Early indications are that a “smart policing” plan being tested in Philadelphia is having positive results, Nola Joyce, chief administrative officer of the city’s police department, told a U.S. Justice Department conference yesterday. Philadelphia is one of 16 sites around the U.S. in a “smart policing” initiative funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The basic idea is to make policing tactics conform to scientific evidence.
Philadelphia has chosen 80 local “micro-sites” to test the program. Twenty are experimenting with foot patrols, 20 with “problem-solving” policing analyses, 20 focusing on chronic offenders, and the other 20 serving as “control” sites to compare with the experimental locations. Some crime is down in Philadelphia but research results are not yet in to indicate which police approaches, if any, were influential. Lowell, Ma., 30 miles north of Boston, is another one of the “smart policing” test sites. Brenda Bond of Suffolk University in Massachusetts is working with the city to test ways fo combatting the city’s recent increase in property crimes. Chip Coldren of the CNA Corp., who presided at the conference program, said police must test more effective anticrime practices in the current “long haul of difficult economic times.”