Implementing A Problem-Oriented Policing Crime Reduction Program In The City Of Nashville, Tennessee Research Paper

Length: 10 pages Sources: 10 Subject: Criminal Justice - Police Type: Research Paper Paper: #59004884 Related Topics: Data Collection, Violent Crime, Research Question, Crime Rates
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Statement of the Problem

Law enforcement agencies have made substantial progress in reducing violent crime and property crime rates in many municipalities across the country, and the United States can be regarded as being significantly safer for its citizenry today compared to the alarmingly high crime rates in the 1990s (Gramlich, 2020). Nevertheless, pockets of high crime rates remain firmly in place in some American cities despite ongoing efforts by law enforcement agencies to address these trends. As the research that follows will show, combating property and violent crime is a challenging enterprise at any time, but the devastating effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have adversely affected employment levels in many cities and a growing number of Americans are facing eviction and hunger. It is not surprising, then, that crime rates remain intractable in cities where unemployment rates were already a problem, and this has been the case with Nashville, Tennessee where unemployment skyrocketed from just under 5% to 15% during the height of the pandemic (Unemployment rate in Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, 2021). The overarching purpose of the study proposed herein is to identify optimal strategies for implementing a problem-oriented policing intervention to help reduce the crime rates in Nashville today and in the future based on the rationale that is presented below.

Literature Review

Background and overview

With a population of about 700,000 people, Nashville is Tennessee’s state capital and the home of the world-famous entertainment venue the Grand Ole Opry. At present, though, Nashville, is also a relatively dangerous place to live compared to national averages (Crime in Nashville, 2020). As shown in Figure 1 at Appendix A and like much of the rest of the country, property crime remains much more common in Nashville compared to violent crime (Gramlich, 2020), but one in 90 residents are still likely to become to victim of violent crime each year and another one in 24 are probable victims of property crimes (Nashville crime rates, 2021). While the economic costs of property crimes are readily quantifiable, the costs that are associated with violent crimes transcend the individual economic calculus and extend to include harm to entire neighborhoods and communities.

Description of problem-oriented policing

Although there are no magic law enforcement bullets available to that can completely eliminate violent crime (Giwa, 2018), a growing body of scholarship confirms that problem-oriented policing represents an evidence-based approach to combatting this societal issue (Braga et al., 1999. In response to an increasing violent crime problem in some American cities, there have been a number of implementations of problem-oriented policing initiatives over the past 40 years (Giwa, 2018). Originally developed by Herman Goldstein in the late 1970s, problem?oriented policing is a framework in which law enforcement authorities apply community-based strategic and tactics that are focused on providing proactive solutions to chronic sources of violent crime rather than using conventional policing techniques (Hinkle, Weisburd & Telep, 2020). As originally conceptualized and applied at in police departments across the country at present, the overarching objective of problem-oriented policing is to concentrate available law enforcement resources on improving community safety and reducing violent crime rather than focusing strictly on the quantifiable factors that are associated with violent crime such as average response time to crime scenes and the number and types of arrests made during a set period of time (Reisig, 2010).

Evaluation of the appropriateness of problem-oriented policing for Nashville

During a period in American history where misguided calls for defunding the police have become commonplace, determining which criminal justice research and evaluation methods are most effective represents a timely and valuable enterprise, especially because taxpayer resources are by definition scarce (Jacobs & Kim, 2020). Therefore, any perception on the part of the general public that their monies are being squandered on ineffective or obsolete law enforcement methods is a significant and justifiable source of concern for police leaders (Boyce, 2019). In addition to conventional law enforcement practices, the problem-oriented policing model also provides useful evaluations methods that can help identify opportunities for community-based interventions that are specifically focused on violent crime (Schnobrich-Davis & Block, 2020). Furthermore, in a larger sense, problem-oriented policing evaluation methods are also highly congruent with other recent trends in criminology (Wooditch, 2021). The SARA model used by the problem-oriented policing approach is applied to Nashville’s current situation at Appendix B.

Research Questions

The proposed study will be guided by the following research questions:

Q1: What neighborhoods in Nashville are currently experienced the highest violent crime rates?

Q2: What are the current policing strategies in place in Nashville?

Q3: Are the current policing strategies used in Nashville viewed positively or negatively by police officers on the street?

Q4: What are the best lessons learned from previous applications of the problem-oriented policing approach in other American cities of comparable size to Nashville (i.e., populations of between 500,000 to 1 million)?

Q5: What actions do local business leaders, civic groups and organizations believe need to be taken to address the crime problem in Nashville.

Subjects for Study

Because there are hundreds of thousands of stakeholders that are directly involved in the envisioned study, it will be essential to canvass a representative sample of the local population in Nashville that can help develop timely and informed answers to the above-listed research questions. Therefore, the subjects for the study proposed herein will include police patrol officers (e.g., “street” or “beat cops”); district police commanders; local business owners; representatives of civic groups and organizations; victims of violent crime; adjudicated violent criminals; and other stakeholders to be determined.

Measurement

The quantitative metrics that will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a problem-oriented policing strategy for Nashville are straightforward with respect to the following guiding research question, “What neighborhoods in Nashville are currently experienced the highest violent crime…in Nashville are currently experienced the highest violent crime rates?” Developing a timely and informed answer to this research question can be accomplished by statistically analyzing benchmark data from the Nashville police department, U.S. Department of Justice and other relevant law enforcement resources. Likewise, the research questions, “What are the current policing strategies in place in Nashville?” and “What are the best lessons learned from previous applications of the problem-oriented policing approach in other American cities of comparable size to Nashville (i.e., populations of between 500,000 to 1 million)?” will be answered through a systematic review of the relevant literature concerning what types of policing strategies are in place in Nashville at present as discussed further in the Data Collection Methods section that follows below. Conversely, the other research questions will require qualitative measures as described at Appendix C.

Data Collection Methods

As noted above, the proposed study will use a mixed data collection methodology that includes both quantitative and qualitative measures, as well as different data collection methods to gather and analyze this data. As also noted above, a systematic review of the relevant secondary literature will be used to develop answers to the corresponding research questions that can be answered in this fashion. In addition, the above-described custom questionnaire will be administered online using a survey service such as SurveyMonkey to facilitate data collection and analysis (discussed in the following section). The custom questionnaire will be piloted using a sample of 10 police officers who will not be included in the final administration of the instrument and will be used to evaluate the questionnaire’s face validity (Neuman, 2008).

Analysis

Just as the different research questions which will guide the proposed study differ in terms of the methods that are used for data collection, the analyses of these data will also require different analytical methods. The analytical methods that will be used for the qualitative research questions are described in Table 1 below.

Table 1

Description of analytical methods for qualitative research questions

Research question

Analytical method

Supporting rationale

Q2: What are the current policing strategies in place in Nashville?

Narrative analysis

Using a systematic review of the relevant literature, a narrative analysis of historic and current law enforcement data concerning the existing policing strategies in Nashville can provide the timely information that is needed to develop an informed answer to this research question (Wood & Ellis, 2003).

Q4: What are the best lessons learned from previous applications of the problem-oriented policing approach in other American cities of comparable size to Nashville (i.e., populations of between 500,000 to 1 million)?

Content analysis.

According to Neuman (2008), this qualitative analytical method is one in which the social science researchers “examines patterns of meaning within written texts, audio, visual, or other communication medium” (p. 531), making is especially appropriate for developing an informed answer to…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Boyce, A. (2019). A re-imagining of evaluation as social justice: A discussion of the education justice program. Critical Education, 10, 37-42.

Braga, A. A. (2008). Problem-oriented policing and crime prevention. Munsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press.

Braga, A. A., Weisburd, D. L. & Waring, E. J. (1999). Problem-oriented policing in violent crime places: A randomized controlled experiment. Criminology, 37(3), 541-555.

Crime in Nashville. (2020). https://www.areavibes.com/nashville-tn/crime/#:~:text=In%20Nashville%2C%20TN%20you%20have,theft%20and%20motor%20vehicle%20theft.

Crime and violence. (2020). U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/.

Giwa, S. (2018). Community policing in racialized communities: A potential role for police social work, Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 1-17.

Gramlich, J. (2020, November 20). What the data says (and doesn’t say) about crime in the United States. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/11/20/facts-about-crime-in-the-u-s/.

Hinkle, J. C., Weisburd, D. & Telep, C. W. (2020, June 15). Problem?oriented policing for reducing crime and disorder: An updated systematic review and meta?analysis. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 16(2), 37-44.


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