Eight months ago, after meaningful drops in homicides and shootings in Louisville, we first examined the role that self-initiated policing might play in reducing that violence.
Self-initiated police activity typically includes things like pedestrian checks, building checks, occupied and unoccupied vehicle checks, foot patrols, and problem solving.
One study of a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department experiment found that hot spots that received self-initiated enforcement experienced a reduction in total firearm violence by 20 percent in the treatment area relative to the control areas. Firearm assaults decreased by about 55 percent relative to the control areas.
A more recent review of existing literature by the National Academies of Science, Engendering, and Medicine found that “[a] number of strategies used by the police to proactively prevent crimes have proved to be successful at crime reduction.”
So with six additional months’ worth of data, we look back to Louisville. City-wide, Louisville experienced a 13% increase in self-initiated police activity from 2017 to 2018.
Louisville also experienced a 21.5% reduction in homicides over that span.
Both of these are extensions of trends observed eight months ago, and both reaffirm what we know about the role policing - especially proactive policing - plays in crime reduction.