Police Innovation and Crime Prevention: Lessons Learned from Police Research Over the Past 20 Years

This review draws upon material available in David L. Weisburd and Anthony A. Braga. (Eds.). 2006. Police Innovation: Contrasting Perspectives. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper

33 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2015

See all articles by Anthony A. Braga

Anthony A. Braga

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - School of Criminal Justice

David L. Weisburd

Hebrew University of Jerusalem; George Mason University - The Department of Criminology, Law & Society; Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 20, 2015

Abstract

In a recent volume (Weisburd and Braga, 2006), a group of leading scholars presented contrasting perspectives on eight major innovations in American policing developed over the course of the 1980s and 1990s. In response to rising crime rates and growing public dissatisfaction, police departments needed to improve their performance and innovation provided the opportunity to make these improvements. These innovations included community policing, “broken windows” policing, problem-oriented policing, “pulling levers” policing, third-party policing, hot spots policing, Compstat, and evidence-based policing. These strategies represented fundamental changes to the business of policing. However, as many police scholars and executives point out, improving police performance through innovation is often not straightforward. Police departments are highly resistant to change and police officers often experience difficulty in implementing new programs (Sparrow, Moore, and Kennedy, 1990; Capowich and Roehl, 1994; Sadd and Grinc, 1994). The available evidence on key dimensions of police performance associated with these eight innovations, such as crime control effectiveness and community satisfaction with services provided, is also surprisingly limited. These observations are not unique to the policing field. For example, as Elmore (1997) suggests, the field of education was awash in innovation during the 1990s, but there is little evidence examining whether those innovations advanced the performance of schools, students, or graduates.

Keywords: criminology, innovation, crime, criminal, pulling levers, police

Suggested Citation

Braga, Anthony A. and Weisburd, David L., Police Innovation and Crime Prevention: Lessons Learned from Police Research Over the Past 20 Years (July 20, 2015). This review draws upon material available in David L. Weisburd and Anthony A. Braga. (Eds.). 2006. Police Innovation: Contrasting Perspectives. New York: Cambridge University Press.; Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2633381

Anthony A. Braga

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-9835 (Phone)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - School of Criminal Justice ( email )

123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102-309
United States

David L. Weisburd (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, IL Jerusalem 91905
Israel

George Mason University - The Department of Criminology, Law & Society ( email )

4400 University Drive
MS 4F4
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel

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