Neighborhood – Guseynov (2010)

Study Reference:

Guseynov, N. R. (2010). Policing serious crime: A longitudinal examination of geographically focused policing activities. University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Location in the Matrix; Methodological Rigor; Outcome:

Neighborhoods; Focused; Proactive; Moderately Rigorous; No evidence of effect

What police practice or strategy was examined?

This study evaluated the Comprehensive Strategic Team Accountability Review (CSTAR), an initiative of the Kansas City (Missouri) Police Department (KCPD) that concentrated resources and problem-solving activities on crime-prone areas. Officers identified problem areas, identified the types of crimes within those areas, and attempted to address the root causes of crime and the quality of life issues contributing to crime in those areas. Working with other police units and city authorities, officers addressed issues including abandoned buildings and vehicles, auto theft prevention, driving and parking violations, graffiti, drug dealing, and community trust. Rather than relying on arrest alone and leaving the area afterward, officers followed up and continued monitoring the areas to ensure that problems did not recur.

How was the intervention evaluated?

A quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the impact of the CSTAR projects on Part 1 index crimes in three target area patrol beats within the KCPD’s Central Patrol Division. The other 15 beats within the Central Patrol Division served as comparison areas. The CSTAR projects began during 2006, and the study examined changes in weekly crime in the target and comparison areas from 2005 through 2007.

What were the key findings?

Neither area (target or comparison) experienced a statistically significant change in crime during the program’s initial year (2006). Both areas experienced statistically significant declines in the following year (2007), described by the author as the “post” year. There were some indications, that the rate of decline was greater in the target area during the post year, but the crime levels of the target and comparison areas were statistically equivalent.

What were the implications for law enforcement?

The CSTAR strategy in this particular area had very little measurable impact on Index I crimes. However, considering that the implementation of the CSTAR was relatively new at the time of this study, the author suggested that a follow-up study of the program might be worthwhile to better understand the program’s activities and impacts.

Where can I find more information about this intervention, similar types of intervention, or related studies?