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Reinventing American Policing
Crime and Justice  (IF4.474),  Pub Date : 2017-01-01, DOI: 10.1086/688462
Cynthia Lum, Daniel S. Nagin

Two principles should form the bedrock for effective policing in a democratic society. The first is that crimes averted, not arrests made, should be the primary metric for judging police effectiveness. The second is that citizens’ views about the police and their tactics for preventing crime and disorder matter independently of police effectiveness. Each principle is important in its own right and supported by research evidence. Neither has standing to trump the other and must be balanced on a case-by-case basis. In turn, these two principles should guide twenty-first-century efforts to reinvent American policing. Seven steps are essential to reinvention of democratic policing: Prioritize crime prevention over arrest. Create and install systems that monitor citizen reactions to the police and routinely report results back to the public and police supervisors and officers. Reform training and redefine the “craft of policing.” Recalibrate organizational incentives. Strengthen accountability with greater transparency. Incorporate the analysis of crime and citizen reaction into managerial practice. Strengthen national-level research and evaluation.