Impact Evaluation of the LAPD Community Safety Partnership

Abstract

In 2011, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), in conjunction with other governmental and nonprofit groups, launched the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) in several communities long impacted by multi-generational gangs, violent crime and a heavy-handed approach to crime suppression. Following a relationship-based policing model, officers were assigned to work collaboratively with community members to reduce crime and build trust. However, evaluating the causal impact of this policy intervention is difficult given the unique nature of the units and time period where CSP was implemented. In this paper, we use a novel data set based on the LAPD’s reported crime incidents and calls-for-service to evaluate the effectiveness of this program via augmented synthetic control models, a cutting-edge method for policy evaluation. We perform falsification analyses to evaluate the robustness of the results. In the public housing developments where it was first deployed, CSP reduced reported violent crime incidents, shots fired and violent crime calls, and Part I reported crime incidents. We do not find evidence of crime displacement from CSP regions to neighboring control regions. These results are promising for policy-makers interested in policing reform.

Erin Hartman
Erin Hartman
Assistant Professor of
Political Science and Statistics