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date: 20 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay provides a historical analysis of the key policing experiments that have shaped current police practice. The essay describes the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment, Minneapolis Hot Spots experiment, cluster of Drug Market Analysis Program (DMAP) experiments, and the recent crop of experiments that test the effectiveness of foot patrols, police legitimacy, compressed work schedules, and crime and disorder hot spots policing. The authors acknowledge that police experiments are challenging and few in number. Yet they answer important questions about the effectiveness and efficiencies of different types of policing interventions and propel the advancement of evidence-based practice in policing. The complexities of conducting randomized field trials with police are discussed. The essay concludes that the future offers clear opportunities for more field trials: police agencies are now more open to the idea of field experimentation as they seek solid answers about the police practices that work best to control crime and disorder problems.

Keywords: experiments, effectiveness, evidence-based policy, Kansas City, Minneapolis, hot spots policing, foot patrols

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