Anthony V. Bouza

Inducted June 2012

Nominated by Lawrence Sherman, University of Maryland and Cambridge University


Anthony V. Bouza served as Chief of Police of Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1980 to 1989. Born in Spain in 1928, he moved to New York City at the age of 9 and later joined the New York Police Department, rising to the rank of Assistant Chief and Commander of the Bronx. After serving in the NYPD from 1953 to 1976, he served as Deputy Chief of the New York City Transit Police Department from 1977 to 1979 before moving to the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) in 1980.

He holds a B.A. and Master of Public Administration from the City University of New York (Baruch College), and is the author of six books, including one of the few detailed descriptions of the operations of a police intelligence unit (Police Intelligence, AMS Press, 1976).

Evidence-Based Research and Practice:

From the first day of his appointment in Minneapolis, Chief Bouza became a bold and effective advocate for evidence-based policing and experimental criminology. He immediately recommended to the Mayor and City Council that they approve a randomized controlled trial in the use of arrest for domestic violence, which they voted unanimously to do. The result was the Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment, the most highly-cited police experiment tracked by Google Scholar (Sherman and Berk, American Sociological Review, 1984).

He also supported the use of MPD resources to discover that 3% of the street addresses in the city produced over half of all dispatched police responses to calls for service, as reported in the New York Times in 1987. He then asked the City Council to approve an experiment that would reduce police patrols to near zero in low-crime areas, in order to double patrol time at high crime hot spots located across the city. Once again, the City Council provided unanimous approval for realigning police time in the pursuit of better knowledge. In what became the first random assignment of patrol to crime hot spots, he and his successor (Chief John Laux) managed to help produce substantial police compliance with the experimental protocol of extra patrol at 55 of 100 hot spots (Sherman and Weisburd, 1995).

He also assigned 5 officers fulltime to the Repeat Call address Policing Project (RECAP), which launched problem-solving efforts at 250 of the 500 top addresses in the city demanding police response to calls for service. Other experiments he supported in Minneapolis included a randomized trial in the use of neighborhood watch staff in some neighborhoods and not others, as evaluated by the Police Foundation in Washington, DC.

Since the day he was appointed commander of the NYPD Planning Division in 1971, Anthony V. Bouza was a tireless campaigner for the development of research in policing. At a time when few police commanders had university education and many were suspicious of academics, Bouza urged them to open their minds and their operation to relentless examination, especially by experimentation. He set so many precedents and broke so many unspoken rules about random assignment that he literally made the world safe for Chiefs of Police to move forward with evidence-based policing. It is hard to find any police executive before or since who has made such giant strides forward in police research.

Written by Professor Lawrence Sherman

In 2023, Professor Sherman wrote this tribute in memoriam of Tony Bouza: "Anthony V. Bouza and the Founding of Evidence‑Based Policing," Cambridge Journal of Evidence-Based Policing.

Contributions to Grants, Publications, and Projects:

  • Bouza, A. V. (1976). Police intelligence: The operations of an investigative unit. New York: AMS Press.
  • Bouza, A. V. (1978). Police administration: Organization and performance. New York: Pergamon Press.
  • Bouza, A. V. (1990). The police mystique: An insider’s look at cops, crime, and the criminal justice system.Boston, MA: Da Capo Press.
  • Bouza, A. V. (1991). A carpet of blue: An ex-cop takes a tough look at America’s drug problem.Minnaepolis, MN: Fairview.
  • Bouza, A. V. (2001). Police unbound: Corruption,abuse, and heroism by the boys in blue. Amherst, NY: Prometheus.
  • Bouza, A. V. (2003). The decline and fall of the American empire: corruption, decadence, and the American dream. Boston, MA: De Capo Press.
  • Sherman, L. W., & Berk, R. A. (1984). The specific deterrent effects of arrest for domestic assault. American Sociological Review, 49: 261-272.
  • Sherman, L. W., & Weisburd, D. (1995). General deterrent effects of police patrol in crime “hot spots”: A randomized, controlled trial. Justice Quarterly, 12: 625-648.
  • Sherman, L. W., Buerger M., & Gartin, P. (1989). Repeat call address policing:  The Minneapolis RECAP Experiment.  Washington, DC:  Crime Control Institute.
  • Sherman, L. W., Gartin, P. R., & Buerger, M. E. (1989). Hot spots of predatory crime: Routine activities and the criminology of place. Criminology27: 27–56.
  • Sherman, L. W. (2023). Anthony V. Bouza and the Founding of Evidence‑Based Policing. Cambridge Journal of Evidence-Based Policing, 8(2).