Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

University of Maryland Institute for Governmental Service and Research -- Implementing and Institutionalizing CompStat in Maryland

BJA Program(s): Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program
State(s): MD

Grantee Agency: See below

Grant Amount/Year(s): FY 2007/$185,696

About the Program:

In Maryland, JAG funds are supporting a program called CompStat. CompStat is a management process for short and long term problem solving within police agencies. CompStat includes the key concepts of organizational structure and accountability, crime analysis and mapping, and problem solving. The University of Maryland is currently working to institutionalize CompStat in as many Maryland police agencies as possible by providing quality, cutting edge services and direct access to experts and resources based on best practices of crime reduction strategies. CompStat works to help police be more effective and efficient in preventing and reducing crime. Over the period of December 2008 through November 2009, a multi-phased plan was used to assist Maryland law enforcement agencies at various sizes, levels, and capabilities in implementing and institutionalizing the CompStat process into their organizational structures.

The second year of the project will serve the needs of all Maryland agencies by offering the same introductory services, including literature review, recommendations report, training, and technical assistance. It will also offer in depth on-site assistance designed to help police agencies identify specific problems and create a pathway for meeting goals and objectives. This level of assistance will be geared for agencies that have completed the introductory services and are interested and ready to implement or improve their CompStat process.

Program Successes/Effect on the Community:

Over 190 articles, books, and monographs are included in an annotated bibliography; 40 CompStat-related links are provided and described on the CompStat web site; and 21 products and templates are posted on the web site, which are downloadable in a user friendly format.

A CompStat assessment tool was developed to assist with the evaluation of agencies' organizational structure and culture, use of crime analysis and problem solving, and overall organizational capacity to successfully implement CompStat within the agency. Nineteen assessments have been completed by police agencies, and 16 recommendation reports from expert staff providing tailored recommendations on implementing CompStat were given to the agencies.

Five different 1-day training classes were developed and delivered during the first year of the project. Thirteen training sessions were delivered beginning in June 2009 and ending November 2009 with 277 participants attending from 29 separate Maryland agencies. Two chief/sheriff seminars were conducted with 52 attendees from 18 agencies. In total, across the 13 training sessions and 2 seminars, there were 329 participants from 37 different law enforcement agencies. The belief that crime can be reduced through good management is as essential to 21 century policing as is new information technology (http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/npr/library/papers/bkgrd/crimemap/mapintro.html). In 1994, former Police Commissioner William Bratton introduced a data-driven management model in the New York City Police Department called CompStat, which has been credited with decreasing crime and increasing quality of life in New York City over the last 14 years (http://www.compstat.umd.edu/faq.php). The effective and thoughtful use of resources and data-driven approaches can impact crime.

Gathering information and deciding what to do with it has always been at the heart of the operations of police agencies. Law enforcement officials are inundated by large quantities of information, yet decisions are often based on information that may be incomplete, inaccurate, or misdirected (http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/210681.pdf). By setting specific goals and objectives, using sound information that is backed by data, and engaging community stakeholders a police agency will be better prepared to fight and prevent crime. It will also strengthen transparency and improve police-citizen communications and interactions.

The CompStat model provides an opportunity for law enforcements agencies in Maryland to make systematic changes that will result in informed police decision-making, better utilized resources, and greater community trust.

Learn More:
To learn more about the program, please contact:
Laura Wyckoff
Senior Faculty Researcher
University of Maryland
Phone: 301-405-2970

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