This randomized controlled trial (RCT) assessed the effectiveness of a community-infused problem-oriented policing (CPOP) intervention on reducing property/violent crime.
In two mid-Atlantic cities, a total of 102 crime hot spots were randomly assigned to receive CPOP or standard patrol. Analyses examined changes in crime the year before, during, and one year after the intervention. The authors used hierarchical Poisson regression models. No main effects for the CPOP intervention on property and violent crimes were found in either site. In site B, the violent crime count in low treatment hot spots was 200-percent higher than controls post-intervention, but this likely reflected officers paying less attention to treatment locations with lower levels of crime. These results suggest that CPOP was not effective in the unusual context of the COVID-19 pandemic and post-George Floyd killing. Given the challenges of implementing CPOP during this unique time, caution is needed in interpreting these findings. (Publisher abstract provided)