Criminal Justice

The CompStat Model: Overview and Assessment

In the early 1990s the rising crime rates and the spiraling costs of maintaining the police force in New York City prompted the leadership of the city’s police force to look for new alternatives to handling these issues. It was from the necessity caused by rising crime and rising costs that the CompStat model was born. As Henry (n.d.) describes it, the goals of the city’s leadership were to bring “crime and disorder to within manageable bounds and to refocus the NYPD on its primary mission of effectively ensuring public safety by reducing crime and violence.” The CompStat model, as it was first implemented, involved the use of statistical analysis and the development of more effective and accountable management to ensure that resources were used efficiently and that the police force focused on the city’s most pressing issues. Since 1994, when New York City began using the CompStat model, crime rates have dropped significantly; since then, police forces around the country have begun to use CompStat models and other similar approaches to address their own individual concerns. This paper will examine the basics of the CompState model and will also discuss its potential applicability to smaller agencies, with an eye towards a determination as to whether CompStat is as appropriate for implementation in smaller agencies as it is in those of larger metropolitan areas such as New York City.