Armed with Data, Law Enforcement Agencies Should Implement Compstat to Reduce Crime




Spencer, Scott

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Over the last twenty-five years, there have been powerful movements in the evolution of policing in the United States. Some of these policing evolutions have aided agencies with their mission of reducing crime and the fear of crime. Whether it was Compstat, community oriented policing, problem oriented policing or intelligence led policing, powerful policing shifts have evolved law enforcement. Despite their importance, there is little known about how to properly implement these programs in a police organization. This paper will focus on what Compstat is, will explain what it is not, as well as discuss the key elements needed to be implemented for success. This paper will highlight how Compstat is an innovative and rational crime control program, but also discuss past failures by agencies who implemented Compstat too quickly without fully understanding its meaning and foundation. In order for law enforcement agencies to evolve their crime fighting approach, they need to take advantage of tools or strategies available in the fight against crime. The emergence of Compstat was one of the most innovative strategies that aids law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime while also holding personnel accountable for any crime changes in their community. It is every law enforcement agency’s duty to implement any program, strategy or service that’s primary purpose is crime reduction. Compstat is an important administrative innovation in policing that holds mid-level managers accountable for controlling crime rates. Armed with data, law enforcement agencies should implement Compstat to reduce crime and hold staff accountable.


Crime Analysis, CompStat, Criminal Statistics