Reducing Firearms Violence Through Directed Police Patrol

Published in: Criminology and Public Policy, v. 1, no. 1, Nov. 2001, p. 119-148

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2000

by Edmund F. McGarrell, Steven Chermak, Alexander Weiss, Jeremy M. Wilson

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RESEARCH SUMMARY: This evaluation of a directed police patrol project utilizes a pre-post quasi-experimental design with a non-equivalent control group as well as an interrupted time series analysis. The results suggest that directed patrol had an impact on firearms crime in one of the target areas but not the other. POLICY IMPLICATIONS: The results suggest that a specific deterrence strategy whereby the police utilize directed patrol to focus on suspicious activities and locations reduced violent gun crime. In contrast, a general deterrence strategy focused on maximizing vehicle stops did not have an apparent effect.

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