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Executive Issues Seminar Series 1998 Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas Texas Regional Community Policing Institute Sam Houston State University. INVESTIGATIVE RESEARCH. Dr. Larry Hoover Police Research Center Sam Houston State University. We Have Examined.

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Executive Issues Seminar Series

1998

Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas

Texas Regional Community Policing Institute

Sam Houston State University


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INVESTIGATIVE RESEARCH

Dr. Larry Hoover

Police Research Center

Sam Houston State University


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We Have Examined

  • Neighborhood Centered

  • Targeted Enforcement

  • Youth & Gang Programs

  • Problem-Oriented Strategies


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We Will Examine National Research:

  • RAND Corporation Criminal Investigation Study (1975)

  • Three Approaches to Criminal Apprehension in Kansas City (1976)

  • Stanford Research Institute Felony Investigation Decision Model (1978)

  • Eck’s Study of the Investigation of Burglary and Robbery (1983)

  • Washington D.C. & Phoenix Repeat Offender Projects (1985 &1991)


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And

  • Repeat Offender Units in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio


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RAND Criminal Investigation Study

  • Survey response from 153 of 300 jurisdictions employing more than 150 employees

  • Site visits to 25 agencies

  • Sought to determine if differences in training, staffing, workload, or procedures have an effect on arrest or clearance rates

  • Classic “meta” analysis.


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RAND Results

  • No element has an effect

  • 65% of investigations receive only

  • superficial attention

  • Clearance depends almost solely on

  • information from victim

  • In cases that are solved, more time spent on post arrest processing than on identifying the offender

  • Of cases ultimately cleared with an unnamed offender, almost all are solved as a result of routine procedures, e.g., photo line-up

  • “Detectives are not the embodiment of Sherlock Holmes, but glorified clerks for the district attorney.”


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Three Approaches to Criminal Apprehension in Kansas City

  • Regular patrol with crime information center data provision on locations and perpetrators

  • Surveillance of high probability locations

  • Surveillance of known active offenders.


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Results

  • LOP produced the best results (fewer hours per target arrest/charge/conviction)

  • However, officers frequently broke cover to make petty apprehensions

  • Low morale

  • CIC information to patrol did improve apprehensions, while maintaining patrol availability


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SRI Felony Investigation Decision Model

  • Examined clearance data from Oakland, CA

  • Tested follow-up decision models for robbery, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, rape, and auto theft

  • Constructed reliable models for burglary and robbery

  • Accuracy ranges between 57% and 92% in other Alameda County agencies


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Weighting Scheme for Burglary

  • Time of occurrence: less than 1 hour = 5, 1 to 12 hours = 1, 12 to 24 hours = .3, more than 24 hours = 0

  • Witness report of offense = 7

  • On-view report of offense = 1

  • Usable fingerprints = 7

  • Suspect information developed = 9

  • Vehicle description = .1

  • Total Score Must = 10


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Eck’s Study of Robbery and Burglary

  • Examined investigations in St. Petersburg, Dekalb County, Georgia, and Wichita, Kansas

  • Review of 320 robbery investigations and 3,360 for burglary

  • Constructed a non-quantitative model for efficacy of follow-up investigation - the triage typology


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Triage Typology

  • Those cases that cannot be solved with a reasonable amount of effort

  • Those cases that have already been solved by circumstance, and require only the suspect to be apprehended

  • Those cases that, with a reasonable amount of effort may be solved, but certainly will not be solved without such effort.


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Repeat Offender Program in Washington, D.C.

  • 212 targeted offenders matched against 212 controls

  • 72% of ROP arrests were for outstanding warrants, only 28% for new offenses

  • ROP experimental arrested by unit = 106 of 212 (50%), by other units 17 of 212 (8%)

  • Controls arrested = 13 of 212 (6%)

  • ROP, however, evolved to a warrant apprehension unit.


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Repeat Offender Unit in Phoenix, Arizona

  • Evaluated by RAND Corporation, compared randomly assigned experimentals and controls

  • Chance of arrest for exp. = 93%, for controls = 88%

  • Chance of prison sentence for exp. = 79%, for controls = 68%

  • Average length of sentence for exp. = 91 months, for controls = 73 months.


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Texas ROP Programs

  • Austin

  • Dallas

  • Houston

  • San Antonio

  • First analysis in 1992, follow-up site visits by Dr. Bruce Gay, Univ of Houston, in December 1997.


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Arlington

Austin

El Paso

Ft. Worth

Harris Co. S.O.

Houston

Lubbock

Montgomery Co. S.O.

San Angelo

San Antonio

Texas Law Enforcement Agencies Having Career Criminal Units in 1992



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Original SAPD ROP Operational Squad Objectives

  • Identify & target active repeat offenders.

  • Proactively perform covert mobile & fixed surveillance of active repeat offenders categorized either as surveillance or warrant targets.

  • Apprehend violators of the law & provide general assistance to other departmental units as well as outside agencies.

  • Serve arrest warrants.

  • Execute search warrants to recover stolen property and/or contraband.

  • Gather info on criminal activity & suspects through the use of field interviews & Polaroid photos to keep the dept. current of criminals, criminal associates, & modes of transportation.


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Austin ROP Targeting Criteria

  • Three (3) previous convictions for any Part I UCR offense or felony drug offense, or both.

  • Any juvenile convictions as adults for any aggravated felony or felony drug offense after adjudication.

  • At least one (1) state prison incarceration for any felony.


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Dallas ROP Targeting Criteria

  • Any individual who has served time in the TDCJ or in any other state or federal correctional facility or

  • Any individual who has two or more felony convictions or

  • Any individual who has 4 or more felony arrests in the past 5 years or

  • Any offender who is currently on parole or felony probation and has 2 felony arrests in the past 2 years or

  • Information from 2 or more reliable sources that the offender is active in Part I, UCR Offenses or

  • Information from one reliable source that the offender is active in a targeted offense and the offender has a prior arrest record for that specific offense or

  • The offender has a history of drug related arrests.




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Current Status of Texas ROP Units

  • AUSTIN - Discontinued after grant expired

  • DALLAS - Discontinued, replaced by an emphasis on public integrity cases

  • HOUSTON - Continues, but recently underwent complete restaffing

  • SAN ANTONIO - Still does occasional ROP targeting, but now a generalist fugitive and offense investigative task force.


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Reasons for the Failure of ROP Units

  • Screening criteria to identify target offenders are problematic.

  • Per arrest cost is extremely high.

  • Offenders identified by ROP ought to already be known to relevant specialized unit (burglary, auto theft, robbery, narcotics). It may be more cost effective to make an existing open case.

  • Diversion of resources is almost inevitable, to major case investigation, warrants, or narcotics.


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A Final Note, Again

  • In 25 years we have learned a great deal

  • However, we still know relatively little about what works in policing.


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