oversight

Community Policing: Issues Related to the Design, Operation, and Management of the Grant Program

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-09-03.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                 United States General Accounting Office

GAO              Report to the Chairman, Committee on
                 the Budget, and the Chairman,
                 Subcommittee on Crime, Committee on
                 the Judiciary, House of Representatives

September 1997
                 COMMUNITY
                 POLICING
                 Issues Related to the
                 Design, Operation, and
                 Management of the
                 Grant Program




GAO/GGD-97-167
      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      General Government Division

      B-272329

      September 3, 1997

      The Honorable John R. Kasich
      Chairman, Committee on the Budget
      House of Representatives

      The Honorable Bill McCollum
      Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime
      Committee on the Judiciary
      House of Representatives

      The enactment of the Public Safety Partnership and Community Policing
      Act of 1994,1 Title I of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement
      Act, established what officials described as the largest grant program ever
      administered by the Department of Justice (Justice). The Community
      Policing Act authorizes $8.8 billion to be used from fiscal years 1995 to
      2000 to enhance public safety. It has goals of adding 100,000 officer
      positions, funded by grants, to the streets of communities nationwide and
      of promoting community policing.

      Under the Community Policing Act, the Attorney General had discretion to
      decide which Justice component would administer community policing
      grants. Justice officials believed that a new, efficient customer-oriented
      organization was needed to process the record number of grants. The
      result was the creation of the new Office of Community Oriented Policing
      Services (COPS). At the end of fiscal year 1997, the community policing
      grant program will be at the midpoint of its 6-year authorization period.

      In view of the large size and scope of the COPS grant program, you asked us
      in a November 15, 1996, letter to review several issues related to the
      program’s design, operation, and management. You asked us to review the
      implementation of the Community Policing Act with special attention to
      statutory requirements for implementing the COPS grants. You also asked
      us to (1) assess how the COPS Office monitored the use of grants it
      awarded; (2) describe the distribution of COPS grants nationwide by
      population size of jurisdiction served, by type of grant, and by state;
      (3) describe how law enforcement agencies used grants under the COPS
      Making Officer Redeployment Effective (MORE)2 program; (4) describe the

      1
       Public Law 103-322.
      2
       The COPS MORE grant program is one of the specific grants authorized by the Community Policing
      Act. It is designed to expand the time available for community policing by current law enforcement
      officers, rather than fund the hiring of additional officers. Grantees can use the funds to purchase
      equipment and technology, hire civilian personnel as support staff, and pay law enforcement officers
      overtime.



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                   process the COPS Office used to calculate the number of officers on the
                   street; and (5) describe funding distributions and uses of COPS hiring grants
                   by special law enforcement agencies.3

                   You also requested that we describe how community policing was
                   implemented in several communities that received COPS grants. The results
                   of this work are described in appendix II.

                   We did our review at the COPS Office in Washington, D.C., and we visited
                   six law enforcement jurisdictions that received grants—Los Angeles, Los
                   Angeles County, and Oxnard, CA; Prince George’s County, MD; St.
                   Petersburg, FL; and Window Rock, AZ (Navajo Nation). We interviewed
                   COPS officials, local law enforcement agency officials, and representatives
                   of local government and community groups. We also reviewed
                   documentation and analyzed data files on grants awarded in fiscal years
                   1995 and 1996, and we surveyed a nationally representative sample of
                   agencies that had been awarded MORE grants as of September 30, 1996. Our
                   work was done between July 1996 and July 1997 in accordance with
                   generally accepted government auditing standards. A detailed description
                   of our objectives, scope, and methodology is contained in appendix I.

                   We requested comments on a draft of this report from the Attorney
                   General or her designee on July 24, 1997. Justice provided both written
                   and oral comments that are incorporated where appropriate. The written
                   comments are reproduced in appendix III.


                   Under the Community Policing Act, grants are generally available to any
Results in Brief   law enforcement agency that can demonstrate a public safety need;
                   demonstrate an inability to address the need without a grant; and, in most
                   instances, contribute a 25-percent match of the federal share of the grant.
                   The act requires that 50 percent of the grant funds allocated go to law
                   enforcement agencies serving populations of 150,000 or less, and that
                   50 percent of the grant funds go to law enforcement agencies serving
                   populations exceeding 150,000. The act does not require the COPS Office to
                   target grants to those law enforcement agencies that need the most
                   assistance. In previous reports on grant design,4 we have suggested that

                   3
                    These law enforcement agencies serve specialized populations, such as Native Americans, college
                   students, and mass transit passengers. The COPS Office also considered new police departments to be
                   special agencies.
                   4
                    Federal Grants: Design Improvements Could Help Federal Resources Go Further (GAO/AIMD-97-7,
                   Dec. 18, 1996) and Deficit Reduction: Better Targeting Can Reduce Spending and Improve Programs
                   and Services (GAO/AIMD 96-14, Jan. 16, 1996).



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targeting federal aid on the basis of measurable need and the ability to pay
could help scarce federal resources go further.

To achieve the goal of increasing the number of community policing
officers, the law required that grants be used to supplement, not supplant,
state and local funds. Grantees are also required to have plans for the
assumption of a progressively larger share of the cost, looking toward the
continuation of the increased hiring levels using state or local funds at the
conclusion of the period of federal support.

The COPS Office provided limited monitoring of the grants during the
period we reviewed; however, the office was taking steps to increase its
level of monitoring. Justice also had some efforts under way to review
compliance with the requirement of the Community Policing Act that
grantees not supplant local funding, but rather use the federal funds for
additional law enforcement beyond what would have been available
without a grant. However, as our prior work on grant design has shown, it
is difficult to establish with certainty that supplanting has not occurred
because of the lack of evidence to determine what would have occurred in
the absence of a grant. In April 1997, COPS Office officials said that they
were also discussing ways to encourage grantees to sustain hiring levels
achieved by COPS grants after the grant program expires.

The majority of the 13,396 COPS grants awarded5 in fiscal years 1995 and
1996 for about $2.6 billion went to law enforcement agencies serving small
populations.6 Almost 50 percent of the grants were awarded to agencies
serving populations of fewer than 10,000, and 83 percent of the grants
were awarded to agencies serving populations of fewer than 50,000.
Communities with populations of over 1 million were awarded less than
1 percent of the grants, although they were awarded over 23 percent of the
total grant dollars. About 50 percent of the grant funds were awarded to
law enforcement agencies serving populations of 150,000 or less, and
about 50 percent of the grant funds were awarded to law enforcement
agencies serving populations exceeding 150,000, as the Community
Policing Act required.




5
 COPS Office officials define this point in the award process as grant “acceptance.” The data reflect
numbers of grants for which applicants had been advised they would receive funding and for which
they had received estimated award amounts. Grantees are then to submit completed budget
worksheets in order to receive notification of actual award amounts.
6
 We considered communities with populations of fewer than 50,000 to be small.



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About $286 million, or 11 percent of the total grant dollars awarded in
fiscal years 1995 and 1996, were awarded under the MORE grant program.
According to the results of a survey we did of a representative national
sample of those receiving grants under the COPS MORE grant program in
fiscal years 1995 and 1996, grantees had spent an estimated $90.1 million,
or a little less than one-third of the funds they were awarded. They spent
about 61 percent of these funds to hire civilian personnel, about 31 percent
to purchase technology or equipment, and about 8 percent on overtime
payments for law enforcement officers.

The distributions of MORE program grant expenditures were heavily
influenced by the expenditures of the New York City Police Department,
which spent about one-half of all of the MORE program grant funds
expended nationwide. Excluding a heavy New York City Police
Department expenditure for the hiring of civilian personnel, the highest
expenditures were for purchases of technology and/or equipment, which
represented about 48 percent of the MORE program grant spending by all
other grantees.

To calculate its progress toward achieving the goal of 100,000 new
community policing officers on the street as a result of its grants, the COPS
Office did telephone surveys of grantees. As of June 1997, the COPS Office
estimated that a total of 30,155 law enforcement officer positions funded
by COPS grants were on the street. The COPS Office counted in this estimate
new officers on the street as a result of hiring grants, as well as existing
officers who were redeployed to community policing as a result of time
savings achieved by MORE program grants, and 2,000 positions funded by
another Justice component before the COPS grant program was
established.7

According to the results of our review of COPS Office files, special law
enforcement agencies were awarded 329 community policing hiring grants
in fiscal years 1995 and 1996—less than 3 percent of the total hiring grants
awarded. We reviewed 293 of the 329 special agency grant application files8
 and found that almost 80 percent of these files were from Native
American and college or university law enforcement agencies. Special
agency grantees applied most frequently to use officers hired with the COPS



7
 These officer hiring grants were administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance under the Police
Hiring Supplement Program. According to a COPS Office official, the program was implemented in
1994 as a precursor to the COPS grant program.
8
 The 36 files that we did not review were in use by COPS Office staff at the time we did our work.



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             funds to write strategic plans, work with community groups, and provide
             community policing training to officers and citizens.


             Community policing is a philosophy under which local police departments
Background   develop strategies to address the causes of and reduce the fear of crime
             through problemsolving tactics and community-police partnerships.
             According to the COPS Office program regulations, there is no one
             approach to community policing implementation. However, community
             policing programs do stress three principles that make them different from
             traditional law enforcement programs: (1) prevention, (2) problemsolving,
             and (3) partnerships (see app. II). Community policing emphasizes the
             importance of police-citizen cooperation to control crime, maintain order,
             and improve the quality of life in communities. The police and community
             members are active partners in defining the problems that need to be
             addressed, the tactics to be used in addressing them, and the measurement
             of the success of the efforts.

             The practice of community policing, which emerged in the 1970s, was
             developed at the street level by rank-and-file police officers. Justice
             supported community policing and predecessor programs for more than
             15 years before the current COPS grant program was authorized. Previous
             projects noted by Justice officials as forerunners to the funding of
             community policing included Weed and Seed, which was a community-
             based strategy to “weed out” violent crime, gang activities, and drugs and
             to “seed in” neighborhood revitalization.

             House and Senate conferees, in their joint statement explaining actions
             taken on the Community Policing Act, emphasized their support of grants
             for community policing.9 The conferees noted that the involvement of
             community members in public safety projects significantly assisted in
             preventing and controlling crime and violence.

             As shown in table 1, $5.2 billion was authorized for the COPS grant program
             from its inception in fiscal year 1995 to the end of fiscal year 1997;
             $4.1 billion of which was appropriated over this period.




             9
              H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 103-694, at 402.(1994).



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Table 1: Authorizations and
Appropriations for COPS Grant   Dollars in billions
Program, Fiscal Years 1995-97                                                       COPS Grant Program
                                Fiscal year                               Amount authorized            Amount appropriated
                                1995                                                        $l.3                      $1.3
                                1996                                                        1.9                        1.4
                                1997                                                        2.0                        1.4
                                Total                                                      $5.2                       $4.1
                                Source: Public Safety Partnership and Community Policing Act and COPS Office data.




                                The Community Policing Act does not target grants to law enforcement
COPS Grants Not                 agencies on the basis of which agency has the greatest need for assistance.
Targeted to Specific            Rather, agencies are required to demonstrate a public safety need and an
Law Enforcement                 inability to address this need without a grant. Grantees are also required to
                                contribute 25 percent of the costs of the program, project, or activity
Agencies and                    funded by the grant, unless the Attorney General waives the matching
Supplanting Is                  requirement. According to Justice officials, the basis for waiver of the
                                matching requirements is extraordinary local fiscal hardship.
Prohibited
                                In one of our previous reports,10 we reviewed alternative strategies,
                                including targeting, for increasing the fiscal impact of federal grants. We
                                noted that federal grants have been established to achieve a variety of
                                goals. If the desired goal is to target fiscal relief to areas experiencing
                                greater fiscal stress, grant allocation formulas could be changed to include
                                a combination of factors that allocate a larger share of federal aid to those
                                states with relatively greater program needs and fewer resources.

                                The Community Policing Act also requires that grants be used to
                                supplement, not supplant, state and local funds. To prevent supplanting,
                                grantees must devote resources to law enforcement beyond those
                                resources that would have been available without a COPS grant. In general,
                                grantees are expected to use the hiring grants to increase the number of
                                funded sworn officers above the number on board in October 1994, when
                                the program began. Grantees are required to have plans to assume a
                                progressively larger share of the cost over time, looking toward keeping
                                the increased hiring levels by using state and local funds after the
                                expiration of the federal grant program at the end of fiscal year 2000.



                                10
                                  GAO/AIMD-97-7.



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                    Assessing whether supplanting has taken place in the community policing
                    grant program was outside the scope of our review. However, in our
                    previously mentioned report on grant design, our synthesis of literature on
                    the fiscal impact of grants suggested that each additional federal grant
                    dollar results in about 40 cents of added spending on the aided activity.
                    This means that the fiscal impact of the remaining 60 cents is to free up
                    state or local funds that otherwise would have been spent on that activity
                    for other programs or tax relief.11


                    Monitoring is an important tool for Justice to use in ensuring that law
COPS Office Grant   enforcement jurisdictions funded by COPS grants comply with federal
Monitoring Was      program requirements. The Community Policing Act requires that each
Limited             COPS Office program, project, or activity contain a monitoring component
                    developed pursuant to guidelines established by the Attorney General. In
                    addition, the COPS program regulations specify that each grant is to contain
                    a monitoring component, including periodic financial and programmatic
                    reporting and, in appropriate circumstances, on-site reviews. The
                    regulations state that the guidelines for monitoring are to be issued by the
                    COPS Office.


                    COPS  Office grant-monitoring activities during the first 2-1/2 years of the
                    program were limited. Final COPS Office monitoring guidance had not been
                    issued as of June 1997. Information on activities and accomplishments for
                    COPS-funded programs was not consistently collected or reviewed. Site
                    visits and telephone monitoring by grant advisers did not systematically
                    take place.

                    COPS  Office officials said that monitoring efforts were limited due to a lack
                    of grant adviser staff and an early program focus on processing
                    applications to get officers on the street. According to a COPS Office
                    official, as of July 1997, the COPS Office had about 155 total staff positions,
                    up from about 130 positions that it had when the office was established.
                    Seventy of these positions were for grant administration, including
                    processing grant applications, responding to questions from grantees, and
                    monitoring grantee performance. The remaining positions were for staff
                    who worked in various other areas, including training; technical
                    assistance; administration; and public, intergovernmental, and
                    congressional liaison.


                    11
                      The studies we reviewed generally looked at the fiscal impact of grants in the aggregate or for broad
                    categories of grants. Like the COPS grant, some of the grants studied incorporated nonsupplant
                    requirements. Others did not incorporate such requirements.



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In January 1997, the COPS Office began taking steps to increase the level of
its monitoring. It developed monitoring guidelines, revised reporting
forms, piloted on-site monitoring visits, and initiated telephone monitoring
of grantees’ activities.

As of July 1997, a COPS Office official said that the office had funding
authorization to increase its staff to 186 positions, and it was in the
process of hiring up to this level. In commenting on our draft report, COPS
officials also noted that they were recruiting for more than 30 staff
positions in a new monitoring component to be exclusively devoted to
overseeing grant compliance activities.

COPS Office officials also said that some efforts were under way to review
compliance with requirements of the Community Policing Act that grants
be used to supplement, not supplant, local funding. In previous work,12 we
reported that enforcing such provisions of grant programs was difficult for
federal agencies due to problems in ascertaining state and local spending
intentions. According to the COPS Office Assistant Director of Grant
Administration, the COPS Office’s approach to achieving compliance with
the nonsupplantation provision was to receive accounts of potential
violations from grantees or other sources and then to work with grantees
to bring them into compliance, not to abruptly terminate grants or
otherwise penalize grantees. COPS Office grant advisers attempted to work
with grantees to develop mutually acceptable plans for corrective actions.

Although the COPS Office did not do proactive investigations of potential
supplanting, its three-person legal staff reviewed cases referred to it by
grant advisers, grantees, and other sources. COPS Office officials said that
they also expected that referrals to Justice’s Legal Division will result from
planned monitoring activities. Of the 506 inquiries that required follow-up
by the Legal Division as of December 1996, about 70 percent involved
potential supplanting.

In addition, Justice’s Inspector General began a review in fiscal year 1997
that was to assess, among other things, how COPS grant funds were used,
including whether supplanting occurred. In the course of this review, the
Inspector General planned to complete 50 audits of grantees by the end of
fiscal year 1997. The Office of Justice Programs also conducted financial
monitoring of COPS grants, which officials said is to include review of
financial documents and visits to 160 sites by the end of fiscal year 1997.

12
 Proposed Changes in Federal Matching and Maintenance of Effort Requirements for State and Local
Governments (GAO/GGD-81-7, Dec. 23, 1980).



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                       In April 1997, COPS Office officials said that they were discussing ways to
                       encourage grantees to sustain hiring levels achieved under the grants, in
                       light of the language of the Community Policing Act regarding the
                       continuation of these increased hiring levels after the conclusion of
                       federal support. The COPS Office officials also noted in commenting on our
                       draft report that they had sent fact sheets to all grantees explaining the
                       legal requirements for maintaining hiring levels. However, the COPS Office
                       Director also noted that the statute needed to be further defined and that
                       communities could not be expected to maintain hiring levels indefinitely.
                       A reasonable period for retaining the officers funded by the COPS grants
                       had not been determined.


                       Law enforcement agencies in small communities were awarded most of
Small Communities      the COPS grants. As shown in figure 1, 6,588 grants—49 percent of the total
Were Awarded Most      13,396 grants awarded—were awarded to law enforcement agencies
COPS Office Grants,    serving communities with populations of fewer than 10,000. Eighty-three
                       percent—11,173 grants—of the total grants awarded went to agencies
but Large Cities       serving populations of fewer than 50,000.
Received the Largest
Awards




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                                        B-272329




Figure 1: Number of COPS Grants
Awarded by Jurisdictional Population,
                                        Number of grants awarded
Fiscal Years 1995 and 1996
                                        7,000



                                        6,000



                                        5,000



                                        4,000



                                        3,000



                                        2,000


                                        1,000



                                            0
                                                   1-<10        10-<50        50-<150      150-<500    500-<1,000    Over 1,000

                                                    Population in thousands



                                        Note 1: Thirty-nine of 13,396 grantees for which we lacked population data are excluded.

                                        Note 2: Number of grants awarded are shown in thousands.

                                        Source: GAO analysis of COPS Office data, as of September 30, 1996.




                                        Large cities—with populations of over 1 million—were awarded only
                                        about 1 percent of the grants, but these grants made up over 23
                                        percent—about $612 million—of the total grant dollars awarded. About 50
                                        percent of the grant funds were awarded to law enforcement agencies
                                        serving populations of 150,000 or less, and about 50 percent of the grant
                                        funds were awarded to law enforcement agencies serving populations
                                        exceeding 150,000, as the Community Policing Act required. As shown in
                                        figure 2, agencies serving populations of fewer than 50,000 also received
                                        about 38 percent of the total grant dollars—over $1 billion.




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                                         B-272329




Figure 2: Amount of COPS Grant
Dollars Awarded by Jurisdictional
                                         Grant dollars awarded (in millions)
Population, Fiscal Years 1995 and 1996
                                         700



                                         600



                                         500



                                         400



                                         300


                                         200



                                         100



                                           0
                                                    1-<10       10-<50         50-<150     150-<500     500-<1,000    Over 1,000

                                                     Population in thousands



                                         Note: Thirty-nine of 13,396 grantees for which we lacked population data are excluded.

                                         Source: GAO analysis of COPS Office data, as of September 30, 1996.




                                         In commenting on our draft report, the COPS Office noted that these
                                         distributions were not surprising given that the vast majority of police
                                         departments nationwide are also relatively small. The COPS Office also
                                         noted that the Community Policing Act requires that the level of assistance
                                         given to large and small agencies be equal.

                                         As of the end of fiscal year 1996, after 2 years of operation, the COPS Office
                                         had issued award letters to 8,803 communities for 13,396 grants totaling
                                         about $2.6 billion. Eighty-six percent of these grant dollars were to be used
                                         to hire additional law enforcement officers. MORE program grant funds
                                         were to be used to buy new technology and equipment, hire support
                                         personnel, and/or pay law enforcement officers overtime. Other grant




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                                       funds were to be used to train officers in community policing and to
                                       develop innovative prevention programs, including domestic violence
                                       prevention, youth firearms reduction, and antigang initiatives. The
                                       Community Policing Act specifies that no more than 20 percent of the
                                       funds available for COPS grants in fiscal years 1995 and 1996 and no more
                                       than 10 percent of available funds in fiscal years 1997 through 2000 were
                                       to be used for MORE program grants. Table 2 shows the number and
                                       amount of the COPS grants (awarded in fiscal years 1995 and 1996) by the
                                       type of grant.

Table 2: Number and Amount of COPS
Grants Awarded by Grant Type, Fiscal   Dollars in billions
Years 1995 and 1996                                                                               COPS Grant Program
                                       Grant type                            Number of grants awarded                      Amount awarded
                                       Hiring                                                         11,434                             $2.26
                                       MORE program                                                    1,565                               .29
                                                a
                                       Other                                                             397                               .08
                                       Total                                                          13,396                             $2.63
                                       a
                                           Other grants include domestic violence, youth firearms reduction, and antigang initiatives.

                                       Source: GAO analysis of COPS Office data, as of September 30, 1996.



                                       Figure 3 shows the distribution of community policing grant dollars
                                       awarded by each state and Washington, D.C.




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Figure 3: Total Amount of Community Policing Grants Awarded by State and Washington, D.C., Fiscal Years 1995 and 1996




                                                        Grant amount (in millions)

                                                                  $100 to $363

                                                                   $50 to $100

                                                                   $25 to $50

                                                                   $2 to $25




                                                                                                         (Figure notes on next page)




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                       Note: Grant amounts to four U.S. territories are not shown. Puerto Rico was awarded $47 million,
                       and American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands were each awarded $2.7 million or less.

                       Source: GAO analysis of COPS Office data, as of September 30, 1996.



                       Our survey results showed that in fiscal years 1995 and 1996, grantees
We Estimated That 61   were awarded an estimated $286 million (plus or minus 3 percent)13 in
Percent of MORE        MORE program funds to use for purchases of technology and equipment,

Program Grant Funds    hiring of support personnel, and/or payment of law enforcement officers’
                       overtime. We estimated that, as of the end of fiscal year 1996, 61 percent of
Were Spent to Hire     these funds had been spent to hire civilian personnel.
Civilian Personnel
                       According to our survey, MORE grantees had spent an estimated
                       $90.1 million in fiscal years 1995 and 1996, a little less than one-third of the
                       $286 million in MORE funds they were awarded. Overall, we estimated that
                       about 61 percent of the MORE program grant funds spent during the first 2
                       years of the program was to hire civilian personnel. About 31 percent of
                       the funds went for the purchase of technology and/or equipment, primarily
                       computers, and about 8 percent was spent on overtime for law
                       enforcement officers. Figure 4 shows how these funds were spent.




                       13
                         Because the mail survey results came from a sample of 366 MORE program grant recipients out of a
                       universe of 1,524 recipients, all results were subject to sampling errors, along with other potential
                       sources of errors associated with surveys, such as nonresponse and question misinterpretation. For
                       the $286 million estimate, the 95-percent confidence interval of plus or minus 3 percent indicates that
                       we are 95-percent confident that the interval from $279 million to $293 million includes the actual
                       dollar amount grantees had been awarded. Unless otherwise noted, all dollar estimates in this report
                       for this survey have 95-percent confidence intervals of plus or minus 4 percent or less of the dollar
                       value of the estimate. All percentage estimates have 95-percent confidence intervals of plus or minus
                       6 percentage points or less. Number estimates have 95-percent confidence intervals of plus or minus
                       9 percent of the number.



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Figure 4: Estimated MORE Program
Grant Funds Spent for Technology                                                               Technology and/or equipment
And/or Equipment, Civilian Personnel,                                                          ($26.9 million)
and Overtime, Fiscal Years 1995 and
1996                                                                                           8%
                                                                                               Overtime ($7.7 million)




                                                         •




                                            • 31%

                                                                       61% •                   Civilian personnel ($55.8 million)




                                        Note: Total spending was an estimated $90.1 million.

                                        Source: GAO survey of a nationally representative sample of 366 of 1,524 MORE program grant
                                        recipients.




                                        Time savings achieved through MORE program grant awards were to be
                                        applied to community policing. Allowable technology and equipment
                                        purchases were generally computer hardware or software. Some
                                        technology/equipment items, such as police cars, weapons, radios, radar
                                        guns, uniforms, and office equipment—such as fax machines and
                                        copiers—could not be purchased with the grant funds. Additional support
                                        resources for some positions, such as community service technicians,
                                        dispatchers, and clerks, were allowable. Law enforcement officers’
                                        overtime was to be applied to community policing activities. Overtime was
                                        not funded for the 1996 application year.

                                        Distributions of MORE program grant expenditures were heavily influenced
                                        by the expenditures of one large jurisdiction, the New York City Police




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                                     Department. This police department was awarded about one-third of the
                                     total amount of MORE grant funds awarded and had spent about one-half of
                                     all MORE grant funds expended nationwide. About 86 percent of the money
                                     that the department spent, or $38.7 million, was for the hiring of civilian
                                     personnel. Excluding the New York City Police Department’s
                                     expenditures, the highest percentage of expenditures went for purchases
                                     of technology and/or equipment, which represented about 48 percent of
                                     the MORE program grant spending by all other grantees.

                                     Table 3 shows the percentages of MORE grant funds expended for all survey
                                     respondents, the New York City Police Department, and all other survey
                                     respondents after excluding the New York City Police Department.

Table 3: Percentage of MORE Grant
Funds Expended by Survey             Dollars in millions
Respondents, Fiscal Years 1995 and                             Percentage of MORE program grant expenditures, by survey
1996                                                                                respondents
                                                                                                                   Survey
                                                                                                             respondents,
                                                                                                        excluding the New
                                                                       All survey       New York City     York City Police
                                     Type                            respondents    Police Department          Department
                                     Hire civilian personnel                  61%                 86%                  38%
                                     Purchase technology                      31                  12                   48
                                     and/or equipment
                                     Pay law enforcement                       8                   2                   14
                                     officers overtime
                                     Total                                   100%                100%                 100%

                                     In commenting on our draft report, COPS officials noted that nearly
                                     two-thirds of the MORE program funds awarded nationwide were for
                                     purchases of technology and/or equipment. The officials believed that
                                     significant local procurement delays may explain our finding that most
                                     expenditures through fiscal year 1996 were for civilian personnel hiring.


Survey Respondents                   We asked survey respondents to calculate the number of officer
Reported Redeployments               full-time-equivalent positions that their agency had redeployed to
to Community Policing                community policing as a result of MORE program grant funds spent in fiscal
                                     years 1995 and 1996. The respondents were asked to do these calculations
Resulting From MORE                  using instructions provided to them in the original MORE program grant
Program Grants                       application package. (See p. 18 for a discussion of how these calculations
                                     were to be made.)




                                     Page 16                              GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
                         B-272329




                         We estimated that nearly 4,800 (plus or minus 9 percent) officer
                         full-time-equivalent positions had been redeployed. Of these, about 40
                         percent of the positions were redeployed as a result of technology and/or
                         equipment purchases, about 48 percent of the positions were attributable
                         to hiring civilian personnel, and about 12 percent of the positions were a
                         result of law enforcement officers’ overtime. The total full-time-equivalent
                         positions were associated with an estimated $82 million, or about
                         91 percent of the MORE program grant funds spent, because some survey
                         respondents reported that they were not able to calculate positions
                         redeployed to community policing. The most common reasons the
                         respondents cited for not being able to do so were that equipment that had
                         been purchased had not yet been installed, and/or that it was too early in
                         the implementation process to make calculations of time savings.

                         We estimated based on our mail survey responses that about 2,400
                         full-time civilian personnel were hired with MORE program funds spent in
                         fiscal years 1995 and 1996. The most frequently reported technology or
                         equipment purchases were mobile data computers or laptops, personal
                         computers, other computer hardware, and crime analysis computer
                         software.


                         As of June 1997, a total of 30,155 law enforcement officer positions funded
New Officers and         by COPS grants were estimated by the COPS Office to be on the street. COPS
Redeployments to         Office estimates of the numbers of new community policing officers on the
Community Policing       street were based on three funding sources: (1) officers on board as a
                         result of COPS hiring grants; (2) officers redeployed to community policing
Count Toward the         as a result of time savings achieved through technology and equipment
Goal of 100,000 New      purchases, hiring of civilian personnel, and/or law enforcement officers’
                         overtime funded by the MORE grant program; and (3) officers funded under
Officers on the Street   the Police Hiring Supplement Program, which was in place before the COPS
                         grant program.

                         According to COPS Office officials, the office’s first systematic attempt to
                         estimate the progress toward the goal of 100,000 new community policing
                         officers on the street was a telephone survey of grantees done between
                         September and December, 1996. COPS Office staff contacted 8,360 grantees
                         to inquire about their progress in hiring officers and getting them on the
                         street.

                         According to a COPS Office official, a follow-up survey, which estimated
                         30,155 law enforcement officer positions to be on the street, was done



                         Page 17                         GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
B-272329




between late March and June, 1997. The official said that this survey was
contracted out because the earlier in-house survey had been extremely
time consuming. The official said that, as of May 1997, the office was in the
process of selecting a contractor to do three additional surveys during
fiscal year 1998.

In addition to collecting data through telephone surveys on the numbers of
new community policing officers hired with hiring grants, the COPS Office
reviewed information provided by grantees on officers redeployed to
community policing as a result of time savings achieved by MORE program
grants. To receive MORE program grants, applicants are required to
calculate the time savings that would result from the grants and apply the
time to community policing activities. To assist applicants in doing these
calculations, the COPS Office provided examples in the grant application
package.

The following is an excerpt from one sample calculation:

“Hessville is a rural department with 20 sworn law enforcement officers. Officers in the
Hessville Police Department spend an average of three hours each per shift typing reports
by hand at the station. Based on information collected from similar agencies that have
moved to an automated field-report-writing system, the department determines that if all of
the patrol cars are equipped with laptop computers, the same tasks will take the officers
only two hours each per shift to complete—a [time savings] of one hour per officer, per
shift.


“On any given day, 10 officers in the Hessville Police Department will use the four laptop
computers being requested (some laptops will be reused by officers on different shifts) to
complete paperwork in their patrol cars. Since each officer is expected to save an hour of
time each day as a result of using the computers, 10 hours of sworn officer time will be
saved by the agency each day, which would equal approximately 1.3 FTEs (full time
equivalents) of redeployment over the course of one year, using a standard of 1,824 hours
(228 days) for an FTE.”


The COPS Office also counted toward the 100,000-officers goal 2,000
positions funded under the Police Hiring Supplement Program, which was
administered by another Justice component before the COPS grants
program was established. An official said that a policy decision had been
made early in the establishment of the COPS Office to include these
positions in the count.




Page 18                                GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
                        B-272329




                        Special law enforcement agencies, such as those serving Native American
Special Law             communities, universities and colleges, and mass transit passengers, were
Enforcement             awarded 329 hiring grants in fiscal years 1995 and 1996. This number was
Agencies Were           less than 3 percent of the 11,434 hiring grants awarded during the 2-year
                        period.
Awarded Less Than 3
Percent of All Hiring   We reviewed application files for 293 of these grants and found that almost
                        80 percent were awarded to Native American police departments and
Grants                  university or college law enforcement agencies. Other special agencies
                        included mass transit, public housing, and school police. The COPS Office
                        also considered new police departments as special agencies. The awards
                        to special agencies averaged about $291,000 per grant.

                        The 293 special agency grantees applied most frequently to use officers
                        hired with the COPS funds to (1) write strategic plans for community
                        policing, (2) provide community policing training for citizens and/or law
                        enforcement officers, (3) meet regularly with community groups, and
                        (4) develop neighborhood watch programs and antiviolence programs.


                        We provided a draft of this report for comment to the Attorney General
Agency Comments         and received comments from the Director of the COPS Office. The
                        comments are reprinted in appendix III. The COPS Office also provided
                        some additional information and oral technical comments.

                        The COPS Office generally agreed with the information we presented and
                        provided updates on the progress of the office on some of the issues
                        addressed in the report. These comments are incorporated in the report
                        where appropriate.


                        We are sending copies of this report to the Ranking Minority Members of
                        your Committee and Subcommittee and other interested parties. We will
                        also make copies available to others on request.




                        Page 19                         GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
B-272329




The major contributors to this report are listed in appendix IV. Please feel
free to call me at (202) 512-3610 if you have questions or need additional
information.




Norman J. Rabkin
Director, Administration of
  Justice Issues




Page 20                         GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
Page 21   GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
Contents



Letter                                                                                           1


Appendix I                                                                                      24

Objectives, Scope,
and Methodology
Appendix II                                                                                     26
                        Community Groups and Local Government Representatives                   31
Community Policing        Generally Supported Community Policing in Their
Projects in Locations     Neighborhoods
We Visited
Emphasized
Prevention,
Problemsolving, and
Partnerships
Appendix III                                                                                    33

Comments From the
U.S. Department of
Justice
Appendix IV                                                                                     35

Major Contributors to
This Report
Tables                  Table 1: Authorizations and Appropriations for COPS Grant                6
                          Program, Fiscal Years 1995-97
                        Table 2: Number and Amount of COPS Grants Awarded by Grant              12
                          Type, Fiscal Years 1995 and 1996
                        Table 3: Percentage of MORE Grant Funds Expended by Survey              16
                          Respondents, Fiscal Years 1995 and 1996
                        Table II.1: Locations We Visited                                        26
                        Table II.2: Interviewees Commenting on Community Policing               27
                          Implementation in the Six Locations We Visited




                        Page 22                     GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
          Contents




          Table II.3: Selected Examples of Community Policing Projects in            29
            Locations We Visited

Figures   Figure 1: Number of COPS Grants Awarded by Jurisdictional                  10
            Population, Fiscal Years 1995 and 1996
          Figure 2: Amount of COPS Grant Dollars Awarded by                          11
            Jurisdictional Population, Fiscal Years 1995 and 1996
          Figure 3: Total Amount of Community Policing Grants Awarded                13
            by State and Washington, D.C., Fiscal Years 1995 and 1996
          Figure 4: Estimated MORE Program Grant Funds Spent for                     15
            Technology and/or Equipment, Civilian Personnel, and Overtime,
            Fiscal Years 1995 and 1996




          Abbreviations

          COPS       Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
          MORE       Making Officer Redeployment Effective


          Page 23                        GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
Appendix I

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology


              To determine grant program design features in the Public Safety
              Partnership and Community Policing Act of 1994, we reviewed the act and
              its legislative history and discussed the results of our review with COPS
              Office officials.

              To determine how the COPS Office monitored the use of grants it awarded,
              we reviewed documentation on monitoring procedures and interviewed
              officials about actions taken and planned.

              To determine how COPS grants were distributed nationwide, we obtained
              COPS Office data files on all grants awarded in fiscal years 1995 and 1996,
              and we analyzed the distributions by grant type; by population size
              reported to the COPS Office; by recipient jurisdictions according to COPS
              data; and by state. The data reflect the number of grants for which
              applicants have been advised that they will receive funding and for which
              they have received estimated award amounts. They do not reflect dollar
              amounts of funds obligated by the COPS Office or actually spent by
              agencies that received the grants.

              To determine how law enforcement agencies used grants under the MORE
              program, we surveyed by mail a stratified, random sample of 415 out of a
              total of 1,524 agencies that had been awarded MORE grants as of
              September 30, 1996. Using COPS Office application data, we stratified the
              grant recipients into four population categories, according to the
              population of the jurisdiction served, and six total MORE grant award
              amount groups. The population categories were: fewer than 50,000; 50,000
              to fewer than 100,000; 100,000 to fewer than 500,000; and 500,000 and over.
              The MORE grant award amount categories were: fewer than $10,000;
              $10,000 to fewer than $25,000; $25,000 to fewer than $50,000; $50,000 to
              fewer than $75,000; $75,000 to fewer than $150,000; and $150,000 or more.
              Regardless of population size, we selected all agencies that had accepted
              grants of $150,000 or more. We received usable responses from 366, or
              88 percent, of our contacts with the sample of 415 agencies. All survey
              results were weighted to represent the total population of 1,524 MORE
              program grant recipients.

              Our questionnaire asked agencies to provide the following information as
              of September 30, 1996: (1) the total amount of MORE program grant funds
              accepted; (2) the categories under which grant funds were
              spent—technology and/or equipment, civilian personnel, or law
              enforcement officer overtime; (3) the types of technology and equipment
              purchases made or contracted to make; (4) the types of civilian personnel



              Page 24                         GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
Appendix I
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




hired; and (5) the number of officer positions redeployed to community
policing, according to calculations of time savings achieved through MORE
program grant spending.

We pretested the questionnaire by telephone with officials from
judgmentally selected MORE program grant recipients, and we revised the
questionnaires on the basis of this input. To the extent practical, we
attempted to verify the completeness and accuracy of the survey
responses. We contacted respondents to obtain answers to questions that
were not completed and to resolve apparent inconsistencies between
answers to different questions.

To determine the process the COPS Office used to calculate the number of
officers on the street, we interviewed officials and reviewed
documentation on how calculations were made.

To describe funding distributions and uses of COPS hiring grants in special
law enforcement agencies, we used a data collection instrument to review
the COPS Office’s grant application files of hiring grants accepted by special
law enforcement agencies. We reviewed 293 of the 329 (89 percent) hiring
grants that were awarded to special agencies in fiscal years 1995 and 1996,
according to COPS Office data. The 36 files that we did not review were in
use by COPS Office staff at the time we did our work.




Page 25                              GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
Appendix II

Community Policing Projects in Locations
We Visited Emphasized Prevention,
Problemsolving, and Partnerships
                                      We looked at how community policing was implemented in six locations
                                      that had received COPS grants. The locations we visited were Los Angeles,
                                      Los Angeles County, and Oxnard, CA; Prince George’s County, MD; St.
                                      Petersburg, FL; and Window Rock, AZ (Navajo Nation).

                                      These locations were judgmentally selected to include four city or county
                                      police departments and two special law enforcement agencies. The
                                      departments we visited were in varying stages of implementing community
                                      policing activities. They served communities with populations ranging
                                      from 155,000 to over 1 million. Table II.1 provides additional information
                                      about the locations we visited.


Table II.1: Locations We Visited
                                                                                                                Officers dedicated to
                                                  Law enforcement                                                community policing
Location                           Population     agency                                 Sworn officers                at time of visit
Los Angeles, CA                     3,600,000     Los Angeles Police                                8,915                          1,093
                                                  Department
Los Angeles County, CA              1,500,000     Los Angeles County                                   329                              12
                                                  Metropolitan Transit
                                                  Authority Police
                                                  Department
Oxnard, CA                            155,000     Oxnard Police                                        179                              18
                                                  Department
Prince George’s County,               758,000     Prince George’s                                   1,283                               120
MD                                                County Police
                                                  Department
St. Petersburg, FL                    240,000     St. Petersburg Police                                480                              52
                                                  Department
Window Rock, AZ                       186,000     Navajo Department of                                 253                               0
(Navajo Nation)                                   Law Enforcement
                                      Note: Numbers of community policing officers are those serving in positions dedicated for
                                      community policing. Officials noted that officers in nondedicated positions also used community
                                      policing practices.

                                      Source: Law enforcement agency officials in the locations we visited.



                                      In each law enforcement jurisdiction, we did structured interviews with
                                      the police chief or community policing coordinator, a panel of community
                                      policing officers, and representatives of local government agencies and
                                      community groups involved in community policing projects. We discussed
                                      community policing projects and asked interviewees to characterize the
                                      level of support by their organization for community policing and to




                                      Page 26                                    GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
                                      Appendix II
                                      Community Policing Projects in Locations
                                      We Visited Emphasized Prevention,
                                      Problemsolving, and Partnerships




                                      discuss what they viewed as major successes and limitations of
                                      community policing for their communities. Table II.2 lists the interviewees
                                      by job title.

Table II.2: Interviewees Commenting
on Community Policing                 Location                       Interviewees
Implementation in the Six Locations   Los Angeles, CA                •Commander, Los Angeles Police Department
We Visited                                                           •Panel of community policing officers, Los Angeles Police
                                                                     Department
                                                                     •District Director, City Council, 3rd District
                                                                     •Program Coordinator, Criminal Justice Planning Office
                                                                     •Chief Inspector, Los Angeles, Department of Building &
                                                                     Safety
                                                                     •Executive Director, Barrio Action Group
                                                                     •Executive Director, Challenger Boys & Girls Club
                                                                     •Executive Director, Los Angeles Free Clinic
                                                                     •Co-Chair, Rampart Community Police Advisory Board
                                                                     •Co-Chair, 77th Street Community Police Advisory Board
                                                                     •Co-Chair, West Valley Community Police Advisory Board
                                                                     •Researcher, California State University, Fullerton,
                                                                     Department of Criminal Justice
                                                                     •Researchers, University of Southern California, Social
                                                                     Science Research Institute
                                      Los Angeles County, CA         •Chief, Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Police
                                                                     Department
                                                                     •Panel of community policing officers, MTA Police
                                                                     Department
                                                                     •Senior Code Law Enforcement Officer, City of Lawndale
                                                                     •Probation Officer, County of Los Angeles
                                                                     •Project Director, Esteele Van Meter Multi-Purpose Center
                                                                     •Assistant Principal, Manchester Elementary School (MTA
                                                                     officers work with students on campus)
                                      Oxnard, CA                     •Police Chief, Oxnard Police Department
                                                                     •Panel of community policing officers, Oxnard Police
                                                                     Department
                                                                     •Assistant City Manager, City of Oxnard
                                                                     •Chair, Inter-Neighborhood Community Committee
                                                                     (liaison between neighborhood councils and city
                                                                     departments)
                                                                     •Marketing Director, AT&T
                                                                     •President, Channel Islands National Bank
                                                                     •President, Colonial Coalition Against Alcohol and Drugs
                                                                     •Executive Director, El Concilio (Latino multiservice
                                                                     nonprofit)
                                                                     •Coordinator, Interface Children and Family Services
                                                                     •Director, Instructional Support Services at the Oxnard
                                                                     High School District
                                                                     •Member, Sea Air Neighborhood Watch
                                                                                                                   (continued)




                                      Page 27                              GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
Appendix II
Community Policing Projects in Locations
We Visited Emphasized Prevention,
Problemsolving, and Partnerships




Location                       Interviewees
Prince George’s County, MD     •Community Policing Director, Prince George’s County
                               Police Department
                               •Panel of community policing officers, Prince George’s
                               County Police Department
                               •Public Safety Director, Prince George’s County
                               •Prince George’s County Multi-Agency Services Team
                               (county agencies and the police address crime concerns
                               in communities)
                               •Chair, Public Safety Issues, Interfaith Action Committee
                               (consortium of churches involved in social service issues)
                               •Vice President, Government Affairs, Apartment and
                               Building Owners Association
                               •Resident Manager, Whitfield Towne Apartments
St. Petersburg, FL             •Chief and Director of Special Projects, St. Petersburg
                               Police Department
                               •Panel of community policing officers, St. Petersburg
                               Police Department
                               •Neighborhood Partnership Director, Office of the Mayor
                               •Executive Director and staff, St. Petersburg Housing
                               Authority
                               •Administrator and staff, St. Petersburg Department of
                               Leisure Services
                               •Chief, St. Petersburg Fire Department
                               •Executive Director and staff, Center Against Spouse
                               Abuse
                               •Coordinators, Black on Black Crime Prevention Program
                               and Intervention Program, Pinellas County Urban League
                               •Director, Criminal Justice Administration, Operations
                               Parental Awareness and Responsibility (PAR), Inc.
Window Rock, AZ (Navajo        •Chief and Captain, Navajo Department of Law
Nation)                        Enforcement
                               •Panel of community policing officers, Navajo
                               Department of Law Enforcement
                               •Executive Director, Division of Public Safety, Navajo
                               Nation
                               •Program Coordinator; Navajo Housing Authority;
                               Window Rock, AZ
                               •Security Chief; Window Rock Unified School District; Fort
                               Defiance, AZ
                               •Program Coordinator; Sanders School District; Sanders,
                               AZ
                               •Coordinators; Positive Alternatives for Youth/ACES (a
                               nonprofit organization which sponsors activities for
                               Navajo youth); Window Rock, AZ
                               •Community Planning Committee; Navajo, AZ

Six law enforcement agencies we visited—three city police departments,
one county police department, a Native American police department, and
a mass transit police department—had a variety of community policing
projects under way. The projects illustrated three key principles of
community policing identified by the COPS Office: prevention,



Page 28                              GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
                                   Appendix II
                                   Community Policing Projects in Locations
                                   We Visited Emphasized Prevention,
                                   Problemsolving, and Partnerships




                                   problemsolving, and partnerships. Representatives of community groups
                                   and other local government agencies working with the police on
                                   community policing activities were generally supportive of the community
                                   policing concept.

                                   Table II.3 provides examples of community policing projects in these
                                   locations. The projects ranged from starting 18 community advisory
                                   boards in neighborhoods throughout a major city to curbing drug activity
                                   by working with the resident manager and residents of an apartment
                                   complex.

Table II.3: Selected Examples of
Community Policing Projects in     Law enforcement agency          Project description
Locations We Visited               Los Angeles, CA, Police         The police department established 18 Community Police
                                   Department                      Advisory Boards. Each board consisted of 25 volunteers
                                                                   whose roles were to advise and inform area commanding
                                                                   officers of community concerns (e.g., enforcement of
                                                                   curfew laws and education on domestic violence). Each
                                                                   board used community and police support to address the
                                                                   problems that had been identified. Interviewees said the
                                                                   boards had been effective in helping the police to build
                                                                   trust, involve citizens, solve problems, and reduce
                                                                   citizens’ fear of crime.
                                   Los Angeles County, CA,        The transit authority was part of a task force that
                                   Metropolitan Transit Authority addressed problems associated with loitering and
                                   Police Department              drinking by day laborers on railroad property. Using
                                                                  community policing techniques such as problem
                                                                  identification and specific actions, such as clearing
                                                                  shrubs, painting over graffiti, and securing railroad ties
                                                                  that were being used to build tents for shelter, the task
                                                                  force resolved the problems.
                                   Oxnard, CA, Police              “Street Beat” was an award-winning cable television
                                   Department                      series sponsored by local businesses and the cable
                                                                   company. Interviewees said the weekly series had been
                                                                   one of the department’s most effective community
                                                                   policing tools. Over 500 programs had been aired since
                                                                   1985. Street beat offered crime prevention tips and
                                                                   encouraged citizens to participate in all of the
                                                                   department’s community policing activities. Over 300
                                                                   departments contacted the Oxnard Police Department for
                                                                   information on replicating the television series in their
                                                                   cities.
                                                                                                                   (continued)




                                   Page 29                                GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
Appendix II
Community Policing Projects in Locations
We Visited Emphasized Prevention,
Problemsolving, and Partnerships




Law enforcement agency         Project description
Prince George’s County, MD, Citizens, the resident manager, and a community policing
Police Department           officer worked to remove drug dealers from an apartment
                            complex. The community policing officer used several
                            successful tactics, including citing suspected drug
                            dealers, most of whom were not residents, for trespassing
                            and taking photographs of them. Citizens formed a
                            coalition that met with the community policing officer in
                            her on-site office, thereby increasing the willingness of
                            residents to come forward with information on illegal
                            activities. Some disorderly tenants were evicted. The
                            resident manager estimated that drug dealing at the
                            complex was reduced by 90 percent.
St. Petersburg, FL, Police     Community policing helped to improve relations between
Department                     police officers and the residents of a shelter run by the
                               Center Against Spouse Abuse. Interviewees said that the
                               shelter had a policy, until about 1992, that police could
                               not enter the property. Residents were distrustful of the
                               police. Some had negative experiences when officers
                               went to their homes to investigate complaints of abuse.
                               For example, residents reported that officers failed to
                               make arrests when injunctions were violated. Since the
                               inception of community policing, interviewees said that
                               officers were more sensitive to victims when they
                               investigated spouse abuse cases. Officers visited the
                               shelter to discuss victims’ rights, and residents were
                               favorably impressed by their openness. The community
                               policing officer in the neighborhood was praised by the
                               shelter director for his responsiveness. On two occasions,
                               he responded quickly to service calls, arresting a
                               trespasser and assisting a suicidal resident.
Window Rock, AZ Navajo         A police official noted that the department was in the early
Department of Law              development phase of community policing, attempting to
Enforcement                    demonstrate a few successful projects that could be used
                               in locations throughout the over 26,000-square-mile
                               reservation. One interviewee said that gang activity was
                               partially a result of teens having nothing to do on the
                               reservation. A community policing project had officers
                               working with youth groups to develop positive activities
                               and encourage participation by organizing a blood drive,
                               sponsoring youth athletic teams, and recruiting young
                               people to help elderly citizens. Another community
                               policing project was the development of a computer
                               database on gang activities and membership.




Page 30                               GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
                          Appendix II
                          Community Policing Projects in Locations
                          We Visited Emphasized Prevention,
                          Problemsolving, and Partnerships




                          We asked interviewees representing community groups and local
Community Groups          government agencies participating in community policing activities to
and Local                 characterize the level of support their organization had for community
Government                policing in their neighborhoods. Thirty-two of the 39 interviewees said that
                          they were supportive of their local community policing programs. Seven
Representatives           other interviewees offered no specific response to this question, except to
Generally Supported       say that they felt it was too early in their implementation of community
                          policing to make assessments.
Community Policing
in Their                  We also asked interviewees representing law enforcement agencies,
Neighborhoods             community groups, and local government agencies what they felt were the
                          major successes and limitations of community policing. Responses on
                          community policing successes emphasized improved relationships
                          between the police and residents and improvements in the quality of life
                          for residents of some neighborhoods. Responses on limitations
                          emphasized that there was not enough funding and that performance by
                          some individual community policing officers was disappointing.

                          Summaries of several responses on the major successes of community
                          policing were the following:

                      •   “I have seen a big turnaround in some apartment complexes. The entire
                          atmosphere of these places has changed. People are outside. Children are
                          playing. This is due to efforts of community policing officers to get drug
                          buyers and sellers off of the properties.” (A community group
                          representative.)
                      •   “There have been big-time changes here as a result of community policing.
                          The police have developed a much higher level of trust from public
                          housing residents than existed before. Residents will work with the police
                          now and provide them with information. In this public housing complex,
                          the sense of safety and security has increased. Before the community
                          policing officers were on patrol, residents did not want to walk past the
                          basketball courts into the community center. That is not a problem any
                          longer. The police worked with the Department of Parks and Recreation to
                          improve lighting and redesign a center entrance. We are now offering a
                          well-attended course on computers at the center. People are enjoying the
                          parks. They are even on the tennis courts. Our community policing officer
                          has been successful in working with problem families and the housing
                          authority staff. We provide referrals, counseling, and other resources. We
                          have either helped families address their problems or had them evicted
                          from our units. There are many individual success stories of young people




                          Page 31                              GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
    Appendix II
    Community Policing Projects in Locations
    We Visited Emphasized Prevention,
    Problemsolving, and Partnerships




    developing better self-esteem and hygiene as a result of interacting with
    the community policing officer.” (A housing authority director.)
•   “Community policing has changed how we practice law enforcement in a
    substantial way. We applied community policing strategies to a distressed
    neighborhood plagued by crime. The area had prostitution and drug
    dealing, and service calls to the police were high. We worked with
    residents and landlords to improve the situation. Closer relationships
    developed, and we began working on crime prevention with community
    groups, schools, and parents. Property managers provided better lighting
    for their property, cut their weeds, and screened tenants more carefully.”
    (A community policing officer.)

    Summaries of several responses on major limitations to community
    policing were:

•   “Community policing is working here, but we still have a long way to go.
    The challenge for the department is to convince the force that community
    policing is not a fad and is not a select group of officers doing touchy/feely
    work, but that it is a philosophy for the whole department. I think we need
    to reengineer the entire police department structure to fully integrate
    community policing into the community. I don’t believe we have
    decentralized the department enough. For example, I think detectives
    should be out in the community with community policing officers, instead
    of at police headquarters. They should know the people in the areas to
    which they are assigned.” (A director of public safety.)
•   “We don’t have “Officer Friendly” yet, even though overall attitudes have
    improved. The concept is good. The limitations are in the individuals doing
    the work. Some are good. Some are not.” (A community group member.)
•   “Some residents have an unrealistic expectation of what community
    policing can do and what it cannot do. The majority of calls for service
    involve social problems. Some residents expect the police to solve all their
    social problems, such as unemployment and mediating family and
    neighbor disputes.” (A local government official.)




    Page 32                              GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
Appendix III

Comments From the U.S. Department of
Justice




               Page 33   GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
Appendix III
Comments From the U.S. Department of
Justice




Page 34                            GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
Appendix IV

Major Contributors to This Report


                        Weldon McPhail, Assistant Director
General Government      Deborah Knorr, Evaluator-in-Charge
Division, Washington,   David Alexander, Senior Social Science Analyst
D.C.                    Catherine M. Hurley, Computer Analyst
                        Charlotte Moore, Communications Analyst
                        Pamela V. Williams, Senior Communications Analyst
                        Dirk Schumacher, Evaluator


                        Elizabeth H. Curda, Senior Evaluator
Accounting and
Information
Management Division,
Washington, D.C.
                        Ann H. Finley, Senior Attorney
Office of the General
Counsel, Washington,
D.C.
                        Janet Fong, Senior Evaluator
Los Angeles Field       Lisa Shibata, Evaluator
Office




(182027)                Page 35                          GAO/GGD-97-167 Community Policing Grant Program
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