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New Haven, Connecticut Smart Policing Initiative: Employing Evidence-Based Policing Strategies To Engage the Community and Reduce Crime

NCJ Number
Christopher M. Sedelmaier; Natalie K. Hipple
Date Published
August 2016
22 pages
This issue of the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) Spotlight Report (August 2016) reviews the implementation and impact of the application of the SPI model to reduce rising rates of violent crime and the number of local shootings in New Haven, Connecticut.
The targeted hot spot was one of the most violent neighborhoods ("Newhallville") in the city, as determined by data analysis of gun-related violence. Crime trends in Newhallville were compared to those in four comparison neighborhoods chosen for their similar histories of violent crime. Over the 13-week intervention period, Newhallville experienced a 19- percent reduction in violent crime throughout the neighborhood and a 36-percent reduction in violent crime within the high-risk areas of Newhallville. In the 13 weeks following the intervention, there was a further 41-percent decline in violent crime at the neighborhood level and a 56-percent decline in high-risk areas. The three-pronged intervention based on data analysis consisted of outreach and community engagement, especially with block groups; data-driven, enhanced police foot patrols; and a modified problem-oriented policing technique. The New Haven SPI experience has lessons for both police managers and line officers. For managers, the lesson is that the problem-oriented policing model is adaptable, and departments can modify it to fit challenges or situations unique to a particular community. For line officers, the lesson is that officer input and activity in intervention implementation, along with accurate data collection and feedback, are vital in the success of an intervention. 5 tables .