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Efficiency of Frisks in the NYPD, 2004-2010

NCJ Number
243652
Journal
Criminal Justice Review Volume: 38 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2013 Pages: 149-168
Author(s)
Joseph Ferrandino
Date Published
June 2013
Length
20 pages
Annotation
New York Police Department (NYPD) stop and frisk policy has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years and has been analyzed exclusively in terms of its equity and effectiveness.
Abstract
New York Police Department (NYPD) stop and frisk policy has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years and has been analyzed exclusively in terms of its equity and effectiveness. This study adds a third approach of policy outcome analysistechnical efficiencyby employing a pooled data envelopment analysis of all Stop, Question, and Frisk data from all NYPD precincts from 2004 through 2010 (3,410,300 total stops resulting in 1,721,955 total frisks). The results reveal that the NYPD is input inefficient in many precincts (mean IOTA score = .40) but slightly more output efficient (mean IOTA score = .50). The most efficient precincts and boroughs are also identified to set performance benchmarks for frisks within the NYPD. According to the input-oriented results (the equity side), there should have been 1,091,846 fewer frisks given the outputs produced (arrests, guns, and contraband), and the output-oriented results (effectiveness side) suggest the NYPD should have produced 179,056 more arrests, found 6,306 more pistols and found 59,883 more instances of contraband to be technically efficient, given the level frisks throughout the NYPD. Though a certain amount of inefficiency is enshrined in the frisk decision, these results are placed in the context of police actions and outcomes in the NYPD over this time period, and are used to inform both sides of the current debate. This research is unique to the police efficiency literature and sets the foundation for future research that fully models efficiency antecedents as well as the outcomes that result from inefficient frisks. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.