U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Kansas City, Missouri Smart Policing Initiative: From Foot Patrol to Focused Deterrence

NCJ Number
Kenneth J. Novak; Andrew M. Fox; Christine M. Carr; Joseph McHale; Michael D. White
Date Published
December 2015
20 pages
This report describes the features and impact on violent crime in Kansas City, Mo, of a police strategy funded under the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) administered by the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Overall, evaluation of the strategy indicates that a declining trend in violent crime in targeted areas corresponded with the implementation of the SPI. Under the SPI, the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) sequentially implemented two innovative, evidence-based strategies. First, in 2011 and 2012, the KCPD planned, implemented, and evaluated a foot patrol program in small, violent-crime, micro-places ("hot spots"), which replicated the evidence-based Philadelphia Foot Patrol Experiment. For 90 days, pairs of officers were assigned to conduct foot patrol in the hot spots for two shifts each day. Results showed that foot patrol areas experienced a 26-percent reduction in aggravated assault and robberies during the 90-day trial period; however, due to leadership turnover in the city's criminal justice agencies and the mayor's office in early 2012, there was a shift in focus for the Kansas City SPI. A focused-deterrence or "pulling-levers" strategy was developed. Under this strategy, violent offender groups were identified through street-level intelligence and analysis. Police spoke with these offender groups about a two-pronged strategy. One prong involved telling them that any future violence would result in serious consequences from the criminal justice system. The second prong was the offer to provide these individuals with assistance from social service agencies that would help them change their violent behavior. The deployment of foot patrol and focused deterrence as a dual, evidence-based effort reduced persistent violence by targeted offender groups. Lessons learned under this SPI are discussed. 5 tables and 2 figures