policing lab

Claims of “Ferguson Effect” Highlight Policing Data Problems

Call it the Ferguson Effect, call it the YouTube Effect—call it whatever you want, but some notable figures may have gotten a little ahead of themselves in claiming that police have become lax in their enforcement efforts due to public scrutiny, leading to more violent crimes. Not only is there no clear data to support the claim, but the available data suggest just the opposite. More than anything else, public debate over this issue highlights the stark need for more and better data on policing.