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Assessment of the Chandler Police Department's Operation Restoration

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2000
65 pages
This federally funded study examined the Chandler, Arizona Police Department’s quality-of-life or community policing initiative, Operation Restoration, in an attempt to advance the understanding of the effects of enforcing order maintenance laws and zoning ordinances on crime and disorder. It also attempted to evaluate the broken windows strategy for combating crime.
For two decades, police agencies across the United States have been adopting community policing strategies centered on the aggressive enforcement of disorder offenses, known as “zero-tolerance,” “order-maintenance,” and “quality-of-life” policing. The purpose of this paper was to examine the impact of quality-of-life policing on crime and disorder by examining the Chandler, Arizona Police Department’s quality-of-life initiative, Operation Restoration. This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. The intent of the study was to advance the understanding of the effects of enforcing order maintenance laws and zoning ordinances on crime and disorder. The examination occurred by using calls for service (CFS) data obtained from Chandler’s crime analysis unit. Data were collected from 1996 to 1999 totaling 1,245 days. Changes in CFS were examined for 10 offense categories: (1) person crime, (2) property crime, (3) drug crime, (4) suspicious persons, (5) assistance, (6) public morals, (7) physical disorder, (8) nuisance, (9) disorderly conduct, and (10) traffic. In total, the final data included 47,270 calls for service in the Redevelopment District. Findings of the study include: (1) Operation Restoration had the strongest impact on three categories of crime and disorder: public morals, disorderly conduct, and physical disorder; (2) Operation Restoration did not have a substantial impact on serious crime; (3) strong evidence indicates a diffusion of benefits to near-by areas outside of the Redevelopment District; and (4) evidence was found that some crime was displaced to areas just outside of the Redevelopment District. It is recommended that the impact of the operation on crime and disorder in the Redevelopment District be reexamined in the future. The findings indicate that Operation Restoration had a positive impact on addressing social and physical disorder in the Redevelopment District. In this paper, implications of the broken windows hypothesis for policing strategies are also reviewed. The hypothesis argues that if social disorder and physical disorder are left unchecked by the community an environment is created that attracts serious crime. Tables, references, and appendices 1-4

Date Published: June 1, 2000