Boston Police Department
Safe Street Teams Hot Spots Policing Research Initiative

Boston Police Department

(from left to right: Sgt. Tommy Rose - BPD; Maria Cheevers, Director of Research and Development - BPD; Police Commissioner Edward Davis - BPD; Officer Franklyn Centeio - BPD; Sheeba Bruning, Vertical Marketing, Government & Public Safety - Sprint Nextel; Sharon Hanson, Chief of Staff - BPD)

The Boston Police Department (BPD) is nominating its Safe Street Team (SST) hot spots policing program for the IACP and SPRINT Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award. Under the leadership of Commissioner Edward F. Davis, the BPD has engaged a strategic crime prevention approach that is rooted in strategic analyses of recurring crime problems and the determination of program effectiveness through rigorous empirical evaluation. The SST program is an example of this philosophy in practice and has become the cornerstone of BPD's violent crime reduction efforts. The trajectory of the SST program has also benefitted from an unusually deep research partnership with academic researchers. The BPD believes that strong partnerships between academic and practitioners have great potential to improve public safety. The BPD implemented the Safe Street Teams hot spots policing program in response to a distressing increase in violent crime in Boston. This research and development exercise proceeded by first identifying violent crime hot spots, then designing and implementing the SST hot spots policing program, and, finally, conducting a rigorous quasi-experimental evaluation of program impacts on violence. In summary, teams of BPD officers were assigned to violent crime hot spots and required to use community problem-solving techniques to address the underlying conditions and dynamics that cause violent to cluster in these small places. The evaluation found that the SST hot spots policing intervention was associated with statistically significant reductions in violent crimes in the treatment places relative to control places without simply displacing violent crime problems to nearby areas.

Project Leader: Shannon Fahey
Phone Number: (617) 343-5096
Email Address: Faheys.bpd2@cityofboston.gov

Drug Enforcement Administration
Cocaine Carbon 14 Dating Study

Boston Police Department

(from left to right: Daniel Gillison, National Director, Public Sector - Sprint Nextel; Cheryl Hooper, Section Chief - DEA Intelligence Division; John Casale, Senior Forensic Chemist - DEA Special Testing and Research Lab; Professor Charles Wellford - University of Maryland-College Park)

In January 2010, DEA Intelligence Division Unit Chief Mark Eiler and Senior Forensic Chemist John Casale (DEA Special Testing and Research Lab) completed groundbreaking research into the dating of cocaine samples using the Carbon-14 radioisotope method. As a result of their outstanding efforts the study has provided a major breakthrough in understanding the cocaine supply chain and a new way in which to evaluate and predict cocaine trends and to direct enforcement efforts. The objective of the Cocaine Carbon 14 Dating study was to determine the age of cocaine specimens based on the time elapsed between coca leaf production in the field and the transit of the cocaine to the U.S. Using a variation of traditional Carbon-14 dating with coca leaves and cocaine base of known harvest and production dates as a baseline, researchers were able to date approximately 600 cocaine and coca leaf exhibits from the U.S., U.S. territories, Europe, Australia, and South America. Mr. Casale spearheaded efforts to collaborate with University of Utah IsoForensics laboratory and the University of California Irvine during the study. Both universities assisted in performing the C-14 analysis of the cocaine samples. Mr. Eiler was instrumental in linking the C-14 scientific findings with strategic and operational intelligence. He authored intelligence reports regarding the C-14 project and related intelligence findings. These reports provided new analytical insights to better understand and compensate for the "disconnects" in the current cocaine metrics; new analytical tools to predict changes in cocaine flow and availability; new insights for strategic planning as it relates to future interdiction requirements; and new insights for operational planning in Colombia. These reports were shared with policymakers, the Counterdrug Intelligence community, and international law enforcement counterparts. Mr. Casale and Mr. Eiler's collective knowledge, dedication, creativity, initiative, and leadership were absolutely essential for the success of the Cocaine Carbon-14 Dating study. Their successful collection and analysis of unique science-based intelligence have provided senior U.S. Government policy makers with new insights about the cocaine supply chain and domestic availability of cocaine. In fact their contributions have significantly advanced the DEA mission to better understand the threat posed by the South American cocaine trade.

Project Leader: John Casale
Phone Number: (703) 668-3300
Email Address: john.f.casale@usdoj.gov

Milwaukee Police Department
STOP Program

Boston Police Department

(left to right: Dr. Kimberly Hassell - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Dr. Tina Freiburger - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Officer William Singleton - MPD; Sgt. Delmar Williams - MPD; Officer Cullin Weiskopf – MPD)

In January of 2011, members of the Milwaukee Police Department launched the Students Talking it Over with Police (STOP) program in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. The program was developed by rank-and-file members of the department who had been challenged in the fall of 2010 by Chief Edward Flynn to find a way to get to know and engage "the good kids" that we come into contact with in many of the city's most vulnerable neighborhoods. A few months later, STOP was born. Working closely with UWM professors the officers implemented STOP in the Boys and Girls Clubs, with plans to expand the program and move into the Milwaukee Public Schools, the largest school district in the State of Wisconsin. The program's goals are to educate young people on the nature of police work, explain the reasons that otherwise law-abiding citizens might sometimes find themselves interacting with police officers, and establish rules of conduct for both the police officers and the teens who graduate from STOP. Most importantly the STOP program aims to increase positive perceptions of the police among teens who have been identified as leaders among their peers. After completing STOP sessions, the teens are provided a photo ID, a T-shirt, and certificate of completion. The researchers from UWM are essential partners and have developed robust design and evaluation processes to demonstrate the impact of STOP. Preliminary analysis of the first six months has provided statistically significant evidence to suggest that the STOP program has achieved all of its goals, and has even had the unintended benefit of vicarious impact. Participants have reported that they are spreading the word about their positive interactions with the police to their friends and families. As our research partners continue to evaluate STOP, the Milwaukee Police Department is in the process of internally recruiting more STOP facilitators and centralizing the program for citywide implementation in the schools. Because of the dedication of our officers and partners, the robust research methodology, and the carefully documented processes, the STOP program has the potential to become a national model that can be easily replicated with success by other agencies.

Project Leaders: Sgt. Delmar Williams, Officer William Singleton, Officer Cullin Weiskopf
Phone Number: ( 414) 935-7927
Email Address:  wsingl@milwaukee.gov

For more information please contact Jenny Gargano at racaward@theiacp.org or call 1-800-THE-IACP (1-800-843-4227) ext. 392.