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Controlling Drug and Disorder Problems: Oakland's Beat Health Program, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 1999
8 pages
Publication Series
This study examined the experience of the Beat Health program of the Oakland Police Department (California), which uses civil statute sanctions as leverage to encourage place managers to address drug and disorder problems on their properties.
Basic data were obtained at 50 control sites (Patrol Division) and 50 experimental sites (Beat Health Program) throughout the city over a 39-month study period. Program effects were assessed using calls for police service data and on-site observations. The evaluation compared outcomes of a test group of sites that were experiencing reported drug and disorder problems with outcomes at a control group of similar sites. At the control sites, police engaged in standard patrol responses to drug and disorder problems. During the 12-month post-intervention period, the density of drug calls for service per square mile in catchment areas surrounding Beat Health and control sites decreased by 16.2 percent in the Beat Health residential sites and increased by 5.4 percent in the control residential sites. The density of drug calls related to commercial Beat Health sites increased by 45.8 percent during this period and by 282.2 percent at the commercial control sites. These findings suggest that the Beat Health program is particularly effective in residential locations and that the patrol response is particularly ineffective at commercial locations. 2 exhibits and 17 notes

Date Published: March 1, 1999