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Palm Beach County, Florida Smart Policing Initiative: Increasing Police Legitimacy and Reducing Victimization in Immigrant Communities

NCJ Number
Michael D. White; Debra Ainbinder; Rolondo Silva
Date Published
September 2012
8 pages

This is a report on the implementation and impact of the application of the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) model to recent increases in robbery in Lake Worth, Florida (Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office)


Data analysis found that the increases in robbery were concentrated in neighborhoods housing a relatively high percentage of migrant workers of Guatemalan and Mayan descent. Early results from the evaluation of the SPI intervention indicate positive progress, including improved relations between the police and the immigrant community and a reduction in robberies. The centerpiece of the SPI intervention was the hiring of a Community Liaison to serve as a community advocate and as an intermediary between law enforcement and the immigrant community. In addition, a robbery detective was re-assigned and dedicated to investigate all robberies in the immigrant community, work closely with the Community Liaison, conduct proactive patrols throughout the area, and monitor known offenders and ex-offenders. Among its many honors, the Palm Beach SPI has been recognized by the Vera Institute of Justice's Engaging Police in Immigrant Communities project. This is a U.S. Department of Justice grant program that identifies promising practices in police/immigrant relations. 4 references