CompStat Management in the NYPD
“Stop and Frisk” currently stands as the most controversial topic plaguing the NYPD and the Criminal Justice system. To most of average citizens, stop and frisk is merely a preventative measure taken by law enforcement to keep guns off the streets and out of their neighborhoods but in reality it is part of something much larger, the entire ideology and method of the NYPD. But what separates the necessity of certain policies from the fundamental structures that actually produce effective results? “It should be emphatically stated at the beginning that Compstat meetings and sompstat technology management tools – nothing more, nothing less, that are employed to great effect within a radically new and potentially revolutionary management paradigm.” (The COMPSTAT Paradigm P.13) In Vincent E. Henry’s The COMPSTAT Paradigm: Management Accountability in Policing, Business, and the Public Sector he goes over all aspects of Compstat and how it has been adopted and implemented in the most successful criminal justice management revolution in recent history. It emphasizes how Compstat, when it was originally adopted was nothing more than a way for the NYPD to manage their workforce more effectively. From 1993 to 2003 we saw a dramatic drop in crime, to the tune of 65.99%. (COMPSTAT MANAGEMENT IN THE NYPD, Henry P.1) This dramatic decrease in crime led to the lowest crime rate recorded in NYC since the early 1960’s, pre-civil rights movement. Since 2003 we have seen a much less dramatic reduction in crime and does that mean Compstat is not a successful system? No, it surely does not. Compstat is a system obsessed with numbers, and while in some areas it is a great tactic for kicking the workforce into shape, it can become tyrannical in the pursuit of those numerically motivated results. Was “Stop and Frisk” the major contributor to crime drop from 1993 to 2003? In Henry’s The COMPSTAT Paradigm there is not one instance of “Stop and Frisk”...
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