STUDY: More Cops On the Street Dramatically Reduce Crime

It’s a relative no-brainer.

No cops=more crime. Cops matter.

To the sensible person with even the most cursory relationship with facts and reality, it doesn’t take any difficulty to believe this.

However, in this day and age, there are so many people—quite loudly, it must be noted—calling for there to be fewer cops on the street in the name of “justice,” that “justice” no longer seems to even have a meeting.

Back here on earth, however, the data speaks for itself.

Charles Fain Lehman writes for City Journal that the simple equation of “more cops means less crime” is “one of the most robust findings of empirical criminology, supported by study after study since at least the late 1990s.”

However, researchers still debate exactly what the mechanism is that makes this so. Are criminals being deterred by the presence of more officers on the street, or are more crimes being thwarted by LEOs? Matters not however to people who live daily with the threat of violence. Unlike the elite politicians surrounded by armed…police.

In a recent paper, Tel Aviv University economist Sarit Weisburd demonstrates using data from the Dallas Police Department that cutting police presence leads to a dramatic increase in crime, providing compelling evidence that this is caused by a decrease in routine patrols.

“Cops on the beat drive down crime,” Lehman writes.

He explains of Weisburd’s paper:

Beginning in 2000, the Dallas P.D. equipped its patrol cars with GPS locators, which provide data on the vehicle’s coordinates every half-minute. Weisburd analyzed police location data from 2009 against 911 calls in each “beat,” the roughly two-square-mile area that DPD officers patrol. The resulting dataset provides a minute-by-minute measure of police presence and crime levels across Dallas.

There’s a classic problem associated with similar studies of police effect on crime. If an increase in crime causes police to flood a particular area, then a comparative analysis may suggest that an increase in the number of police officers correlated with an increase in the crime level. This phenomenon—called simultaneity—caused early researchers to conclude, erroneously, that more police increased crime.

To address this problem, Weisburd takes advantage of the Dallas PD’s “rapid response” mandate, which calls on officers to respond to emergency calls within minutes. Because this mandate often requires officers to leave their beats, one can examine how a call for help in another area of the city affects crime rates in the area that the departed cop was meant to be patrolling. Weisburd focuses on non-crime out-of-beat calls, ensuring that the out-of-beat event is not of the same sort as the crimes in-beat she subsequently tracks.

He found a 10 percent decrease in time spent on a beat results in a 7.4 percent increase in crime as measured by 911 calls.

Meanwhile, a 10 percent increase in time spent on a beat reduces public disturbances by 6 to 7 percent and burglaries up by 5 percent.

Simply put: the presence of police on the street has a significant impact on the crime rate.  Duh! You think? That is for the elite cop hating lefties.

As for the question as to how the presence of police impacts the crime rate, Weisburd proposed that either the presence of an officer deters would-be criminals, or that the presence of an officer increases the likelihood of an offender being detained before being able to commit subsequent crimes, which would lower the overall rate of offenses.

“All this suggests that when it comes to how cops control crime, simply walking the beat is one of the most powerful tools available,” Lehman concludes.

Not much has changed since the early model of policing going back to the 1800’s as described by Sir Robert Peel, best known as the inventor of policing.

Weisburd goes on to note that it appears it may even be that an officer on the street already could be even more beneficial to ensuring public safety than 911 response times, as demonstrated by the indication that when an officer leaves their beats, crime goes up. Not to mention that in most 9-1-1 calls, the crime has already occurred.

All this draws to the same simple, common-sense conclusion: reducing police presence does not reduce “injustice,” in fact, it literally increases it.

Crimes committed in the absence of police presence still have victims, and criminals are not victims of police officers. They’re just that—criminals. And enacting the radical left’s defunding the police agenda is guaranteed to victimize thousands of Americans of all colors.

That is the left’s warped view of equal opportunity, I guess.

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