THE IMPACT OF ORDER-MAINTENANCE POLICING ON NEW YORK CITY HOMICIDE AND ROBBERY RATES: 1988-2001*

Authors


  • *

    We are grateful to Eric Baumer, Ken Land, Janet Lauritsen, and Tim Wadsworth for helpful comments; to Sandro Galea of the epidemiology department at the University of Michigan for providing data on cocaine-related deaths; and to David Van Alstyne and Steve Greenstein of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services for providing data on prison sentencing. Previous versions of this article were presented at the 2005 meeting of the American Society of Criminology held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the 2005 Harry F. Guggenheim Symposium, Changing the View of Crime in America, held at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Justice and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Please address correspondence to Richard Rosenfeld at the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63121 (e-mail: richard_rosenfeld@umsl.edu).

Abstract

Local officials and national observers have attributed the New York City drop in violent crime during the 1990s to the aggressive enforcement of public order, but relevant research is limited and yields contrasting conclusions regarding the effects of order-maintenance policing (OMP) on violent crime trends in New York City. The current study investigates the effects of order-maintenance arrests on precinct-level robbery and homicide trends in New York City with more reliable crime and arrest data, longer time series, and more extensive controls for other influences than used in prior research. We find statistically significant but small crime-reduction effects of OMP and conclude that the impact of aggressive order enforcement on the reduction in homicide and robbery rates in New York City during the 1990s was modest at best.

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