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Wednesday, September 6, 2000202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has increased the number of officers deployed in America's communities, advanced the utilization of problem-solving policing, helped police departments provide their officers with new technology, and made it easier and quicker for police departments to apply for and receive COPS grants. These findings are included in an independent national evaluation of the COPS program performed by the Urban Institute, and funded by the Justice Department's research and evaluation arm the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

"Community policing has contributed to the decline in crime rates over the past seven years," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "The COPS office, through its hard work and innovative grant programs, has been a major catalyst in spreading the practice of community policing and advancing the concept of community justice throughout the country."

The study reports that:

Because some officers will have departed before others begin service, the Urban Institute estimates that the federally funded increase (based on awards through May 1999) in policing levels will peak in 2001 between 69,000 and 84,600 before falling to between 62,700 and 83,900 in 2003.

"The Institute is proud of its efforts to sponsor program evaluations for major crime control programs," said NIJ Acting Director Julie Samuels. "This evaluation provides important findings about how community policing has been implemented across the nation."

The evaluation covered the first four years of the COPS program, with specific focus on how COPS grants enabled law enforcement agencies to put more officers on the street to engage in community policing and redeploy existing officers to community policing by increasing officer productivity through the use of technology or by hiring civilians. The study released today reports on the findings through three of four survey "waves." Additional findings, such as updated statistics on the number of officers funded, will be available as other evaluation components are completed. The Urban Institute bases its projections on grants made by the COPS Office by May 1999.

"The COPS Office continues to aggressively pursue the goal of putting an additional 100,000 police officers on the street," said COPS Office Director Tom Frazier. "Based on our estimates that take into consideration the grants made beyond the survey's timeframe, as well as other enhancements, such as training and technical assistance and distance learning, I am confident that the Department will reach that goal by 2003."

To obtain a copy of the 300-page study go to NIJ's Website: and click on "What's New." A 24-page Research in Brief, which highlights the study's key findings, is also available on NIJ's Website. Information about OJP is available at

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For additional information contact:

COPS: Dave Buchanan at 202/616-1728

Urban Institute: Jeffrey A. Roth at 202/261-5592 or Susan Brown at 202/261-5702