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Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Compstat has been applied to various cities such as New York, New Orleans, and Minneapolis. What are the trends in crime reduction since Compstat “arrived” in these cities? What is the pattern in New York City when compared to the rest of the United States since the advent of Compstat?

In New York City, index crime dropped 79.97% between 1990 and 2010. Even considering other variants that critics have suggested as possible factors, there is “no doubt” that crime in New York has dropped “significantly” (Crime Reporting Review Committee, 2013, p5) Minneapolis’ program was called “CODEFOR” (Computer Optimized Deployment - Focus on Results), and there was an 8% reduction in index crime between 1995 and 2001 (Willis, Mastrofski, and Weisburd, 2003, Table 1). In New Orleans, the program is known as Comstat, and “during the years, 1997 through 2000 the NOPD led the nation in reducing the violent crime rate of cities over 250,000 in population, when compared to 1996” (Serpas, n.d., p.3)
New York did experience a drop in crime rates at the same time the nation as a whole did. However, New York's decrease in crime occurred at a rate two to four times greater (by year) than the national norm (Orlando, 1999, Chart 1).

Compstat was an importation of measured outcomes and accountability. The difficulty in applying the measured outcomes was the weight placed on crime reduction. How do outcomes of the implementation of CompStat compare in regards to directed patrol and accountability.

Willis, Mastrofski, and Weisburd discuss the implications of directed patrol across three agencies that implemented it, Lowell, Massachusetts; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Newark, New Jersey, and found different philosophies of implementation. In Minneapolis, they found that district managers ordered street patrols to use uncommitted time to engage in directed patrol, and this strategy was an effort to reduce officers' reactive tendencies and focus on preventative police work (2003, pp. 12, 18). Willis et al also suggest that Minneapolis PD had the most systematic effort to follow-up on directed patrol activities (2003, pp. 61-62).
There are two major risks associated with the accountability of Compstat based programs. The Crime Reporting Review Committee lists them: human error; and manipulation of data in the form of downgrading and/or suppressing crime reporting, (2013, pp. 16-17). The cause of data manipulation has been asserted to be as the result of “downward” pressure in the police chain of command to produce positive results (Mac Donald, 2010, para. 2). NYPD attempts to mitigate these risks by multiple levels of review, precinct level audits, amendment procedures, training, and adjusting the culture of hierarchy (Crime Reporting Review Committee, 2013, pp. 19-21). 

*note for blog - this was my own section of a group project - the following references include those that were part of the other students' sections*

Compstat.umd.edu. (2015). What is Compstat? Compstat and its next generation. Retrieved May 28, 2015 from http://www.compstat.umd.edu/what_is_cs.php
Crime Reporting Review Committee, New York Police Department. (2013). The review of the Crime Reporting Review Committee to Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly concerning COMPSTAT auditing. Retrieved May 28, 2015 from http://www.nyc.gov/html/ nypd/downloads/pdf/public_information/

Godown, J. (2009). The CompStat process: Four principles for managing crime reduction. The Police Chief, 76 (8). Retrieved May 28, 2015 from from http://www.compstat.umd.edu/what_is_cs.php
Mac Donald, H. (2010, February 17). Compstat and it's enemies. City Journal. Retrieved May 28, 2015 from http://www.city-journal.org/2010/eon0217hm.html
Orlando, J. (1997). Fighting crimefrom the ground up: The "Zero Tolerance" approach. GW Policy Perspectives. Retrieved April 15, 2014 from ww.policy- perspectives.org/article/download/4187/2937
Serpas, R. (n.d.). Beyond COMPSTAT: Accountability driven leadership in a statewide agency, the washington state patrol - effectiveness through efficiencies. Retrieved May 28, 2015 from http://www.wsp.wa.gov/information/docs/saf/compstat.pdf
South University Online. (2015). MCJ6401 Critical/Controversial Issues: Law Enforcement: Case Study: Compstat and the New York Police Department.. Retrieved May 28, 2015 from myeclassonline.com
Walker, S. (2003).Early intervention systems for law enforcement agencies: A planning and management guide. Washington, D.C.: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
Willis, J., Mastrofski, S., and Weisburd, D. (2003). COMPSTAT in practice: An in-depth analysis of three cities. The Police Foundation. Retrieved May 28, 2015 from http://www.policefoundation.org/sites/g/files/g798246/f/Willis%20et%20al. %20%282004%29%20-%20Compstat%20in%20Practice.pdf

Bratton used a "Broken Windows"/"Zero Tolerance" model "driven" by the "engine" of Compstat (Greene, 1999, para. 5). 

Greene also notes that Bratton reorganized NYPD's management structure (1999, para. 10), although this could be argued as being part of Compstat strategy. Finally, Levitt suggests that crime rate reductions may be reduced by increased numbers of policemen (2004, pp. 176-177). This seems to be an unacknowledged strategy, as NYPD did indeed hire 10,000 additional officers between 1993 and 1997 (Weiss, 2012, para. 2).

Greene, J. (1999, April). Zero Tolerance: A case study of police policies and practices in New York City.
Crime & Delinquency, Vol. 45 Issue 2. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from http://crab.rutgers.edu/~goertzel/ZeroNYC.htm

Levitt, S. (2004). Understanding why crime fell in the1990s: Four factors that explain the

decline and six that do not. Journal of Economic Perspectives, (18)1.

Weiss, M. (2012, September 19). NYPD to lose thousands of cops to retirement over next few years. DNAinfo. Retrieved May 30, 2015 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/nypd-to-lose-thousands-of-cops-to-retirement_n_1897119.html

Actually, I would make it mandatory for media to report all relevant information regarding use of force incidents, rather than solely those that advance a racially divisive narrative.

For example, in the Brown/Ferguson shooting:
The media reported that Brown was a "gentle giant"
It should have also been reported that he had just been videotaped committing a violent robbery
The media reported eyewitness reports that Brown was shot in the back, with his hands up
It should have also reported that the eyewitness telling that story was an accomplice of Brown during the robbery
It should have also reported that other eyewitnesses verified Wilson's account, even to an immediately videotaped personal account that Brown "kept coming" even while the shots were being fired, or "dumping on him"

The media reported that the DOJ was reviewing the autopsy showing the entry points of the bullets
It should have also shown that DOJ autopsy, as well the Brown family autopsy, found the same results of the initial autopsy

It can be claimed that the media is unbiased, and makes mistakes, but when the "mistakes" and omissions consistently "support" the Democratic Party narrative, a party that 90% of journalists admit they support, it should be understandable that many policemen feel there is a "war on police" in this country.


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