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June 2022 Impact evaluation of the LAPD community safety partnership
Sydney Kahmann, Erin Hartman, Jorja Leap, P. Jeffrey Brantingham
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Ann. Appl. Stat. 16(2): 1215-1235 (June 2022). DOI: 10.1214/21-AOAS1543

Abstract

In 2011, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), in conjunction with other governmental and nonprofit groups, launched the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) in several public housing developments in Los Angeles. Following a relationship-based policing model, officers were assigned to work collaboratively with community members to reduce crime and build trust. However, evaluating the causal impact of this policy intervention is difficult, given the notable differences between communities where CSP was implemented and the surrounding communities in South Los Angeles. In this paper we use a novel data set, based on the LAPD’s reported crime incidents and calls-for-service, to evaluate the effectiveness of this program via augmented synthetic control models, a cutting-edge method for policy evaluation. We perform falsification analyses to evaluate the robustness of the results. In the public housing developments where it was first deployed, we find that CSP exhibited modest but statistically insignificant reductions in reported violent crime incidents, shots fired and violent crime calls-for-service, and Part I reported crime incidents. We do not find evidence of crime displacement from CSP regions to neighboring control regions.

Funding Statement

This research was funded by the Balmer Group, The California Endowment, Caruso, Cindy Miscikowski, The Smidt Foundation, the Weingart Foundation, and an anonymous donor.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Grant No. DGE-1650604 and DGE-2034835. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank LAPD Chief of Police Michel Moore, the CSP Research and Evaluation Advisory Committee, and the community residents and institutional partners that make CSP possible. We acknowledge Connie Rice as a cocreator of the CSP public safety model and a visionary regarding relationship-based policing. The fourth author serves on the board of PredPol.

We also thank Chad Hazlett, the UCLA Causality Reading Group, Avi Feller, and Eli Ben-Michael for thoughtful comments and discussion. We additionally thank Eli Ben-Michael for providing plot code from the Ben-Michael, Feller and Rothstein (2021) paper.

Citation

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Sydney Kahmann. Erin Hartman. Jorja Leap. P. Jeffrey Brantingham. "Impact evaluation of the LAPD community safety partnership." Ann. Appl. Stat. 16 (2) 1215 - 1235, June 2022. https://doi.org/10.1214/21-AOAS1543

Information

Received: 1 September 2020; Revised: 1 June 2021; Published: June 2022
First available in Project Euclid: 13 June 2022

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/21-AOAS1543

Keywords: augmented synthetic control method , Causal inference , community policing , Gang violence , policy evaluation , time-series cross-sectional data

Rights: Copyright © 2022 Institute of Mathematical Statistics

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Vol.16 • No. 2 • June 2022
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