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Back to Archives | Back to February 2007 Contents 

CompStat: A Selected Bibliography

DeLorenzi, Daniel, Jon M. Shane, and Karen L. Amendola. “The CompStat Process: Managing Performance on the Pathway to Leadership.” The Police Chief 73 (September 2006): 34–40.

The core management theories of CompStat, directing and controlling, have helped police control crime. But the CompStat process can also help develop and improve a police agency’s leaders.

Gascón, George. “CompStat Plus: In-Depth Auditing, Mentorship, Close Collaboration.” The Police Chief 72 (May 2005): 34–43.

When implemented appropriately, CompStat can help governments inspect police departments and hold managers accountable for performance, ensuring efficient use of policing resources. By using crime and arrest information, as well as other relevant performance indicators, CompStat can drive police action with surgical precision to maximize organizational efforts, forecast needs, and assess results with timely and accurate information. This level of performance accountability is better known in the for-profit world and has not been widely embraced by the public sector yet, even though public-sector budgets continue to suffer and performance in many instances falls below what should be acceptable.

Larsen, James. “Stop Crime: Systematic Tracking Operation Program Community Reporting Incidents More Effectively.” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (November 2002): 6–8.

The Stop Crime program derives from the New York City Police Department’s CompStat initiative. A crime-mapping software application, designed by two former New York City Transit Police officers in 1992, constitutes the heart of CompStat. The software application demonstrated areas where criminal activity occurred, which helped law enforcement officers develop enforcement strategies.

McDonald, Phyllis P. “Implementing CompStat: Critical Points to Consider.” The Police Chief 71 (January 2004): 33–37.

CompStat represents perhaps the most radical change in managing police operations in recent history. CompStat is a change in attitude toward the capacity of the police to reduce crime and criminal behavior; it is a focus on outcome measures in place of the traditional output measures; it squarely acknowledges that the police are better positioned to maintain order and solve community problems by promoting public safety; and, most importantly, it is a change developed and directed by the collective police wisdom.

———. Managing Police Operations: Implementing the NYPD Crime Control Model Using CompStat. New York: Wadsworth, 2002.

The largest and most influential police department in the nation, the New York City Police Department, significantly reduced crime in the 1990s using CompStat, a police management model designed to help the police suppress crime.

“NYPD’s ‘CompStat’ Program Named Finalist in 1996 Innovations Awards.” Washington Crime News Service. 1997.

The prime goal of CompStat is crime reduction achieved by refocusing the department on its core mission of controlling crime, disorder, and fear. Among the program’s secondary goals are enabling precinct commanders to run their precincts without undue interference from headquarters; increasing the accountability of precinct commanders for reducing crime; providing top managers and precinct commanders with the timely, accurate information they need to make intelligent choices; using interactive computer mapping technology to help pinpoint crime problems and develop effective solutions; and improving coordination and communications.

Schick, Walt. “CompStat in the Los Angeles Police Department.” The Police Chief 71 (January 2004): 17–23.

CompStat was instituted as the model for changing the risk aversion mentality and leading the Los Angeles Police Department back into the business of proactive law enforcement while building a high-performance organization embracing change. The concept of using a crime control system to measure organizational performance and management effectiveness is not new to the LAPD. In 1998 a variation of the original CompStat crime control model, Fastrac, was implemented. Although Fastrac certainly had beneficial results, there were limitations, and the model did not achieve the goal of building a high-performance organization.

Serpas, Ronal W. “Beyond CompStat: Accountability-Driven Leadership.” The Police Chief 71 (January 2004): 24–31.

Washington State Patrol’s accountability-driven leadership model embraces many elements of CompStat: accurate and timely data, effective tactics, rapid deployment, decentralized decision making, and relentless follow-up to achieve high standards of public service. Like CompStat, the WSP leadership model concerns itself with measurements of efficiency (how many reports written, how many tickets issued, how many people arrested, and so on) and effectiveness (how many fewer crimes committed, how many fewer lives lost in alcohol-related crashes). But the WSP leadership model is designed to hold the agency’s nontraditional policing functions, such as the state fire marshal’s office, the state toxicologist’s office, and the missing child clearinghouse, to the same high standards. Shane, Jon M. “CompStat Design.” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (May 2004): 12–19. The design of the CompStat model creates an atmosphere where both officers and executives can remain focused on protecting the members of their community.

———. “CompStat Implementation.” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (June 2004): 13–21.

After designing its CompStat program, an agency should consider a few key elements of implementation: the training, the meeting protocols, the line of questioning, and the roundtable discussion.

———. “CompStat Process.” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (April 2004): 12–21.

With some reorganization, law enforcement executives can put into practice one of the most innovative, deceptively simple, and economical means to controlling crime and disorder—a management process known as CompStat. The essence of the CompStat process is to “collect, analyze, and map crime data and other essential police performance measures on a regular basis and hold police managers accountable for their performance as measured by these data.”

Wiley, Charles, and Timothy Smith. “The CAMStat Service Delivery Initiative.” The Police Chief 70 (November 2003): 47–48.

Modeled after CompStat, CAMStat is aimed at reducing criminal activity in every neighborhood. It combines the Denton, Texas, Police Department’s problemsolving model (consultation, adaptation, mobilization) with tools often associated with CompStat, including digital crime mapping, computer databases, and weekly meetings to discuss problems and solutions.

Woods, Mike. “Crime Analysis: A Key Tool in Any Crime Reduction Strategy.” Police Chief 66 (April 1999): 17–30.

A key ingredient of New York’s crimereduction success is crime analysis, in the form of a review process called CompStat that has forced the department’s borough commanders to respond to crime statistics generated by their civilian crime analysis personnel.

Zaworski, Martin. “Automated Information Sharing: Does It Help Law Enforcement Officers Work Better?” NIJ Journal (January 2006): 25–26.

Officers in the San Diego Sheriff’s Office attribute decreased crime and increased clearance rates to CompStat, which sets rigorous performance measures and requires accountability from commanders at the precinct level. Officers focused more on what was happening in their patrol zones, and they attribute that focus to the need to prepare for their agencies’ CompStat sessions. ■

Compiled and annotated by Ken Whitfield


From The Police Chief, vol. 74, no. 2, February 2007. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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