The AmeriCorps Urban Safety (AMUS) program worked with Wayne State University’s Center for Urban Studies (CUS) and Community CompStat programs to pursue permanent crime reductions by using real-time crime mapping analyses and collaborative problem-solving processes. This community-based intervention was implemented in various areas in the city of Detroit. AMUS’s goal was to build a network of deterrence meant to dissuade criminals from committing crimes, at every level, from the individual to the police precinct.
The goal of the study was to assess the AMUS program’s impact on key crime reduction outcomes. The study did this by describing how the crime reports in AMUS target areas (police precincts) changed over the course of the fiscal year, and the associated cost savings related to the level of crime reduction as well as the program’s impact on annual crime rates.
The research questions examined both the program and the economic impact. Those questions were:
- Did the trend in targeted crime rates significantly decrease in AMUS target areas compared to non-AMUS areas?
- Once implemented, do AMUS target areas experience significantly lower crime rates than non-AMUS areas?
- What are the monetary costs associated with crime in AMUS target areas?
- Given the reductions in crime, what is the total amount of imputed cost savings?
The research results examined crime patterns, the program’s impact, and the economic impact. The study found the following:
- Across major crime categories, crime reports within precincts served by AMUS have declined.
- A consistent pattern emerged where the reduction in subsequent crime rates was more than twice that of the implementation year.
- When compared to the period immediately preceding AMUS implementation, crime reports were significantly reduced and sustained after the first program year.
- With the amount of crime reported reduced in AMUS areas, an estimated $378 million was saved by alleviating crime-related activities.
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