Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $123,928)
The purpose of this project is to evaluate the crime-reduction effects of a randomized, controlled field experiment on a hot spots enforcement initiative by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD). It will also carry out a process evaluation of the practitioner-researcher partnership under which the field experiment was developed and implemented.
This study will systematically compare the effects of enhanced police presence on randomly chosen crime hot spots with those of enhanced presence plus traditional enforcement practices such as stops, interrogations, searches, and arrests. Crime changes in both treatment conditions will be compared with those in a randomized control condition involving normal patrol practices.
In a stratified random design, two pre-identified crime hot spots within each of eight police districts are randomly allocated to the two treatment conditions, one to each condition, and two are allocated to the control condition. The treatment effects will be estimated in fixed-effects count models of changes in Part 1 crime at the street segment level as a function of the experimental conditions, crime covariates, and unmeasured time invariant and time varying influences.
The process evaluation of the practitioner-researcher partnership will be based on interviews with city and SLMPD personnel regarding the perceived value, benefits, limitations, and challenges of the partnership and the field experiment. The researchers will conduct follow-up interviews for an extended period after the completion of the field experiment to assess practitioner responses to the researchers interim and final reports on the experiment and the application of research results to SLMPD operations.ca/ncf