Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

New Study: Cops Prevent Crime

Friday, April 5, 2019

New Study: Cops Prevent Crime

Readers may have noticed that we review “gun policy” studies regularly. Those clamoring for federal funding for gun policy research should set themselves up a Google Scholar alert, but not everything we want to highlight is directly related to gun policy. Crime is a complex issue and criminals are – shockingly – at the root of “gun crime”.

Studies and position papers published by doctors or medical professionals call for a public health approach to reducing “gun violence” but their policy suggestions are always focused on law-abiding gun owners – and their recommendations omit any sort of law enforcement component when they write about having a conversation to determine the path forward.

More COPS, less crime” is a new study published in The Journal of Public Economics that looks explicitly at the effect of law enforcement on crime. Steven Mello, a PhD candidate in Economics at Princeton University, used the resurgence in funding for the Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) hiring program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as a natural experiment to estimate the causal effect of police on crime. He found that each additional police officer hired prevented four violent crimes and 15 property crimes. Mello attributes the decrease in crime to a deterrence effect additional law enforcement officers have rather than an increase in arrest rate. 

What makes Mello’s paper so interesting is the built-in experiment. Less than $20 million was appropriated for the COPS program each year between 2005-2008. As the recession set in, the program was revitalized with a billion-dollar earmark to prevent an increase in crime as economic conditions worsened (and to preserve law enforcement jobs). Grants were awarded based on fiscal need and crime scores determined by the COPS office with requirements to ensure every state received funding and to prioritize large jurisdictions. As Mello notes, “Unsurprisingly, higher-scoring cities are larger, poorer, and have significantly higher crime rates.” The grants covered 100% of entry-level salary and benefits for new or rehired officers for three years.

The key finding is that “Among violent crimes, the results are negative and statistically significant for murder, rape, and robbery, while the estimate is not significant for assault.” Mello’s findings for murder are limited by the variability in the murder rate, his findings imply that “one life can be saved by hiring about 9.5 new police officers.” Mello goes on to discuss his findings in terms of cost-benefit, finding that each officer contributes $352,000 in social benefit (based on crime reduction) – well above the point at which the additional officer would be considered cost-effective.

Mello’s findings offer a quantitative contribution to the common-sense conviction that police officers reduce crime – and not just by locking everyone up. Mello may follow in the footsteps of John Donohue and other anti-gun researchers, but we have no qualms with his findings here.

Police fight crime, criminals break the law. Add more police and crime falls. It makes sense.  Just as it makes sense to focus “gun violence” solutions on criminals instead of law-abiding gun owners.

IN THIS ARTICLE
crime Law Enforcement
TRENDING NOW
A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

News  

Monday, November 11, 2019

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

Former Texas Congressman Robert Francis O’Rourke abandoned his run for President last week, once again leaving a void for the most strident anti-gun candidate seeking the Democrat nomination. Even before declaring his candidacy for President, ...

New Hampshire: Firearm Seizure Bill Headed to House Floor

Thursday, October 31, 2019

New Hampshire: Firearm Seizure Bill Headed to House Floor

On October 30th, the New Hampshire state Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee sent House Bill 687 to the House floor for further consideration after a motion to kill the bill failed by a vote ...

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

News  

Gun Laws  

Monday, November 11, 2019

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Tremp In recent weeks, gun owners have been given two prime examples of just how important strong firearms preemption laws are to the vibrant exercise of Second Amendment rights. On October ...

Wisconsin: Gov. Evers Calls for Firearm Confiscation & Criminalizing Private Transfers

Friday, September 20, 2019

Wisconsin: Gov. Evers Calls for Firearm Confiscation & Criminalizing Private Transfers

On September 19th, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, Representative Melissa Sargent (D-48), and Senator Lena Taylor (D-4) held a press conference calling on the Legislature to violate the Second Amendment by: 1) ...

Bloomberg’s Gun Control Apparatus Lies to Virginia’s Firearm Owners in Election Mailing

News  

Monday, November 4, 2019

Bloomberg’s Gun Control Apparatus Lies to Virginia’s Firearm Owners in Election Mailing

Here’s a hint for Virginia gun owners and sportsmen: When you get a firearm-related election mailing with a New York City return address and proudly proclaiming that it’s printed on soy ink, you can safely ...

National Hearing Conservation Association Supports Suppressors

News  

Monday, November 4, 2019

National Hearing Conservation Association Supports Suppressors

Photo Courtesy of Silencer Shop On October 28th, the National Hearing Conservation Association sent its new position paper on firearms suppressors to the American Suppressor Association. The paper, in short, recognizes the important role that ...

NRA Statement on 2019 Election  Results

News  

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

NRA Statement on 2019 Election Results

The National Rifle Association released the following statement on the 2019 election results: "As if Gov. Northam’s legacy of ineptitude wasn’t enough, Virginians are about to experience life under a distant tycoon’s thumb."

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

NRA Member spotlight: Meet the Man Who Helped Turn an Anti-Gun Townhall into a Pro-gun Rally

News  

Monday, October 28, 2019

NRA Member spotlight: Meet the Man Who Helped Turn an Anti-Gun Townhall into a Pro-gun Rally

At a townhall meeting in Michigan this month, Congresswoman Haley Stevens appeared to lose control when the NRA came up and began emotionally screaming, “The NRA has got to go! The NRA has got to go!” ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.