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Evaluation of Target's Safe City Initiative: Implementing Public-Private Partnerships to Address Crime in Retail Settings

NCJ Number
Nancy G. La Vigne; Colleen Owens; Samantha S. Hetrick
Date Published
324 pages
This report presents the findings and methodology of an evaluation of the Target Corporation's Safe City initiative, a crime prevention model that is characterized by frequent meetings and information-sharing among the police, Target, and neighboring retailers, along with enhanced technology, such as the use of radio networks that enables real-time communication among Safe City partners and the implementation of closed circuit televisions (CCTVs).
The intent of the program, which was launched in 2003, is to increase safety in and around the designated Safe City area in each jurisdiction. In synthesizing both the process and impact evaluation findings across the four sites evaluated (Cincinnati, OH; Chula Vista, CA; Hyattsville, MD; and Tucson, AZ), the Cincinnati and Chula Vista sites were more successful compared to the other two sites due to a strong grounding in community policing and past experience in partnerships between police and local businesses. These sites also conducted more thorough crime analyses, leading to an array of initiatives that included both technology and traditional crime-prevention approaches. The Hyattsville and Tucson sites, on the other hand, selected their intervention - CCTV systems - without engaging in crime analyses. These findings suggest that the engagement of multiple stakeholders in a Safe City initiative must involve increased communication and authentic partnerships, combined with a problem solving approach to crime prevention that leads to the development and implementation of an array of complementary interventions that facilitate strong support from businesses and community members while achieving some cost-effective reductions in crime (albeit limited). The evaluation collected pre- and post-intervention crime and survey data from Safe City partners and local police departments in describing Safe City processes, measuring changes, and quantifying impacts on crime, followed by an analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Tables, figures, references, and photos