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Modern Policing and the Control of Illegal Drugs: Testing New Strategies in Oakland, California, and Birmingham, Alabama, 1987-1989

Metadata Updated: November 28, 2023

These data were collected in Oakland, California, and Birmingham, Alabama, to examine the effectiveness of alternative drug enforcement strategies. A further objective was to compare the relative effectiveness of strategies drawn from professional- versus community-oriented models of policing. The professional model emphasizes police responsibility for crime control, whereas the community model stresses the importance of a police-citizen partnership in crime control. At each site, experimental treatments were applied to selected police beats. The Oakland Police Department implemented a high-visibility enforcement effort consisting of undercover buy-bust operations, aggressive patrols, and motor vehicle stops, while the Birmingham Police Department engaged in somewhat less visible buy-busts and sting operations. Both departments attempted a community-oriented approach involving door-to-door contacts with residents. In Oakland, four beats were studied: one beat used a special drug enforcement unit, another used a door-to-door community policing strategy, a third used a combination of these approaches, and the fourth beat served as a control group. In Birmingham, three beats were chosen: Drug enforcement was conducted by the narcotics unit in one beat, door-to-door policing, as in Oakland, was used in another beat, and a police substation was established in the third beat. To evaluate the effectiveness of these alternative strategies, data were collected from three sources. First, a panel survey was administered in two waves on a pre-test/post-test basis. The panel survey data addressed the ways in which citizens' perceptions of drug activity, crime problems, neighborhood safety, and police service were affected by the various policing strategies. Second, structured observations of police and citizen encounters were made in Oakland during the periods the treatments were in effect. Observers trained by the researchers recorded information regarding the roles and behaviors of police and citizens as well as police compliance with the experiment's procedures. And third, to assess the impact of the alternative strategies on crime rates, reported crime data were collected for time periods before and during the experimental treatment periods, both in the targeted beats and city-wide.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: us-pd

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Metadata Created Date August 18, 2021
Metadata Updated Date November 28, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOJ JSON

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 18, 2021
Metadata Updated Date November 28, 2023
Publisher National Institute of Justice
Identifier 3442
Data First Published 1994-03-10T00:00:00
Language eng
Data Last Modified 2005-11-04T00:00:00
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 011:21
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id e2172b6d-9e68-4374-a959-10254a2c6291
Harvest Source Id 3290e90a-116f-42fc-86ac-e65521ef3b68
Harvest Source Title DOJ JSON
Program Code 011:060
Publisher Hierarchy Office of Justice Programs > National Institute of Justice
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 5db3fcf4e7da215eb817ed4ad50845613d03615c24d4433e71a502fb2b508d42
Source Schema Version 1.1

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