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National Evaluation of the COPS Program: Title I of the 1994 Crime Act, Research Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2000
292 pages
Publication Series
This research report presents evaluation findings based primarily on the first 4 years of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
The COPS program resulted from Title I of the 1994 Crime Act, an act that encouraged State and local law enforcement agencies to increase the number of sworn police officers on the street and to adopt community policing. The act authorized nearly $9 billion over 6 years to achieve these objectives. The program evaluation defined successful implementation of COPS initiatives as based on problem-solving, building partnerships with the community, and participating in crime prevention programs. The program evaluation sought to determine how the COPS program affected levels of community satisfaction with the police, fear of crime, social and physical quality of life, and levels of serious crime. Specific questions asked in the course of program evaluation focused on how local agencies responded to the COPS program, the distribution of COPS funds, police hiring and deployment, the implementation of technology, increases in policing levels, the extent to which program grantees built partnerships with communities and participated in problem-solving and crime prevention activities, and the extent to which grantees supported and sustained community policing. Detailed program evaluation methods and findings are presented, but overall conclusions of the program evaluation are: (1) The COPS program advanced the adoption of community policing, although community policing had different meanings in different jurisdictions; (2) Problem-solving partnerships were common in many police agencies visited, but these partnerships were often in name only or temporary working arrangements; (3) Most police agencies were engaged in problem-solving, although the form and visibility of problem-solving techniques varied by police agency; and (4) Significant crime prevention efforts were observed, primarily manifested as traditional crime prevention programs subsumed under the community policing label. An appendix provides additional information on methods used in the program evaluation. References, tables, and figures

Date Published: August 1, 2000