SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Willis, J. J (2011). First-line supervision and strategic decision making under Compstat and community policing. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 24(2), 235–256. doi: 10.1177/0887403411427355

Summary: Compstat and community policing are powerful movements in U.S. police reform. Although different in important respects, both are heralded for being strategic or strengthening a police organization’s capacity to detect changes in crime and disorder and respond effectively. Using data from six focus groups, this study examines how first-line supervisors reported making decisions and offering guidance on crime and disorder problems. Its major finding is that co-implementation of these reforms had affected supervision unevenly. A challenge to policy makers and researchers is to reconsider how patrol supervision in co-implementing departments might be restructured to strengthen the strategic dimensions of both reforms.

Questions to Consider:

  1. How does first-line supervision differ under Compstat, community policing, and traditional policing?
  2. What was the biggest hindrance that undermined sergeants’ capacities to give strategic guidance to their patrol officers?
  3. The authors suggest that true success in Compstat and community policing will never be fully realized until there is a “fundamental transformation in how police departments operate.” What is their reasoning?


Article 2: Coldren, J. R., Jr., Huntoon, A., & Medaris, M. (2013). Introducing smart policing: Foundations, principles, and practice. Police Quarterly, 16(3), 275–286. doi: 10.1177/1098611113497042

Summary: Smart policing represents an emerging paradigm in American policing that stresses crime reduction and promotes improvement of the evidence base for policing. Smart policing emphasizes effectively using data and analytics as well as improving analysis, performance measurement, and evaluation research; improving efficiency; and encouraging innovation. This introduction defines smart policing in historical and contemporary contexts and discusses several important and emerging characteristics in the local smart policing sites, namely, the need to improve the evidence base for policing, the police agency–research partnerships that are emerging in smart policing, the type of problems identified and approaches undertaken by the Smart Policing Initiative sites, and future issues for smart policing.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What is smart policing?
  2. What led to the development of smart policing?
  3. What are some examples of Smart Policing Initiative projects?