Year of Publication

2006

College

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

The purpose of this research project is to evaluate the Dunbar Neighborhood Association’s ability of reducing crime for its residents. In November of 2002, a resident of Dunbar Neighborhood in Lexington, Kentucky established the Dunbar Neighborhood Association (DNA) to counter the perceived growing amount of criminal activity in her community. The DNA held monthly meetings and relayed information about perceived and known criminal activity to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Police Department. The police in turn promised to provide a beat officer who could be contacted by the DNA Chairwoman when she became aware of potential future crimes. The following study uses an interrupted time series (ITS) to measure the number of calls for service made from the Dunbar Neighborhood to the police department, from January 1999-November 2002 and May 2003-January 2006 as a way of measuring perceived crime. Phone calls fell into two categories, proactive or reactive calls for service, and then into five subcategories (calls for violent, nonviolent, narcotic, suspicious, and follow-up activity). Total calls for reactive and proactive service as well as arrests made from phone calls were also studied. Results show that since the establishment of the DNA, reactive calls for service have reduced, proactive calls for service have increased, and the number of arrests made per call made has increased. Regression models show an 80% correlation between the number of calls made and the number of arrests made in Dunbar. Regression models also show little evidence to suggest that negative displacement effects have occurred. Evidence is consistent in finding a clear causal relationship between creation of the DNA and change in crime; however, because few social variables were controlled for, this study cannot conclusively state a clear causal relationship exists.

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