November 7, 83

Vol. ii , No. 04   

View Entire Issue (Vol. ii , No. 04)

The Police Professional vs. the Neighborhood Crime Fighter: Relative Strengths and Weaknesses

The Hartford Crime Control Experiment: Defensible Space and Practical Politics
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1983 8:00 p.m.


The Participants. This Athenaeum event evolved from a happy circumstance. At a recent national convention, Professor Snorturn recognized two familiar names from a panel of experts on citizen crime control: Dr. Thomas P. Mangione, Center for Survey Research, University of Massachussets; and Dr. Dennis P. Rosenbaum, Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research, Northwestern University. Even though the two panelists had served together on similar programs in the past, neither knew that they shared a common heritage as psychology majors at CMC-class of 1969 and 1974, respectively. They have been invited back to CMC for a double purpose: First, to tell us about their research on neighborhood crime control; and, second, to talk informally with students about opportunities for graduate study and employment in public policy analysis.

The Issues. Citizen involvement in neighborhood crime control is controversial. Police professionals are uneasy about assigning responsibility to citizens (especially cocky, young citizens like the Guardian Angels) to patrol back streets and subways. Police tend to prefer programs such as "target hardening" or "neighborhood watch" which operate under clearer lines of police authority. Skeptical social scientists challenge the effectiveness of any of these approaches and some suspect that citizen anti-crime programs may actually contribute to the breakdown of neighborhoods by generating a siege mentality. This symposium will review these issues and will examine the results of two of the most sophisticated crime control experiments in the U.S.