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Proactive policing, as a strategic approach used by police agencies to prevent crime, is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. It developed from a crisis in confidence in policing that began to emerge in the 1960s because of social unrest, rising crime rates, and growing skepticism regarding the effectiveness of standard approaches to policing. In response, beginning in the 1980s and 1990s, innovative police practices and policies that took a more proactive approach began to develop. This report uses the term "proactive policing" to refer to all policing strategies that have as one of their goals the prevention or reduction of crime and disorder and that are not reactive in terms of focusing primarily on uncovering ongoing crime or on investigating or responding to crimes once they have occurred.

Proactive policing is distinguished from the everyday decisions of police officers to be proactive in specific situations and instead refers to a strategic decision by police agencies to use proactive police responses in a programmatic way to reduce crime. Today, proactive policing strategies are used widely in the United States. They are not isolated programs used by a select group of agencies but rather a set of ideas that have spread across the landscape of policing.

Proactive Policing reviews the evidence and discusses the data and methodological gaps on: (1) the effects of different forms of proactive policing on crime; (2) whether they are applied in a discriminatory manner; (3) whether they are being used in a legal fashion; and (4) community reaction. This report offers a comprehensive evaluation of proactive policing that includes not only its crime prevention impacts but also its broader implications for justice and U.S. communities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780309467131
Publisher: National Academies Press
Publication date: 03/23/2018
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Summary 1

1 Introduction 15

Charge to the Study Committee 19

The Origins of Proactive Policing 19

Professional Reform in the 20th Century 23

The Challenge to the Standard Model of Policing 25

The Emergence of Modern Proactive Policing 29

The Committee's Definition of "Proactive Policing," 30

Assessing the Evidence 33

Organization of the Report 37

Conclusion 39

2 The Landscape of Proactive Policing 41

Strategies for a Place-Based Approach 43

Hot Spots Policing 46

Predictive Policing 49

Closed Circuit Television 51

Strategies for a Problem-Solving Approach 52

Problem-Oriented Policing 53

Third Party Policing 54

Strategies for a Person-Focused Approach 57

Focused Deterrence 58

Stop, Question, and Frisk 60

Strategies for a Community-Based Approach 61

Community-Oriented Policing 63

Procedural Justice Policing 65

Broken Windows Policing 70

The Diffusion of Proactive Policing Across American Cities 73

Conclusion 79

3 Law and Legality 81

Fourth Amendment 83

Legal Overview 83

Deterrence-Oriented Proactive Strategies 85

Place-Based Strategies 90

Third Party Policing 93

Equal Protection and Statutes Prohibiting Discrimination 95

Legal Overview 95

Deterrence-Oriented Proactive Strategies 98

Predictive Policing Strategies 100

Empirical Evidence on Proactive Policing and Illegal Police Begavior 101

Legal Mechanisms for Challenging Proactive Policing 103

Other Legal Standards and Values 108

Community-Based Policing 111

Conclusion 116

4 Impacts of Proactive Policing on Crime and Disorder 119

Mechanisms for Prevention 119

Place-Based Strategies 122

Hot Spots Policing 122

Predictive Policing 129

Closed Circuit Television 132

Problem-Solving Strategies 132

Problem-Oriented Policing 135

Third Party Policing 139

Person-Focused Strategies 142

Focused Deterrence 142

Stop, Question, and Frisk 148

Community-Based Strategies 151

Community-Oriented Policing 151

Procedural Justice Policing 155

Broken Windows Policing 163

Conclusion 168

Place-Based Proactive Strategies 173

Problem-Solving Proactive Strategies 174

Person-Focused Proactive Strategies 175

Community-Based Proactive Strategies 175

5 Community Reaction to Proactive Policing: The Impact of Place-Based, Problem-Solving, and Person-Focused Approaches 177

What Do We Mean By Community Impact? 179

A Model of the Effects of Proactive Policing on Community Outcomes 179

Place-Based Interventions 181

Problem-Solving Interventions 188

Person-Focused Interventions 195

Collateral Consequences for Society of Proactive Policing 202

Impact of Proactive Policing Practices on Health and Development 203

Impact of Proactive Policing on Civic and Institutional Engagement 206

Conclusion 208

Place-Based Proactive Strategies 208

Problem-Solving Proactive Strategies 209

Person-Focused Proactive Strategies 209

6 Community-Based Proactive Strategies: Implications for Community Perceptions and Cooperation 211

Community-Oriented Policing 212

Community-Oriented Policing's Impacts on Community Evaluations of the Police 216

Communit-Oriented Policing Impacts on Orientations to the Police 218

Community-Oriented Policing Impacts on Cooperation and Collective Efficacy 219

Long-Term Effects of Community-Oriented Policing 222

Environmental Conditions 223

Broken Windows Policing 224

The Impact of Broken Windows Policing on Fear of Crime and Collective Efficacy 225

Procedural Justice 227

Antecedents of Perceived Legitimacy 229

General Evidence on the Procedural Justice Logic Model Outside of Policing 232

The Specific Features of Procedural Justice That Shape Perceived Legitimacy 236

Evidence on Procedural Justice in Policing 239

Procedural Justice and Police Practice 245

Conclusion 246

7 Racial Bias and Disparities in Proactive Policing 251

Measuring Disparities, Bias, and the Motivations for Bias: Issues and Challenges 254

Counterfactural-Based Measures of Bias 256

Benchmark Measures of Bias 256

Outcome-Based Measures of Bias 257

Historical Background on Racial Disparities, Bias, and Animus in Policing 263

Racial Animus in Federal, State, and Local Policies 265

Racial Disparities in Federal, State, and Local Policies 266

Law Enforcement Resistance to the Civil Rights Movement 268

Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice Contact Driven by Federal Policy 268

Potential Reasons Why Modern Proactive Policing May Be Associated with Disparities and Bias 275

Evidence from Psychological Science on Racial Bias in Policing 276

The Psychological Science of Bias 277

Evidence from Studies of Racial Bias in Law Enforcement 280

Risk and Protective Factors for Bias in Proactive Policing 283

Risk Factors for Biased Behavior 284

Protective (bias-reducing) Factors for Biased Behavior 286

Evidence from Criminology, Economics, and Sociology on Racial Bias in Policing 288

Comparisons of Racial Composition of Police-Citizen Interactions to Alternative Population Benchmarks 288

Outcome Tests for Racial Disparities in Treatment 294

Conclusion 297

8 Conclusions and Implications for Policy and Research 303

Law and Legality 305

Crime and Disorder 306

Place-Based Strategies 307

Problem-Solving Strategies 309

Person-Focused Strategies 310

Community-Based Strategies 312

Community Impacts 314

Place-Based, Problem-Solving, and Person-Focused Interventions 314

Community-Based Interventions 316

Racial Bias and Disparities 318

Policy Implications 321

Research Gaps 325

Improving the Quality of Data and Research on Proactive Policing 326

Proactive Policing and the Law 329

Crime-Control Impacts of Proactive Policing 330

Community Impacts of Proactive Policing 331

Racial Bias and Disparities in Proactive Policing 332

The Future of Proactive Policing 334

References 335


A Perspectives from the Field 375

B Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 383

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