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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 170673 Find in a Library
Title: Zero Tolerance in a Small Town
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:67  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1998)  Pages:6-10
Author(s): A J McCarthy
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Police Department faces many of the problems of big cities, including increased assaults, heightened levels of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, and open-air drug markets.
Abstract: In response, police officials considered the zero tolerance model used in New York City to reduce crime and determined the quality of life approach used in New York City could be applied to Kennett Square. The police chief spoke to many Kennett Square residents in 1996 about their concerns, fears, and complaints regarding criminal activity. Most residents expressed little fear of serious crime, pointing to the police department's successful handling of four homicides that occurred in 1993. Yet, informal interviews revealed a pervading sense of frustration among residents who indicated most crime problems occurred between 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. In 1996, the Kennett Square Police Department adopted a two-pronged response to crime problems facing the community: (1) focused on resolving major crimes when they occurred; and (2) adopted a zero tolerance policy toward public nuisance crimes such as disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, public drinking, public urination, and other minor offenses that had a negative impact on quality of life. Between June and August 1995, 39 arrests were made for public nuisance offenses. After implementing the two-pronged approach, 220 such arrests were made between June and August 1996. Close cooperation with the district attorney resulted in a very high conviction rate for offenders charged with summary offenses. In addition, open-air drug markets in the community closed down and did not relate to other areas. 9 endnotes and 2 photographs
Main Term(s): Municipal police
Index Term(s): Disorderly conduct; Drug law enforcement; Fear of crime; New York; Pennsylvania; Police crime-prevention; Police effectiveness; Police policies and procedures; Public nuisance; Public Opinion of Crime; Public Opinion of the Police; Public order offenses
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