The Policing Lab

With the support of the Global Institute of Advanced Study, The Policing Lab @ NYU has been launched as a collaborative project between NYU’s Faculty of Arts and Science and The Policing Project at NYU Law School.

Researchers affiliated with the Policing Lab will apply the tools of data science and social science to the project of producing public safety. The Lab’s goal will be to help communities and law enforcement agencies identify data-driven policing strategies that maximize public safety while minimizing (broadly defined) costs to communities.

For example, one set of research questions for the Lab will involve traffic and pedestrian stops. Some jurisdictions rely heavily on traffic and/or pedestrian stops as a crime deterrent, but the practice is often not welcomed by heavily stopped communities. Working with a mid-sized urban jurisdiction, researchers affiliated with the Policing Lab will analyze the predictors of “productive” traffic stops, and will work to design a data-driven traffic stop policy that will target only those stops likely to produce real gains in public safety. In another project, Lab researchers will trace the effects of the NYPD’s decreased use of the practice of “Stop, Question, and Frisk” on residents’ health, educational and civic outcomes.

Another set of research questions for Lab researchers will involve how departments respond to 911 calls. A call to 911 triggers a chain of law enforcement responses, starting with a priority code being assigned to a call by a 911 call taker. Working with a large urban jurisdiction, Lab researchers will analyze whether assigned call priority codes are good predictors of actual risk to both officers and civilians, and also whether using an analytic tool to assign call priority can reduce this risk.

Lab researchers will also work on several other research questions related to public safety, including the efficacy of Real Time Crime Centers, de-escalation training, gunfire detection sensors, restricted vehicle pursuit policies, decreasing 911 call response time, civil asset forfeiture, public safety apps, and 911 caller satisfaction surveys.


Project members:

Principal Investigators: Anna Harvey (NYU); Barry Friedman (NYU)

Jillian Carr (Purdue)

Chris Dawes (NYU)

Greg DeAngelo (West Virginia)

Sharad Goel (Stanford)

Sanford Gordon (NYU)

Emily Owens (UC Irvine)

Ravi Shroff (NYU)

Hye Young You (NYU)