The COMPSTAT ( Compare-Statistics) system was developed by the New York Police Department in 1994 and is credited with having a significant impact on the reduction of major crimes in New York city. COMPSTAT is internationally recognized as having become an extremely successful tool, incorporating accurate crime intelligence analysis methods and streamlining law enforcement management processes, including the seeding of power to local district commanders. In broad strokes, COMPSTAT can be described as a series of process used for the collection and analysis of criminal intelligence data which in turn assists commanders in developing effective strategies and tactics to combat crime.
The effective reduction of crime and quality of life abatement is of prime importance in the COMPSTAT model is and is one of the four core principles in the COMPSTAT paradigm. This essay will examine the impact that the implementation of COMPSTAT has had, specifically the process of Data-Driven Problem Identification and Assessment, and model it against the Newark Police Dept., New Jersey, USA. In doing so it will determine what changes in strategy, structure and operations have taken place as a result of the implementation process.
The COMPSTAT process and Data-Driven Problem Identification and Assessment
COMPSTAT is regularly described as a management accountability process that is a multi-layered and dynamic approach to crime reduction, personnel and resource management. The COMPSTAT process of Data-Driven Problem Identification and Assessment , (now referred to as DDPIA), utilizes geographical Information Systems (geo-coding), and advanced software to mine, track and analyze data concerning criminal activity, such as Part I and Part II UCR crimes. The process can also track and analyze crashes and emergency management processes. In 'COMPSTAT: An Analysis of an Emerging Police Managerial Paradigm' (2001), Walsh defines COMPSTAT as 'a goal oriented strategic management process that uses computer technology, operational strategy and managerial accountability to structure the manner in which a police department provides crime control services'.
DDPIA is a integral part of that process that involves the gathering and analysis of timely and accurate criminal intelligence information, crime statistics and other data such as emergency incident and management information, traffic data, and individual anecdotal information such as routine police reports. Criminal statistical information is crucial to COMPSTAT to enable analysts to structure information in ways that can assist managerial decision making processes. Through the compilation of a wide range of data sources it is possible to search for and determine larger patterns and trends, which in turn allows commanders to make strategic decisions about resources, manpower, operations, plain clothes operations and beat policing activities.
What changes in strategy have taken place as a result of the...