal efforts to collaborate with local police on immigration enforcement (287(g) program), a national survey of law enforcement executives on immigration issues and local policing, the experience of undocumented youth, and a survey of law enforcement executives attending the foundation conference about their views on local immigration enforcement issues.
Do focused crime prevention efforts at places simply result in a movement of offenders to areas nearby targeted sites—do they simply move crime around the corner? Or, conversely, will a crime prevention effort focusing on specific places lead to improvement in areas nearby—what has come to be termed a diffusion of crime control benefits? Our data are drawn from a controlled study of displacement and diffusion in Jersey City, New Jersey. Our findings indicate that, at least for crime markets involving drugs and prostitution, crime does not simply move around the corner. Indeed, this study supports the position that the most likely outcome of such focused crime prevention efforts is a diffusion of crime control benefits to nearby areas.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the target objectives of the Mobile Training Team (MTT) project are: (1) to increase the stability of the Government of Liberia in preparation for the United Nations peacekeeping forces withdrawal from Liberia; (2) to enhance the ability of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to field professional, well-trained police personnel who can manage crime and security threats across Liberia; and (3) to assist the LNP as it works to manage its own institutional development. The specific goals of the program are to increase training capacity, build knowledge, skills, and abilities of LNP trainers, and increase the capacity of the LNP to direct mobile training teams to remote areas or in areas where training needs arise.
In this project, we developed and implemented the Liberia MTTs project consisting of: (1) a one week on-site training needs and facilities assessment in Liberia’s capital of Monrovia as well as in remote areas of the country; (2) a 3-week study tour for 20 senior Liberia Police Academy instructors in the United States; and (3) assistance in the development of a strategic plan for implementing the MTT concept as well as its institutionalization. This includes providing LNP personnel with in-depth exposure to aspects of U.S. law enforcement training systems, models, modalities, methods, management, and strategies, as well as means for evaluating training effectiveness.
Perhaps the oldest tradition in policing, foot patrol is widely used by many agencies and has become a topic of renewed discussion as law enforcement leaders contemplate how to improve community engagement, partnership, and trust. With this renewed focus comes the need for practical guidance on how agencies can and should implement a foot patrol strategy that is both effective in reducing crime and disorder and beneficial to agency relationships with the community. To address this need, the Police Foundation, with the support of the Charles Koch Foundation, conducted a series of case studies on police use of foot patrol to develop practical guidance for police agencies, officers, and executives on how to effectively implement an evidence-based foot patrol strategy. With its early involvement in foot patrol research and its mission of improving policing through science and innovation, the Police Foundation was uniquely suited for this task.
Recent evaluations of “second response” programs for domestic violence victims have cast doubt on their effectiveness. These programs are designed to educate and empower victims who have reported incidents of domestic abuse to the police. The program model involves a social worker or specially trained domestic violence police officer going to the homes of victims who have reported domestic abuse some time after the initial patrol response to the call for service. The second responder talks with victims about the nature of domestic violence, helps them develop a safety plan, and informs them about help available for counseling needs, relocation, civil legal assistance, restraining orders, and other social services.
This experimental evaluation of a training program was aimed at promoting the use of procedural justice by officers in the Seattle Police Department. The innovation of the proposed training program was twofold. First, we applied insights from criminology and statistics to develop a new kind of early intervention system, which we referred to as a High-Risk Circumstance (HRC) model. This model identified officers working in behavioral hot spots, small geographic areas where police officers are more likely to be involved in problematic citizen encounters. Our HRC model geographically calibrated by identifying incident level data from 2009 collected by the Seattle Police Department.
That research approach allowed us to: (1) develop an EIS system that drew from recent criminological insights about behavioral hot spots, and was likely to identify officers before problematic behaviors emerged; (2) test the effectiveness of a practical strategy that departments could use to promote the use of procedural justice; (3) measure the effect of procedural justice on policing using quantifiable field outcomes, rather than inherently subjective self reports by the officer; and (4) foster further partnerships between researchers and police professionals.
This study’s primary purpose was an evaluation of the Richmond, Virginia, Second Responders Program, a collaborative effort of the Richmond Department of Social Services and the Richmond Police Department. The program involved the introduction of social workers, based in the police precincts, to scenes of domestic violence to which police had responded, while the police were still on site. We also examined the researcher/practitioner partnership whose primary members were the Police Foundation, the Richmond Department of Social Services and the Richmond Police Department, with a view to contributing to our knowledge of this model.
Drawing upon the risk and protective factors model and suggestions regarding the importance of places for understanding and targeting juvenile delinquency, the Redlands Police Department has developed a risk-focused policing approach to places (RFPP). Specifically, the Communities that Care Program (CTC) in Redlands used the risk and protective model developed by Hawkins and Catalano to identify census block groups where the risk of juvenile delinquency was high. The Redlands Police Department employed a problem-oriented policing approach to develop and implement strategies to reduce risk factors in these areas and reinforce protective factors. The program was aided by sophisticated crime mapping tools, which allowed the police department to draw from multiple data sources in defining the places for intervention, in analyzing problems, and in developing innovative solutions.
Civilian Police were first deployed by the United Nations more than 50 years ago. After a lull of approximately two decades, the number of police on peacekeeping operations has increased 10, 000 officers in 2009. The role of police has continued to broaden from one of monitoring general elections, providing training and basic security to one of patrolling and the development of local police. The inclusion of police in peacekeeping missions is an accepted mantra by both academia and practitioners. However, the role of police in peacekeeping missions is not well understood by policy and decision-makers. The purpose of this book is to understand the role that police play in the post-conflict context, especially in regard to reforming local police.
The rapid growth in applications and usage of crime mapping and analysis in law enforcement agencies in recent years has increased job opportunities for new analysts. As crime analysis has become an established profession, there is a need for consensus about the specific knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics and the extent of formalized training necessary for new analysts. Through various discussion channels, including in-house forums, focus groups, visits with crime analysis units, and participation at annual crime mapping conferences, the Police Foundation’s Crime Mapping and Problem Analysis Laboratory recognized the importance of creating hiring standards and a systematic and comprehensive hiring process for selecting highly capable crime analysts. This publication and accompanying appendices on CD-ROM focus on defining the job of a crime analyst and on a model procedure for selecting the best possible crime analyst for a law enforcement agency.
Most law enforcement agencies have traditionally deployed their patrol officers based on a 40-hour workweek in which personnel work five consecutive, 8-hour shifts, followed by two days off. In recent years, however, an increasing number of agencies have moved to some variant of a compressed work week (CWW) schedule in which officers work four 10-hour shifts per week or three 12-hour shifts (plus a time adjustment to make up the remaining four hours of the standard 40-hour work week). While this trend towards CWWs has been moving apace, there have been few, if any, rigorous scientific studies examining the advantages and disadvantages associated with these work schedules for officers and their agencies. The study found some distinct advantages of 10-hour shifts and identified some disadvantages associated with 12-hour shifts that are concerning. It is important that agencies implement strategies and policies that are evidence based, and the findings of this study provide important information for law enforcement leaders and other policy makers to consider when examining both the most efficient and effective practices for their agency, as well as the safety and quality of life of their personnel and the public they serve.
The Police Foundation and the Redlands Police Department have partnered to develop, implement, and evaluate the deployment of iPhones and custom apps. The Redlands Police Department deploys over 100 iPhones and 75 iPads to its sworn, civilian, and volunteer staff. The department has been featured by Apple as an example of innovative use of the technology in an enterprise environment.
The FI app allows users to conduct field interviews (FI) directly on their iPhone. These FIs are then directly uploaded to the agency’s records management system. The NearMe app allows personnel to conducted sophisticated crime mapping on their mobile device. Users have the ability to look at crime and officer activity in both a spatial and temporal context. The Police Flyers app allows field personnel to create and distribute informational flyers (e.g. BOLO, wanted person, missing at risk) directly from their iOS device.
The growing body of elder abuse research reflects the increasing attention paid to this serious problem and emphasizes the need for effective prevention and intervention strategies. While past research has examined risk factors and protective behaviors associated with abuse, studies have generally not examined either the course of abuse over time or the effectiveness of different intervention strategies. Despite the fact that the police have increasingly become involved in matters of domestic abuse against the elderly, the impact of their involvement has not been assessed. This study examines if and how risk factors and protective behaviors affect the course of abuse over time and the role of the police in intervening with elderly victims of domestic abuse and/or neglect. We also examine the prevalence rates for various types of abuse using a stratified sample of Chicago’s elderly population.
This landmark experiment found that traditional routine patrol in marked police cars does not appear to affect the level of crime. Nor does it affect the public’s feeling of security. The experiment demonstrated that urban police departments can successfully test patrol deployment strategies, and that they can manipulate patrol resources without jeopardizing public safety. Patrol is considered the backbone of police work. Billions of dollars are spent each year in the United States to maintain and operate uniformed and often superbly equipped patrol forces. The assumption underlying such deployment has been that the presence or potential presence of officers patrolling the streets in marked police cars deters people from committing crime. But the validity of this assumption had never been scientifically tested. And so, in 1972, with funding and technical assistance from the Police Foundation, the Kansas City Police launched a comprehensive, scientifically rigorous experiment to test the effects of police patrol on crime.
The Police Foundation was engaged by the State of Delaware to support the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission, a newly formed commission tasked with examining crime in Wilmington, Delaware, and developing recommendations on what strategies could be used to reduce crime in Wilmington, the state’s largest city. The commission was created by the state Legislature at the urging of Gov. Jack Markell after national news reports identified Wilmington as having one of the highest rates of violent crime for a city its size.