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COPS Program After 4 Years--National Evaluation, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
183644
Author(s)
Jeffrey A. Roth; Joseph F. Ryan
Date Published
August 2000
Length
24 pages
Publication Series
Annotation
An independent process evaluation of the Community covered primarily the first 4 years of the COPS program but also included some projections up to the year 2003.
Abstract
Nearly $9 billion of the $30 billion authorized by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 was allocated to what became known as the COPS program. The program had four goals: (1) to increase the number of police officers deployed in communities; (2) to foster problem-solving and interaction with communities by police officers; (3) to encourage policing innovation; and (4) to develop new technologies for police crime prevention activities. The national evaluation of the program involved telephone surveys, site visits, and case studies and assessed whether the COPS program succeeded in putting more police officers on the street and in changing the practice of policing. The national evaluation also examined whether the distribution of COPS mirrored the disparity in crime levels among jurisdictions, the satisfaction of grantees with COPS application and administrative processes, and whether grantees engaged in community policing by building partnerships to solve problems and prevent crime. Evaluation findings showed that, by May 1999, 100,500 police officers had been funded. Between 84,700 and 89,400 of these police officers will be deployed by the year 2003. About 1 percent of COPS grantees with the largest 1997 murder counts received 31 percent of all COPS funds. The 10 percent of grantees with the highest murder counts received 50 percent of total COPS awards. Building partnerships with communities by COPS grantees was commonplace in many police agencies visited, but such partnerships were often in name only or were simply temporary working arrangements. The COPS program facilitated the efforts of police agency executives who were inclined toward innovation and represented perhaps the largest effort to bolster the development of law enforcement technology since 1967. 2 exhibits

Date Published: August 1, 2000