Reducing Crime in Urban Zones
The idea that more cops on the streets leads to quiet, crime-free neighborhoods is an attractive statement. Even those skeptical parties in American academics find it hard to acquire the merit in the hiring of more police officers. Conversely, the debate continues to rage on the question “does hiring more police officers reduce crime?” In the 1970’s, the debate gained ground with the Kansas City Prevention Patrol Experiment. This breakthrough investigation found that “traditional routine patrol in marked police cars does not appear to affect the level of crime.” (Kansas City Prevention Patrol Experiment, 2012) President Clinton more recently drew attention to his Violent Crimes Control Act of 1994. (The Clinton Presidancy: Building One America) There he authorized the hiring of 100,000 sworn police officers in the later part of the 1990’s nationwide. During the time between the Kansas City Experiment and Clinton’s hiring spree, many crime researchers have argued all sides of the nationwide hiring controversy.
Simply hiring more police officers is not the answer to reducing crime in a substantial way. Take, for example, the 100,000 officers that were hired per Clinton. If such officers were instantaneously put to work, the number is not large at all in comparison to the United States population. The addition of 100,000 police officers appears to be a dramatic increase in safety patrol on the surface. Most police departments nationwide have three shifts along with vacation, sick leave, emergencies, trainings and other factors. These influences dramatically reduce the size of a police force. Not only does one have to take into account the above mentioned components but also paperwork, transporting, and other police duties. This leaves a positive likelihood that fewer than 10,000 of the newly hired officers are on the streets policing the community, proving that police are spread thin. (Keel, 2005)
It has been proven...