A study by NYU Wagner Professor Dennis C. Smith and SUNY Albany Professor Robert Purtell finds that the New York Police Department’s “hot spot” policing initiative, Operation Impact, has played a critical role in the city’s continuing reduction in crime.

This empirical assessment of NYPD’s targeted-zone crime reduction strategy comes as recent national crime statistics show an upward turn in crime in many of America’s big cities. New York City police officials invited the independent study to more clearly determine why the city is bucking the national pattern.

The study was released at a press conference today at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

According to Professors Smith and Purtell, Operation Impact — the city’s primary program aimed at reducing violent crime, and one that relies heavily on new police recruits – represents an important reason behind continuing improvements in public safety in New York City.

The authors liken the success of the crime fighting measure to that of another NYPD outcome-performance management practice, CompStat, adding, however, that Operation Impact is even more pinpointed and intensive. Operation Impact is like “CompStat, on steroids,” the report states.

As with CompStat, the Police Department provides close monitoring, supervision, and crime-data analysis to identify particular times, places and types of crime – or the “hot spots” within precincts around the city. Operation Impact also benefits from the close, personal attention of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and other top police officials. The authors refer to the target areas as “Kelly Impact Zones.”

For a copy of the report, or to interview the authors, please contact Robert Polner, NYU Press Office, at 212.998.2337 or robert.polner@nyu.edu

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Robert Polner
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