Compstat 2.0 – Enhancing a Powerful Tool by Integrating Community Policing to Build Trust and Legitimacy While Reducing Crime

Project Purpose/Goal:

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.

Compstat is a data-driven management tool that police departments use to respond rapidly to crime patterns. Since its development in 1994, Compstat has proven to be a valuable measurement and decision-making tool for law enforcement administrators, and is widely accepted as one of the most important policing innovations in the last century. Yet by limiting its scope to primarily measuring serious crimes (murder, shootings, robberies, etc.), Compstat as most commonly implemented falls short of tracking and enabling police agencies to be responsive to what also matters to communities – community engagement, quality of life/reduction of harms, trust in the police, and accountability for community and organizational-level performance and decision-making.

Although community policing is largely believed to be essential to building community trust in the police and reducing crime, and is a central theme in the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, community policing is rarely systematically monitored and measured by police managers in the same way serious crime is measured. We can significantly improve this by integrating community policing into the Compstat process – Compstat 2.0.

Approach, Results, and Implications:

Compstat 2.0’s two-year initial phase, funded in part by a grant from the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), includes a national assessment of current Compstat approaches and the development of a prototype that can be customized in small, medium, and large police departments to better institutionalize community policing. The prototype will include community policing measures—such as data on public satisfaction with police and residents’ fear of crime—that will allow agencies to make policing decisions consistent with community policing practices.

To assist law enforcement in making this transition towards a re-focused Compstat, Compstat 2.0 will involve a multi-phase initiative with proposed supported from multiple funders. Subsequent phases of this project will include launching a major multi-site demonstration of Compstat 2.0 approaches based on the prototype, including local site implementations, a process and outcome evaluation, and training and technical assistance to promote the use of Compstat 2.0 and to assist agencies in implementing the approach based on the lessons learned in the demonstration phase.

Funding & Collaboration:

This project is being implemented in partnership with the Vera Institute of Justice and is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).

Point of Contact:

Jim Burch
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Police Foundation


Compstat, Compstat 2.0, community policing, police-community relations, data-driven, legitimacy, community engagement, performance measurement

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