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Abstract

Crime policy is subject to the policy process just like other governmental policies. An effective crime policy is one that reduces the amount of crime in a police department’s jurisdiction, e.g., the city. Accordingly, crime policy consists of the same policy components – agenda setting, formulation, implementation, and feedback. The implementation of any crime policy depends on the information collected by police departments, often through crimes reported to the department via 9-1-1 calls or brought to a police officer’s attention through proactive police work. The success of that police work relative to the reported crime first depends on whether the type of crime is recorded correctly so that investigative follow-up, if necessary, can be conducted efficiently and properly. Accordingly, police departments that have appropriate internal controls to assess the quality of their crime recording efforts can provide relevant feedback to the command staff and political leaders responsible for setting the agenda and reformulating policy when necessary. This paper will examine the Atlanta Police Department’s efforts in improving its crime recording procedures in 2002-2003 and the changes that led to sustained crime reductions following 2002.