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The “Broken Windows” Theory of policing was first developed in 1982. For decades it was widely embraced by criminologists, law enforcement leaders, and elected officials as a way to understand crime and disorder. Its strategies called for a community-based approach to addressing the quality-of-life issues that plague the daily lives of citizens—particularly in low income, high crime communities. The Broken Windows approach rejects purely reactive strategies summed up as You Call, We Haul, That’s All.
In recent years, however, Broken Windows Policing has come under attack by activists and elected officials who claim that Broken Windows Policing is racially biased and violates civil rights. Is there legitimacy to these claims? Is a Broken Windows approach to policing to blame for instances of police misconduct or are those instances simply misapplications of the approach? And in a time of rising crime and disorder—as was the case when Broken Windows Policing first emerged—should we re-examine this approach to saving and improving the lives of our citizens?
In this webinar, Chief Harry P. Dolan (Ret.) will discuss what the Broken Windows Theory actually proposes, and examine the research evidence that has tested this theory. Chief Dolan will examine how both good and bad policing strategies developed from this theory and what impacts they may have had on crime and civil liberties. And, ultimately, Chief Dolan will discuss the relevance of Broken Windows Policing at a time when a de-policing or “hands off” approach seems to be failing so many of our communities.