This paper provides a summary of our report for the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on proactive policing. We find that there is sufficient scientific evidence to support the adoption of many proactive policing practices if the primary goal is to reduce crime, though the evidence base generally does not provide long-term or jurisdictional estimates. In turn, we conclude that crime prevention outcomes can often be obtained without producing negative community reactions. However, the most effective proactive policing strategies do not appear to have strong positive impacts on citizen perceptions of the police. At the same time, some community-based strategies have begun to show evidence of improving the relations between the police and public. We conclude that there are likely to be large racial disparities in the volume and nature of police–citizen encounters when police target high-risk people or high-risk places, as is common in many proactive policing programs. We could not conclude whether such disparities are due to statistical prediction, racial animus, implicit bias, or other causes.
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- Community impacts
- Crime prevention