Reference: McCabe, J. E. (2009). The narcotics initiative: An examination of the NYPD approach to drug enforcement, 1995-2001. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 20, 170-187.
Strategy: Narcotics enforcement
Results: Mixed- One of two enforcement initiatives was successful in reducing crime
Methodological Rigor: Moderate- weak comparison area
Abstract (from NCJRS):This study examined two applications of the narcotic initiative (narcotics enforcement) implemented by the New York City Police Department in Queens County from 1995 to 2001. The results indicate that the rate of arrests for controlled substances did not change with the deployment of either the Southeast Queens initiative (SEQI) or the Queens North narcotic initiative (QNNI), and a significant increase in the marijuana arrest rate was only associated with the deployment of the SEQI and not the QNNI. The overall results showed limited impact in community conditions after the initiatives were deployed. Like many policies, the broad application of one particular strategy from setting to setting requires careful implementation to ensure success. Also, just because something appears to work in one location does not guarantee it will work elsewhere. This lesson was clearly demonstrated by the results of this study. A seemingly valid approach to drug conditions in Queens by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) did not generalize to other parts of the city. In the mid-1990s, the NYPD developed a new approach to address drug conditions called the narcotics initiative. The initiative was centered on a three-prong enforcement strategy, the initiatives were concentrated in specific clusters of precincts and successively deploy over a period of several years throughout New York City. Using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), this study examined the effectiveness of the initiatives deployed in Queens County, NY, and examined the effectiveness of the initiatives based on the decrease in crime and increase in enforcement associated with their deployment.