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A Field-experiment Testing the Impact of a Warrant Service Prioritization Strategy for Police Patrol Officers

NCJ Number
Crime Science Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Dated: 2023 Pages: 6
Date Published
17 pages

This study used field-experiment testing to assess the impact of a warrant service prioritization strategy for police officers in the Greensboro (NC) Police Department.


The objective of this experiment was to test the efficacy of providing prioritized warrant lists to patrol officers. No differences were found in the risk scores of people served. However, assessment of time to service suggested that warrants were served more quickly during the experimental period. Implementation of warrant prioritization had limited impacts; the process evaluation demonstrated the difficulty in modifying police patrol behaviors. A field experiment was carried out with the Greensboro (NC) Police Department. Warrant risk profiles were calculated from an analysis of historical offending; historical risk factors were used to implement prospective risk assessment for committing a violent crime while having an outstanding warrant issued during the field experiment. During the period from March 01, through July 31, 2019, people with warrants were randomly allocated to treatment or control. Outcomes included: number of warrants served, time to service, and average risk score of warrants served. Prioritization was not effective in promoting additional warrant service. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2023