SPI Findings

2020 SPI Map and Findings graphic

Learn more about SPI site successes as it relates to gun violence, violence reduction, technology, mental health, and opioid abuse through our SPI Successes One-Pagers or using the below table.

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SPI Findings

SiteImplementationResearch Design & FindingsTopic
Los Angeles, CA2009

The Los Angeles SPI addressed gun-related violence using Operation LASER (Los Angeles’ Strategic Extraction and Restoration Program).

  • Targeted violent repeat offenders and gang members who commit crimes in target areas.
  • Used intelligence-driven location- and offender-based tactics.
  • Implemented a Crime Intelligence Detail, composed of sworn officers and a local crime analyst, to create proactive, real-time intelligence briefs called Chronic Offender Bulletins.
  • Directed patrol, specific missions, and enhanced surveillance.
Research Design

Interrupted time-series analysis, which assesses whether the interventions in target areas had an effect on crime while controlling for previous trends. (Research evaluation is ongoing.)

Findings

22.6% reduction in homicides per month in the target division.

5.2% reduction in gun crimes per month in each reporting district of the target division.

Gun Violence, Violence Reduction
Los Angeles, CA2014

In 2014, the Los Angeles Police Department's SPI expanded operation Los Angeles Strategic Extraction and Restoration (LASER) into six seven additional zones. LASER was a developed SPI initiative in 2009 that involved a data-driven approach that includes both location- and offender-based strategies – most notably a Crime Intelligence Detail (CID). CID’s primary mission centers on the development of proactive, real-time intelligence briefs called Chronic Offender Bulletins.

Research Design

The evaluation examined two major indicators for implementation (dosage) and outcomes (crime reduction).

Findings
  • Study findings showed that LASER resulted in significant division-wide reductions in Part I crimes, gun crimes, and robberies. 
  • LASER was credited with double digit reductions in homicides and victims shot in four divisions that accounted for 48% of the city’s violent gun crimes.
Gun Violence, Violence Reduction
Lowell, MA2014

The Lowell, Massachusetts Police Department SPI undertook an extensive department reorganization to reduce property crime, increase community policing efforts and to institutionalize problem solving techniques. Activities included: 1) reorganization of geographic deployment of patrol; 2) creation of District Response Officers to work in teams; 3) decentralization of the crime analysis unit to neighborhood precincts; 4) productive interaction between crime analysts and patrol officers and supervisors; 5) modified supervision structure; 6) increased community policing and problem solving through the adoption of a case of place approach; 7) training of officers and supervisors in best practices; and 8) revamping Compstat to integrate problem solving and community policing.

Research Design

Interrupted time series research design complemented by a process evaluation. 

Findings
  • From 2014 to 2017, crimes decreased by 17% from 5,694 to 4,723. The largest decreases were in car breaks (34.7%), burglary (25.5%), and aggravated assaults (24.6%).
  • Decentralization of the Crime Analysis and Intelligence Unit (CAIU) has had a significantly positive impact on the interaction between analysts, officers and supervisors, literally creating a direct relationship between analysts and officers in the field.
  • CAIU decentralization has increased information sharing across CAIU, officers and supervisors.
Organizational Change, Violence Reduction
Miami, FL2014

The Miami, FL SPI project was devoted primarily to enhancing and improving the analytical capacity within the Miami Police Department. The primary goal of the project was to better utilize the vast troves of data repositories to produce information that could be utilized by police commanders and detectives to inform operational decision-making. A secondary goal of the project was to employ a Problem-Oriented Policing and Situational Crime Prevention framework to address the chronic problem of theft-from-motor vehicles. Some of the tactics utilized included deployment of CCTV cameras, focused patrols, increased officer presence, deployment of license plate readers, focused task force operations, creation of a dedicated motor vehicle theft detective unit, and insertion of barricades

Research Design

A quasi-experimental design was used which included a one sample pre-post design to examine agency perceptions of use of crime analytics. The evaluation of crime reduction was comprised of a simple time series assessment and emerging pre-post comparisons in micro-level target areas.

Findings
  • Pre and post knowledge tests of analysts surrounding formal training sessions showed a 25 to 53 percent improvement in testing scores.
  • Further, an approximated before and after assessment of administrators found that analytical work products went from being used never or only occasionally, to now being used about 1 to 2 times per week on average.
Violence Reduction
Milwaukee, WI2015

The Milwaukee, WI SPI deployed a body-worn camera (BWC) initiative to examine officer behavior, arrests, traffic stops, citizen complaints, and use of force between officers with and without BWCs. 

Research Design

Randomized controlled trial of 252 officers assigned a BWC and 252 officers without a BWC. The experiment used a difference-in-differences approach for the analysis between the two groups. 

Findings
  • Those who wore BWCs conducted fewer subject stops and were less likely to receive a complaint than officers that did not receive cameras.
  • However, BWCs had no effect on whether officers engaged in use of force during the study period.
Body-Worn Cameras
New Haven, CT2011

The New Haven SPI addressed rising violent crime and local shooting incidents in a persistently violent neighborhood in the city.

  • Modeled risk terrain to determine areas with the highest risk of violent crime.
  • Had 13 weeks of supplementary, focused foot patrols.
  • Increased use of data-driven decision making (e.g., daily “flash sheets” with maps, crime data, and other data).
  • Engaged community, particularly specific block groups.
  • Modified problem-oriented policing techniques (e.g., patrol officers identified issues such as street lighting and neglected properties, and supervisors implemented responses).
Research Design

Pre-intervention, intervention, and post-intervention analysis in target and control areas.

Findings

During intervention, 19% reduction in violent crime at the neighborhood-level and 36% reduction in violent crime in high-risk areas.

13 weeks following the intervention, 41% violent crime reduction at the neighborhood level and 56% reduction in the high-risk areas.

Gun Violence, Violence Reduction
Philadelphia, PA2009

The Philadelphia SPI tested the impacts of three police strategies in violent crime hotspots (foot patrols, POP, offender-focused policing).

  • Gave captains discretion for implementing foot patrols as long as each target area was patrolled a minimum of 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 12 weeks.
  • Worked with the community, analyzing and implementing strategies for specific problems.
  • Used Criminal Intelligence Unit officers to identify repeat offenders, who then received frequent contact using a variety of strategies.
Research Design

Process and outcome evaluation of the randomized control design

Findings

Offender-focused strategy outperformed foot patrol and problem-solving strategies.

Compared to the control areas, the treatment areas that received the offender-focused strategy experienced a 22% decrease in violent crime, and a 31% decrease in violent street felonies.

Violence Reduction
Phoenix, AZ2011

The Phoenix SPI aimed to improve relations with minority communities by developing a body-worn camera (BWC) program.

  • 50 officers were provided cameras as part of the study and were evaluated from January 2012 – July 2014.
Research Design

Process and outcome evaluation, pre- and post- deployment

Findings

From pre- to post-deployment, officers with BWCs experienced a 22.5 percent decline in officially recorded complaints, while across all other precincts there was a 45.1 percent increase in complaints.

Technology
Phoenix, AZ2015

This SPI tested the effects of body-worn camera in the six Phoenix Police Department (PPD) precincts through a randomized control trial including activation, and officer perceptions. 

Research Design

The research team randomly selected officers to wear a BWC from the pool of 467 officers who provided consent. The evaluation relied on BWC metadata automatically generated by camera activation, official police computer-aided dispatch (CAD) data, official arrest data, official use of force reports, and citizen complaints reported to the PPD.

Findings
  • Officers wearing BWCs activated their camera in 45% of incidents at the beginning of the study, however, after PPD adopted a more restrictive activation policy, activations increased to roughly 75% of incidents.
  • While BWCs had little to no impact on officer perceptions, handing of dispatched calls for service, response time, likelihood of arrest, and use of force, they were related to a decline in the rate of complaints for officers who were mandated to wear a BWC and an increase in the rate of complaints for officers who voluntarily wore BWCs.
  • Officers mandated to wear BWCs were less likely to agree that BWCs improve officer efficacy after being assigned a BWC.
Body-Worn Cameras
Pinellas County, FL2013

The SPI developed a Mental Health Unit (MHU) within the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office (PSCO). The MHU unit consisted of two mental health clinicians (Navigators) and up to four certified law enforcement deputies. The strategy allowed MHU deputies to coordinate a quasi-mobile crisis response with the Navigators. The Navigators regularly reviewed PCSO calls for service and record management systems to determine if specific subjects of mental health calls could benefit from additional follow-up or if a known subject has had recent PCSO contact. Navigators also provided intensive case management to PCSO’s identified consumers to help ensure that their mental and behavioral health needs were met in an effort to reduce their subsequent law enforcement contacts.

Research Design

This project evaluation included process evaluation methods that were designed to describe the activities of and individuals served by the Pinellas County Sherriff’s Office (PCSO) Mental Health Unit (MHU), and it also included outcome evaluation methods designed to assess the effectiveness of the MHU.

Findings
  • On average, participants significantly reduced their average number of involuntary commitments following their first contact with the MHU. Whereas these 17 individuals averaged 3.29 involuntary commitments in the nine months prior to their first MHU involvement, they averaged only 0.82 involuntary commitments over the nine months following their initiation with the MHU.
Mental Health