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Third Party Policing: A Randomized Field Trial to Assess Drug Crime Reduction and Police-Hotel Partnerships in Anne Arundel County, MD

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $597,452)

The applicant proposes an RCT evaluation of a proactive policing intervention (third-party policing with procedural justice) designed to establish partnerships between police and hotel managers and staff (hoteliers) to address the problem of drug dealing and distribution of illegal drugs from hotel rooms. Third-party policing is a problem-solving approach that leverages the actions of non-offending third parties (hoteliers) to deter and reduce opportunities for criminal conduct. By applying procedural justice concepts, it is anticipated that the relationship between the police and the hoteliers will be cooperative (rather than coercive).

The applicant proposes placing 60 hotels in the treatment group and 60 in the control group. Treatment hotels will receive a letter about the program and a total of four visits (one initial plus three follow-ups, at roughly 1.5 month intervals during the 6-month study period). The goal of the visits is to engage hoteliers in a partnership approach (e.g., informing them of the laws that govern reporting drug misuse, health and safety, and identifying fire hazard risks associated with drug dealing). The control will continue with the business as usual, reactive policing.

The main outcome measures pertain to crime and disorder within hotels (especially regarding drug crimes). However, additional measures will consider the hoteliersÂ’ perceptions of this method of policing.

Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). ca/ncf

Date Created: September 13, 2019