Drug Market Initiative Implementation Guide and Lessons Learned   [open pdf - 638KB]

"In 2004, officials in the High Point Police Department (HPPD) in High Point, North Carolina similar to police executives in many communities, had grown tired and frustrated with open-air drug markets and their associated crime and disorder. With the blessing of a new Police Chief, HPPD set out to try something new. Based on the successes of the Boston Gun Project (Kennedy, 1996) and similar strategic problem solving approaches (e.g., Braga, Pierce, McDevitt, Bond, and Cronin, 2008, McGarrell, Chermak, Wilson, and Corsaro, 2006), as well as the department's experience with gun and gang violence reduction through Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN), HPPD set out to implement a strategic, focused, data driven project to eliminate drug markets. Rather than focusing on individual drug users and sellers, they focused on shutting down drug markets using a nine-step process (to be discussed later in this document). Their first effort in the West End Neighborhood produced a reported average crime decrease of 57 percent over four years in that neighborhood. According to local residents and the police, the open-air drug market literally disappeared overnight. And, just as interesting, there seemed to have been no displacement effect. That is, HPPD closed down the open-air drug markets in the West End neighborhood without finding evidence of the market reopening elsewhere."

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