The Effect of Various Police Enforcement Actions on Violent Crime: Evidence from a saturation foot-patrol intervention

The current study tests the crime prevention effect of different police actions conducted during a foot-patrol saturation initiative in Newark, New Jersey. Police actions were categorized into two typologies: enforcement actions (i.e., arrests, quality of life summonses and field interrogations) and guardian actions (i.e., business checks, citizen contacts, bus checks, and taxi inspections). Logistic regression models tested the effect of enforcement and guardian actions on crime during daily (i.e., 24-hr) periods as well as the intervention’s operational (6:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m.) and nonoperational (2:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) periods. Analyses were conducted twice, once for the Operation Impact target area and once for a surrounding catchment zone (to measure spatial displacement). Findings suggest that guardian actions had a greater crime prevention effect than enforcement actions on crime occurrence. Policy implications of the findings are discussed.