Kansas City Gun Project

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The Kansas City Gun Project examined the gun violence prevention

effects of proactive patrol and intensive enforcement of firearms laws via

safety frisks during traffic stops, plain view searches and seizures, and

searches incident to arrests on other charges (Sherman and Rogan, 1995).

Over a 6-month period in 1992-1993, the targeted police patrols were

conducted in a 10 8 block area of Kansas City with a homicide rate 20

times higher than the national average. Simple computer analyses of call

and incident data were used to focus police interventions at hot-spot locations.

A pair of two-officer cars, working overtime from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. 7

days a week and not required to answer citizen calls for service, provided

extra patrol in the targeted beat.3 Data from the targeted area were compared

with data from a beat with nearly identical numbers of drive-by

shootings in 1991. The comparison beat received routine levels of police

activities.

3The officers initiated a high volume of contact with the street population. During 29

weeks in 1992-1993, the directed patrols resulted in 1,090 traffic citations, 948 car checks,

532 pedestrian checks, 170 state or federal arrests, and 446 city arrests (Sherman and Rogan,

1995).

Comparing the differences in crime rates in the targeted and control

communities both before and after the intervention, Sherman and Rogan

(1995) assessed the impact of hot-spot policing on firearms seizures and

crime. The evaluation concludes that proactive patrols focused on firearms

recoveries resulted in a statistically significant 65 percent increase in firearms

seizures (29 additional firearms seized) and a statistically significant

49 percent decrease in firearm-related crimes in the target beat area (83

fewer firearm-related crimes); firearms seizures and firearm-related crimes

in the comparison beat area did not significantly change (Sherman and

Rogan, 1995).4 Furthermore, none of the contiguous beats showed significant

increases in firearm-related crime, and two of the contiguous beats

reported significant decreases in firearm-related crimes.