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Evaluation of Starrett City Security Services

NCJ Number
E J Donovan; W F Walsh
Date Published
128 pages
Conducted in 1985-1986, this evaluation examined the impact of private security services on the lifestyle and environment of Starrett City, a 46-building apartment complex in a high-crime area of New York City.
The evaluation examined crime data, involved interviews with members of the business community and local police precinct and with security personnel, and used a self-report questionnaire with a representative sample of Starrett City residents (2,235 residents in 17 buildings). A series of frequency distributions of participants' responses on victimization and feelings of fear identified item variability, which provided an analysis of the distributional characteristics of each variable. Selected variables were cross-tabulated to reveal the degree of variability among security and public police officers. This same procedure was used to examine attitudinal variables by racial group among the residents. Survey responses indicate that Starrett City has a very low reported rate of major felonies. Residents attribute their feelings of safety and the low crime rate to the efforts of the security department. Security personnel are highly motivated and well-managed. The security department saves the city $750,000 annually in protective service time, with many of the security services being impossible for police to provide. Among the study recommendations is the suggestion that local police instructors provide free inservice training to Starrett City security personnel. 42 tables and 33 references.


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