Dec 14, 2007
In response to rising crime and violence in the early 2000s, Oakland, California, voters passed the Violence Prevention and Public Safety Act of 2004. Commonly referred to as Measure Y, it is a 10-year, nearly $20 million annual investment aimed at reducing violence through community-policing, violence-prevention, and other programs. Building on the first-year assessment of the program's implementation, this report examines the progress and effectiveness of the Measure Y–funded problem-solving officer (PSO) program, which adds 63 new officers to the force and deploys PSOs to community-policing beats. The assessment relied on a Web-based survey of current PSOs, PSO deployment data, official statistics on violent and property crime in each beat, and semistructured interviews and focus groups with Oakland Police Department staff. The results show that, although there has been much progress in implementing the program since the first-year evaluation, the statistical evidence does not support an association between the PSO program and a reduction in property and violent crime. Although it is possible that the program is not effective, it could be that positive outcomes of the program could not be captured by the evaluation, that the program encourages the reporting of crimes that would otherwise go unreported, or that implementation challenges preclude the program's ability to be effective. Of note, there appears to be somewhat limited interaction between PSOs and the other community violence-prevention programs created by Measure Y.
The Implementation of Community Policing
Community Policing's Impact on Crime and Violence
Discussion and Lessons
Problem-Solving Officer Survey Instrument
The Time Series Analysis Process
Questions Guiding the Semistructured Interviews and Focus Groups