HAMPTON — This city is looking for people to conduct interviews with residents for a project titled “Community Infused Problem Oriented Policing in Crime Hotspots.”
The goal of the project, run by NORC at the University of Chicago, is to test whether a new community based policing strategy is effective in reducing crime and increasing public safety while maintaining good community-police relations.
NORC at the University of Chicago has teamed up with Hampton, and Newport News police departments and George Mason University to conduct the research.
The field study
The surveys will take place in two waves. The first will be conducted in August and will make up the baseline of data for the project.
Here the interviewees will be asked what they think of the crime in their area and their relationship to the police.
Taylor, senior fellow at NORC, said by doing these interviews they can gather data police may not be able to collect.
The study plans on asking residents if they feel safe in their neighborhoods, if they worry about crime, if they’ve been a victim of crime and didn’t report it and so on.
He said while studies like this have been conducted around the country, this one will be unique.
Instead of just trying to identify where the hotspots of crime are and reduce crime in those spots, they will also be looking to see if they can achieve benefits in the cities beyond crime reduction.
A concern about this study, Taylor said, is that residents will be nervous about increased police presence around where they live.
Taylor said a part of the study will aim to ease that concern by organizing the community to work with police.
Hampton and Newport News are very similar and the fact that the police divisions work closely together have made them an ideal place to conduct the study, Taylor said.
Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult said he hopes a study like this will give the department an outside look at how they’re policing and give them useful info.
“By doing these types of studies it helps us to be more transparent to our community,” he said.
Sult also mentioned how Hampton and Newport News police departments work well together.
The study will be a focus on figuring out how the community feels and working toward community infused problem oriented policing, Taylor said.
The project was funded under the National Institute of Justice’s FY17 Understanding the Impacts of Policing Strategies and Practices (Beyond Crime Reduction) in the amount of $1,399,828.
All of the results from the study will be published publicly.
The call for interviewers is on-going.