Police Stops, Crime Prevention, and Community Reaction: A Randomized Field Experiment at Violent Crime Hot Spots

The project seeks to determine if pedestrian stops can be conducted by officers trained in procedural justice and constitutional issues in a manner that reduces crime while not negatively impacting the community.

Project Overview

Evidence suggests that pedestrian stops may be an effective police tactic when applied to violent crime hot spots. But it is also one of the most controversial tactics that police use. Frequently debated is whether the tactic causes more harm than good, especially in minority and disadvantaged communities. Yet, to our knowledge, there has not been a randomized trial to directly assess the effects of pedestrian stops. The National Policing Institute (NPI) and George Mason University are conducting a randomized control trial with a large police agency to test the idea that, after giving a special unit of officers training in procedural justice and constitutional issues, stops can be conducted in such a way that crime is reduced without alienating the community or antagonizing those persons stopped.

Methodology

This project will involve an experimental design with 60 street segments randomly assigned to either be patrolled by units with special training in procedural justice and constitutional issues in stops or to be patrolled as normal. Outcomes of interest include crime data, contact surveys, community surveys, officer logs, and body camera records.

Project Publications

Forthcoming.

Service Area(s)

Staff Contact(s)

Rob Davis

Rob Davis

Chief Social Scientist

Heather Vovak

Heather Vovak, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

Media Contact

Media inquiries should be directed to our Communications team at:

media@policinginstitute.org
202-833-1460

More Information

Project Status: Active

Research Design: Randomized controlled trial (RCT)

Research Method(s): Field-based experiment, Surveys, Secondary data analysis

Service Area(s)

Staff Contact(s)

Rob Davis

Rob Davis

Chief Social Scientist

Heather Vovak

Heather Vovak, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

Media Contact

 

Media inquiries should be directed to our Communications team at:

media@policinginstitute.org
202-833-1460