Advocate: Hot Spots Policing as a Model for Police Innovation

David Weisburd, Anthony A. Braga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Looking at the major police innovations of the last few decades, what is most striking from a criminologist’s perspective is the extent to which new programs and practices have been developed without reference to either criminological theory or research evidence. Some institutional theorists might argue that this is understandable given the limited ability of police agencies to reliably demonstrate their successes, and the political environments within which police agencies must operate (Meyer & Rowan, 1977; Mastrofski & Ritti, 2000; Willis, Mastrofski & Weisburd, 2004). However, this reality is very much at odds with a model of policing that would seek to draw new policies and practices from a solid research base (Sherman, 1998; Weisburd & Neyroud, 2011), and suggests an approach to policing that is based more on intuition and luck than on research and experimentation. Studies of the adoption of police innovation reinforce this problematic portrait of American police innovation. Widely touted programs such as community policing or CompStat have been widely diffused across the landscape of American policing absent any reliable evidence that they accomplish the goals that they set out to achieve (Weisburd et al., 2003; Weisburd & Eck, 2004).

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationPolice Innovation
Subtitle of host publicationContrasting Perspectives, Second Edition
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781108278423
ISBN (Print)9781108417815
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2019.


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