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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Compstat in American Policing

Compstat in American Policing

Compstat could be seen as a stepping stone towards Intelligence Led Policing (ILP). “Intelligence products have become a key component in modern policing” (Chainey & Chapman, 2013, p. 474). Other programs can be seen as derivatives of the Problem Oriented Policing model as well.
Problem-oriented policing is a philosophy that has influenced policing and community
safety activity in many countries since it was initially proposed” (Goldsteinin,1979, p.).This approach is founded on “on the premise that the fundamental unit of police work is a 'problem,' not an individual incident” (Chainey & Chapman, 2013, p. 480). Other programs that have been tested have included community policing, broken windows policing, and hot spot policing. Rosenfeld, Fornango, and Baumer suggest that there may be problems with evaluating the effectiveness of such programs, as.”many strategies aren't designed for valid evaluation” (2005, p. 421).Supporting the position of Rosenfield et al is the consideration that crimogenic problems are most likely multi-variate. Levitt discusses the multiple possible variables that may have been involved in New York City's crime rate drop (2004).
Compstat differs from community policing or problem-oriented policing slightly. Holian contends that in community policing, policing agencies rely on “feed back from the community to measure effectiveness, in addition to the use of traditional crime records data and oversight” (2007, p.24). In addition, Holian asserts that the community policing model delegates authorities to police at the line level (2007, p.24). In contrast, Holian states that Compstat decision authority at the level of sergeants, and uses information technology (IT) to better utilise information”(2007, p.24).
One implication of using Compstat for policing in the U.S. is in the potential for blending it's application with community policing models, despite their differences. Willis contends that both concepts “are supposed to provide a basis for searching for and implementing innovative solutions” (2011, p.663). Another implication is that Compstat is based on concepts that are not new in American policing, and variations of Compstat may prove to be more effective. Firman asserts that Compstat is based upon solid leadership, utilization of IT capabilities, the problem solving approach, proactive methods of addressing crime, and finally, the targeted allocation of resources (2003, pp. 457-458).


Chainey, S., & Chapman, J. (2013). A problem-oriented approach to the production of strategic intelligence assessments. Policing, 36(3), 474–490. Retrieved February 24, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/1430545805/

Firman, J. R. (2003). Deconstructing compstat to clarify its intent. Criminology & Public Policy, 2(3), 457–460. Retrieved May 28, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/200116825?pq- origsite=summon

Holian, M. (2007). Compstat, community policing and the science of success: A market-based approach to police management. Economic Affairs, 27(4), 23–29. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0270.2007.00776.x

Levitt, S. D. (2004). Understanding why crime fell in the 1990s: Four factors that explain the decline and six that do not. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 163–190. Retrieved June 1, 2015 from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3216880

Rosenfeld, R., Fornango, R., & Baumer, E. (2005). Did Ceasefire, Compstat, and Exile reduce homicide? Criminology & Public Policy, 4(3), 419–449. Retrieved May 28, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/200115104?pq- origsite=summon

Willis, J. J. (2011). Enhancing police legitimacy by integrating Compstat and community policing. Policing, 34(4), 654–673. http://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/

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