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Evaluating a Researcher-Practitioner Partnership and Field Experiment

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2015
10 pages
The two primary objectives of this project were to evaluate the effect on crime of a targeted patrol strategy implemented by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) and to evaluate the researcher-practitioner partnership that led to this strategy.
The evaluation of the effectiveness of the project focused on whether intensified police patrols and enforcement in identified crime "hot spots" resulted in larger reductions in firearm assaults and robberies compared to similar areas that continued routine police patrol and enforcement activities. A related secondary objective was to determine whether the intervention produced crime displacement to adjacent areas, other crime types, or to times of the day when the intervention was not in force. The evaluation found statistically significant and sizable reductions in firearm assaults in the intervention areas compared with the control areas; however, no significant reductions occurred in robberies with firearms, which decreased at approximately the same rate in both the treatment and control "hot spots." The analysis did not show any crime displacement to adjoining areas, to other crime types, or to times of the day when the intervention was not in force. The evaluation - the first randomized controlled study of enforcement practices by the SLMPD - was made possible by the St. Louis Public Safety Partnership, which is a formal agreement among the St. Louis Mayor's Office, the SLMPD, and the University of Missouri (St. Louis) to share data and expertise to improve public safety in the city. Since its inception in January of 2012, the criminal justice agencies involved in the partnership have expanded to include the Office of the Circuit Attorney, the 22nd Circuit Court of Missouri, and the Division of Probation and Parole of the Missouri Department of Corrections. This report describes a few of the partnership's activities and lessons learned. 4 references

Date Published: July 1, 2015