This study examines the reasons crime declined so rapidly in New Orleans following the 1996 implementation of the COMSTAT management and accountability style of policing. The author compares the results to similar crime reduction efforts in the rest of the country by drawing on political, criminological, and sociological theories. In 1996, the New Orleans Police Department implemented the COMSTAT. Within three years of that implementation, murder was cut by over fifty percent, violent crime fell by nearly the same amount, and overall crime was cut by over one-third. The results show that while COMSTAT had a significant impact on the crime trends, the effects were short-lived. Policing variables and sociological variables had little effect on the overall crime trends both individually and when tested together. The findings indicate policing variables play a larger role than sociological variables when included together. As another independent test of the effects of crime, public opinion data show that the public was very positive towards the NOPD's efforts in dramatically reducing crime and fear of crime in New Orleans during this period. The overall results for policy makers then indicates that reductions in crime resonate positively with city residents and future policy decisions should be made with that goal in mind.
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"Dr. Unter's very impressive work offers a research-based answer to the cynics who declare New Orleans to be in a bankrupt status in terms of reversing these murderous trends." - Prof. Peter Scharf Tulane University "In a rigorous analysis, Dr. Unter's findings provide new ideas on how to understand what many may see as a dichotomy between the perceptions of police chiefs and the academic world on how crime reduction is achieved in America." - Dr. Ronal W. Serpas Former Chief of Operations New Orleans Police Department"
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