Palm Beach County, Florida Smart Policing Initiative: Increasing Police Legitimacy and Reducing Victimization in Immigrant Communities

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Abstract:

This study examined a Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) addressing robberies in a Guatemalan community in a Florida community. The centerpiece of the SPI involved the hiring of a community liaison and the re-assignment of a dedicated robbery detective to the target area. The community liaison served as a community advocate and as an intermediary between law enforcement and the immigrant community. Surveys of residents in the target area indicate that immigrants’ attitudes toward the police improved notably during the SPI, including higher levels of satisfaction, and greater levels of comfort speaking to police and reporting crimes (i.e., greater trust). Crime data indicate a short-term spike in robberies during the initial phase of the project, possibly resulting from increased reporting due to successful engagement of the residents, followed by a longer-term decline in robberies. At the same time, arrests for robberies have increased.

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Citation:

White, M., Ainbinder, D., Silva, R. (2012). ‘Palm Beach County, Florida Smart Policing Initiative: Increasing Police Legitimacy and Reducing Victimization in Immigrant Communities’. U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance.

About This Study:

Intervention(s): Law Enforcement
Intervention Duration: Ongoing
Relevant ORR Program: Preferred Communities, Public/Private Partnership Program, Refugee Career Pathways, Refugee School Impact Program, Refugee Support Services
Study Type: Suggestive evidence
Full Text Availability: Free
Direction of Evidence: Positive impact
Strength of Evidence: Suggestive
Population(s): Immigrants
Gender(s) of Participants: All
Age(s) of Participants: Multiple Age Groups
Region(s) of Origin of Participants: Cental America

Relevant Evidence Summaries:

The evidence was reviewed and included in the following summaries: