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Impact of Community Policing in Four Houston Neighborhoods

NCJ Number
Evaluation Review Volume: 20 Issue: 6 Dated: (December 1996) Pages: 627-669
D A Kessler; S Duncan
Date Published
43 pages
This research examined the impact of community-policing programs on calls for service, Part I crime, total crimes, and narcotics cases in four Houston neighborhoods.
The analysis was conducted on monthly time series from the neighborhoods targeted by the programs. For calls for service, monthly time-series data were available from October 1984 through September 1989, for a total of 81 cases. Crime data began in January 1983 and ended in August 1989, for a total of 102 cases. Together, the analyzed programs implemented a variety of activities in combinations that exemplify community policing. Police and citizens held community meetings that, in some cases, drew large numbers of citizens. Citizens were educated in what they could do about the crime and security problems in their neighborhoods. Neighborhood Watch groups were organized, and residents conducted neighborhood cleanups and enlisted the aid of building inspectors to board up abandoned buildings. The police conducted crackdowns, cordoned off areas, arrested drug dealers, performed undercover buy-bust operations, and closed so-called crack houses. Youth began using parks and recreational areas again. Parades and rallies attracted the participation of high- level city officials along with media attention. The findings from this research yield no clear generalizations about the measurable impact of these community-policing efforts on calls for service, Part I and total crime, or narcotics crime. Of the 16 relationships tested, only 5 had significant results. The findings imply that police departments do not yet have the answers to what it takes to provide effective service. 9 tables, 2 notes, and 37 references