ExpectMore.gov


Detailed Information on the
Community Oriented Policing Services Assessment

Program Code 10000164
Program Title Community Oriented Policing Services
Department Name Department of Justice
Agency/Bureau Name Office of Justice Programs
Program Type(s) Competitive Grant Program
Assessment Year 2002
Assessment Rating Results Not Demonstrated
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 40%
Strategic Planning 57%
Program Management 64%
Program Results/Accountability 33%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $511
FY2008 $251
FY2009 $-100

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments
2006

Working with the Congress to terminate funding for activities such as the COPS Hiring Grant program because it cannot demonstrate results.

Action taken, but not completed DOJ has not requested funding for the COPS hiring programs.

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments
2003

Increasing local accountability by making information on grantee activities more available to the public.

Completed The COPS Office has received approval from the OMB to update this improvement action to "Complete." The COPS Office completed the PART follow-up action of increasing local accountability by making information on grantee activities more available to the public. The COPS Office continuously makes improvements to our website. COPS products focus on providing information in the community policing field as well as implementing community policing practices.
2003

Realigning COPS funding structure to include only those activities administered by the COPS Office.

Completed The COPS Office has received approval from the OMB to update this improvement action to "Completed." The COPS Office completed the PART follow-up action "realign COPS funding structure to include only those activities administered by the COPS Office." The COPS Office has continued to request a realignment of the COPS funding structure in each President's Budget to address the PART follow-up action. This request has not yet been enacted.
2003

Increasing the level of grantee oversight as the number of active grants declines.

Completed The COPS Office received approval from the OMB to update this improvement action to "Completed." The COPS Office is committed to having a comprehensive monitoring strategy and completed the PART follow-up action of increasing the level of grantee oversight as the number of active grants decline. The COPS Office continues to work with the Office of Audit, Assessment, and Management to ensure consistency in monitoring practices and implementing a monitoring plan that is risk-based.
2003

Developing long term goals for the program that focus on criminal justice outcomes.

Completed In FY 2006, the COPS Office received approval from OMB on new long term and annual outcome measures. The new measures focus on COPS Office performance in meeting our mission to advance community policing. The performance measures will assess the impact of COPS Office grant resources and knowledge resource products (training/technical assistance and publications) at increasing the capacity of grantees and knowledge resource recipients to implement community policing strategies.
2003

Developing alternative evaluation strategies to assess the impact of grant programs.

Completed In FY 2006, the COPS Office received approval from OMB on new long term and annual outcome measures. The new measures focus on COPS Office performance in meeting our mission to advance community policing. The performance measures will allow the COPS Office to evaluate the impact of grant programs on increasing the capacity of grantees to implement community policing strategies.

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Annual Outcome

Measure: Average community policing capacity implementation rating (0 to 100) of grantees (New measure, added February 2007)


Explanation:The rating is on a scale of 0 to 100 points with 100 being the highest rating. All COPS Office grantees with active grants are surveyed annually. Grantees are asked to answer questions related to how COPS grants have increased their agency's capacity to implement community policing strategies within the three primary elements of community policing: 1) developing community/law enforcement partnerships; 2) problem-solving; and 3) organizational change.

Year Target Actual
2006 NA 72.3
2007 73.0 75.0
2008 73.8
2009 74.3
2010 74.8
2011 75.3
2012 75.8
2013 76.3
Annual Outcome

Measure: Average community policing capacity implementation rating (0 to 100) of knowledge resource recipients (New measure, added February 2007)


Explanation:The rating is on a scale of 0 to 100 points with 100 being the highest rating. The COPS Office's knowledge resources include training, technical assistance, and publications. Law enforcement personnel who received training and technical assistance from COPS sponsored training providers and law enforcement personnel who ordered COPS publications are surveyed annually. Respondents were asked to answer questions related to how COPS knowledge resources have increased their agency's capacity to implement community policing strategies within the three primary elements of community policing: 1) developing community/law enforcement partnerships; 2) problem-solving; and 3) organizational change.

Year Target Actual
2006 NA 73.5
2007 74.3 75.0
2008 75.0
2009 75.5
2010 76.0
2011 76.5
2012 77.0
2013 77.5
Annual Output

Measure: Improve knowledge resource recipient satisfaction rating (New measure, added February 2007)


Explanation:The COPS Office's knowledge resources include training, technical assistance, and publications. The COPS Office is using the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) to determine satisfaction. The data from the ACSI is provided on a 100 point scale with 100 being the highest level of satisfaction.

Year Target Actual
2006 NA 68.7
2007 69.5 68.0
2008 70.2
2009 70.7
2010 71.2
2011 71.7
2012 72.2
2013 72.7
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Total number of COPS knowledge resource products requested (New measure, added February 2007)


Explanation:This measure captures the total number of customer requests that the COPS Office receives for COPS knowledge resource products (training, technical assistance, and publications).

Year Target Actual
2006 NA 26,403
2007 26,535 45,673
2008 36,000
2009 36,000
2010 36,000
2011 36,000
2012 36,000
2013 36,000
Long-term/Annual Efficiency

Measure: Average unit cost of a publication knowledge resource product. (New measure, added February 2007)


Explanation:Publication Knowledge products include all printed publications, CDs, white papers, etc.

Year Target Actual
2006 NA $4.41
2007 $4.39 $4.40
2008 $4.37
2009 $4.35
2010 $4.35
2011 $4.35
2012 $4.35
2013 $4.35
Long-term/Annual Efficiency

Measure: Average unit cost of training/technical assistance knowledge resource product (New measure, added February 2007)


Explanation:Training and technical assistance knowledge products include traditional classroom training, distance learning, webcasts, online training, conferences and training/technical assistance curriculum developed.

Year Target Actual
2006 NA $112.18
2007 $111.62 $197.84
2008 $111.06
2009 $110.50
2010 $110.50
2011 $110.50
2012 $110.50
2013 $110.50
Annual Outcome

Measure: Number of publications distributed (New measure, added February 2008)


Explanation:Publications are knowledge resource products that aim to advance community policing. This includes both distribution via hardcopy and online.

Year Target Actual
2007 190,000 1,214,811
2008 1,150,000
2009 1,150,000
2010 1,150,000
2011 1,150,000
2012 1,150,000
2013 1,150,000
Annual Outcome

Measure: Number of people trained (New measure, added February 2008)


Explanation:Number of people trained during the training sessions: Training activities conducted through the Regional Community Policing Institutes and other COPS sponsored training providers in the current fiscal year

Year Target Actual
2006 55,400 62,829
2007 14,000 40,584
2008 7,000
2009 4,000
2010 2,000
2011 2,000
2012 2,000
2013 2,000

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score
1.1

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: The legislation establishing COPS outlined the following purposes: substantially increase the number of law enforcement officers interacting with the community, provide law enforcement training on problem-solving and community interaction, and encourage innovative crime prevention programs and new law enforcement technologies. The presumed end result of these activities is reduced crime and improved public safety.

Evidence: 1994 Crime Act and current COPS Office mission statement

YES 20%
1.2

Does the program address a specific interest, problem or need?

Explanation: COPS was designed to support the advancement of community policing and 'long standing' needs for additional law enforcement personnel and technology. As local law enforcement has since widely adopted community policing and deployed roughly 80,000 officers with COPS funding, the program has widened its focus include the "emerging and changing needs of law enforcement as well as school safety." While such a definition is consistent with becoming a "one-stop grants shop" for law enforcement agencies, it fails to target a particular problem other than the shortage of state and local funds.

Evidence: CEO symposium has outlined emerging law enforcement needs and the demand for program resources consistently exceeds available funding. However these needs are not specific, as merely attest to the fact that law enforcement agencies have a range of funding needs that change over time. Furthermore it is not clear to what extent departments desire funding for expanding community policing vs. sustaining their normal hiring efforts.

NO 0%
1.3

Is the program designed to have a significant impact in addressing the interest, problem or need?

Explanation: As originally formulated, the COPS program was designed to have a significant impact on the nascent 'community policing' movement by conditioning grants upon the deployment of community policing officers. These grants were supplemented with national and regional training programs. COPS continues to require that grantees within its various programs use community policing practices, but these are now sufficiently widespread that it is unclear why a substantial Federal subsidy is required to sustain them.

Evidence: Grants required the addition of new positions and community policing strategies. Examples of COPS teaching strategies include Problem Oriented Policing guides, and the Regional Community Policing Institutes. COPS has not been able to define or quantify the remaining unmet "need" for community policing beyond the number of grant applications it receives.

NO 0%
1.4

Is the program designed to make a unique contribution in addressing the interest, problem or need (i.e., not needlessly redundant of any other Federal, state, local or private efforts)?

Explanation: The program is somewhat unique two respects: the focus on community policing and the direct relationship to state and local law enforcement agencies. OJP formula programs such as Byrne grants and LLEBG can support new hires and technology, but there are few conditions for such funds which are actually distributed to state and local governments, not directly to law enforcement. While a variety of law enforcement organizations promote community policing, the only other grant program that requires it is Weed & Seed, but it focuses on the neighborhood level. The vast proportion of law enforcement salaries are funded by state and local government, with COPS underwriting no more than 5% at its height. Additional hiring grants may increase the total number of police officers, but as these grants are limited to three years, reducing future funding does not affect officers currently on duty.

Evidence: 1994 Crime Act. LLEBG and Byrne authorization language. In 1999, aggregate payroll for state and local law enforcement was approximately $36 billion, vs. roughly $0.9 billion in COPS hiring/More grants. COPS office cites Zhao report, which correlated COPS funding with changes in crime, but does not address program design. Law enforcement constituency groups have supported COPS funding on the grounds that state and local governments only provide them with a portion of DOJ block grant funds.

YES 20%
1.5

Is the program optimally designed to address the interest, problem or need?

Explanation: The program does have some legislative constraints. The "population split" requirement requires that hiring funding be divided equally between large and small agencies. As a result, many small agencies with quality applications go unfunded. A 'national coverage' requirement to ensure that no state gets less than 0.5% of total funding results in the approval of some lower-quality applications. The COPS office believes the cap of $75,000 per grant should be adjusted for inflation, with additional flexibility for high-cost areas; though such steps would reduce the number of officers and would benefit only a few cites with high costs of living. Furthermore, the need for a direct Federal subsidy of community policing officers now questionable, as the concept could be sustained and enhanced through training and technical assistance.

Evidence: Restrictions are dictated by the 1994 Crime Act. COPS has not provided data on what percentages of qualified applications from large and small agencies have been rejected.

NO 0%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 40%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score
2.1

Does the program have a limited number of specific, ambitious long-term performance goals that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: In the FY03 Budget COPS established a new set of specific, long-term performance goals: reduction in locally identified, targeted crime and disorder; reduction in fear of crime in surveyed communities; increase in trust in local law enforcement in surveyed communities. However, the COPS program has not set specific targets or timelines for achieving these goals. There is no long term goal for "sustaining, strengthening, and enhancing" community policing.

Evidence: These goals are laid out in DOJ's 2003 Annual Performance Report and Plan.

NO 0%
2.2

Does the program have a limited number of annual performance goals that demonstrate progress toward achieving the long-term goals?

Explanation: The outputs that link to the long term goals are: # of officers funded and on the street, # of training hours delivered and people trained in community policing topics. 'Officers funded' is based on the grants have that been awarded to law enforcement agencies, while 'officers on the street' is defined as the number of COPS-funded officers employed by grantees. COPS does not have measures for the effectiveness of technology grants.

Evidence: These goals are laid out in DOJ's 2003 Annual Performance Report and Plan.

YES 14%
2.3

Do all partners (grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, etc.) support program planning efforts by committing to the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: As a condition of receiving COPS funds, grantees agree to report on the annual performance goals, but there is no requirement on reporting towards the long-term goals. COPS solicits input from law enforcement executives in its planning process through the CEO Symposium, but the new long-term goals were not discussed at 2001 & 2002 symposium meetings, except for a general discussion of public trust issues.

Evidence: Award documents include grant terms and conditions. CEO symposium reports for 2001 & 2002.

YES 14%
2.4

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs that share similar goals and objectives?

Explanation: The program does collaborate and coordinate with other programs through joint grant programs/awards, conferences, and other efforts. However these grants account for a relatively small proportion of its total portfolio, and there is little formal coordination with DOJ's primary grant agency, the Office of Justice Programs. The COPS Office does coordinate with national law enforcement organizations through the Community Policing Consortium.

Evidence: No documentation of systematic coordination with OJP on grant awards or community policing strategies. Other examples of formal arrangements include BJA & Dept. of Education (Safe Schools), Tribal program (coordinate with OJP, OTJ); Mental Health and Community Safety Initiative - Education, HHS, and OJJDP; DEA (Meth); INS VideoTeleconferencing Initiative; Project Safe Neighborhoods (ATF), Seat Belt Safety (DOT); town hall meeting videos (EOUSA, NCPC, ATF, OJJDP, NAPAL; BJS studies (LEMAS), Volunteers in Police Service. Community Policing Consortium website: www.communitypolicing.org/

NO 0%
2.5

Are independent and quality evaluations of sufficient scope conducted on a regular basis or as needed to fill gaps in performance information to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness?

Explanation: COPS has funded three national-level evaluations covering community policing issues, administrative issues, and research issues However, two of the studies were funded as cooperative agreements in which the COPS Office retained the right to approve the final report. While COPS should continue to support such evaluations, it should take further steps to guarantee the independence of their findings.

Evidence: The Institute for Law and Justice study (2000) examined the impact of Problem-Solving Partnership grants, a 1997 initiative with less than 500 grantees. The NIJ/Urban Institute study (2000) surveyed a cross-section of roughly 2100 grantee and non-grantee agencies over the period 1996-1998. The 2001 U.of Neb. study examined the relative impact of COPS funding on local crime rates in 6100 cities over 1995-99. The Heritage Institution released a similar, county-level study the same year.

YES 14%
2.6

Is the program budget aligned with the program goals in such a way that the impact of funding, policy, and legislative changes on performance is readily known?

Explanation: The 'unit cost' of hiring and training programs is well established, so changes in funding, policy and legislation are reflected in their annual performance measures. However, the budget-performance linkage for smaller, earmarked programs is much less clear. Furthermore, COPS has not devised a methodology for determining how much funding is required to achieve its long-term goals.

Evidence: Given the elimination of hiring funds in the 2003 Budget, COPS is moving away from the "officers funded" measures towards broader outcome measures in the 2004 Budget. Draft performance tables for 2004 provide output measures for requested programs, but do not explicitly link these measure to the overall program goals

NO 0%
2.7

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: COPS is revising and improved its long-term performance goals to focus on the ultimate benefits from program funding. COPS has taken action on some of the weaknesses identified by external evaluations.

Evidence: After the Urban Institute questioned whether all COPS-funded officers would be deployed, COPS developed a Retention Toolkit clarifying the definition of retention, strengthened the retention language in grant-related materials, and required a Retention Certificate form be completed by the grantee prior to receiving a grant.

YES 14%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 57%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score
3.1

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: Programmatic Progress Reports are submitted on an annual basis, and a comprehensive 'COPS Count' is performed on a annual basis. COPS Count has discovered problems with MORE redeployment which were addressed with workshops and technical assistance. The Monitoring Division utilizes progress reports when preparing for grantee site visits. Grant Program Specialists incorporate progress reports in their technical assistance efforts.

Evidence: COPS Count questionnaire forms and executive summary memo; UHP, MORE, CIS programmatic progress reports

YES 9%
3.2

Are Federal managers and program partners (grantees, subgrantees, contractors, etc.) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: The primary accountability documents during the grant award period are quarterly financial reports and programmatic progress reports. Failure to submit these documents can result in the freezing of grant funds, but it is not clear how often this occurs. During the grant period, accountability is enforced by the Monitoring Division's detailed review of selected grantees, IG audits, and OJP Controller Financial Audits, but these can only examine a fraction of grantees.

Evidence: Copy of Financial Clearance Memo (FCM), Copy of Award document including terms and conditions, copy of a grant owner manuals for UHP, CIS, MORE; Certifications, Assurances; Financial Guide. The COPS Office utilizes the Issue Resolution Module, a component of the comprehensive COPS Management System, to track grantee compliance issues. This database logs the alleged infraction, actions taken to resolve the infraction, including any grant dollars recovered. Of the 5,941 compliance issues identified from FY99-02, the COPS Office has resolved 93%.

YES 9%
3.3

Are all funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose?

Explanation: While the program strives to obligate all appropriated funding, and has reduced its typical carryover level from 10% to 1%. Due to grant application cycle, obligations primarily occur in the 4th Quarter, though carryover can also occur because lack of interest in a program (INS VideoTeleconferencing program); or appropriations language (prohibited the program from using recoveries). Recoveries and deobligations are approximately $100M annually due to COPS' grant management efforts to reclaim unused funds.

Evidence: Copy of SF-269 (Quarterly Financial Status Report). Year-by-year funding charts show carryover levels, including deobligations and recoveries. Carryover from FY01 to FY02 was $56 million due to restrictions on the use of recoveries. Recoveries/deobligations from grantees totaled $95 million in FY02. The IG has found numerous instances of grantees failing to use funds for their intended purpose, though it is hard to establish how representative these findings are as its audits combine random selections and referrals from the COPS Office itself.

NO 0%
3.4

Does the program have incentives and procedures (e.g., competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: The Office does outsource activities such as IT support, training, and technical assistance; and as established a Business Practices Group to identify efficiency savings in the grant administration process.

Evidence: Cooperative agreements for Regional Community Policing Institutes.

YES 9%
3.5

Does the agency estimate and budget for the full annual costs of operating the program (including all administrative costs and allocated overhead) so that program performance changes are identified with changes in funding levels?

Explanation: The COPS Office appropriation includes a separate line item for management and administration ($33 million in the FY03 Budget), which covers all operational costs. The FY03 and FY04 requests include all indirect costs. The COPS Office requires little or no overhead support from main Justice. Support activities conducted by OJP (such as the IG) are supported on a reimbursable basis from COPS funds. While the full program costs are known, as discussed in Section II, Question 6, there is not a clear linkage between funding and the new long-term performance goals. Therefore the answer is no.

Evidence: Copy of COPS Management and Administration operating plans

NO 0%
3.6

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: Auditors have found no material internal control weaknesses through the Trust Fund Audit performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers. COPS guards against erroneous payments by requiring that grantees have a current SF-269 on file before they can draw down funds. This prevents grantees from drawing down more than is available through their grant. Grantees must notify the program office if they wish to modify their award by more than 10%. The program office has the ability to freeze grantee funds if the grantee has violated terms and conditions (such as failing to file progress reports, Financial Status Reports) of active grants.

Evidence: Copy of SF-269 (Quarterly Financial Status Report).

YES 9%
3.7

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: The program has taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies. The program has improved its grant management system by housing data on audits, compliance, awards, and closeouts in one system. In addition, the office created a Compliance Division dedicated to audit resolution. The Legal Division has been reorganized to mirror the Grants and Monitoring divisions, improving customer service. The Grants Division is currently revising and improving the Closeout Policy and Procedure manual. Finally, records management has been strengthened with additional staff resources.

Evidence: Copy of Closeout Policy and Procedure, User manuals for IRM, CMS, Monitoring Division Strategic Plan

YES 9%
3.CO1

Are grant applications independently reviewed based on clear criteria (rather than earmarked) and are awards made based on results of the peer review process?

Explanation: The majority of COPS programs, including hiring grants, are competitive but earmarks have consumed an increasing part of its budget. For FY02, total COPS funding is $738.6 million, of which $228 million is earmarked (31%), with programs such as meth, law enforcement technology, and school safety hit the hardest. The competitive programs do follow a criteria-based scoring process for all applications, but internal subject matter experts actually score the applications, with several layers of review and quality control. Solicitations for policy support and evaluation grants do use an external peer review process.

Evidence: The Grants Administration Division uses competitive criteria for all grant programs. Applications will experience initial reviews, 1st and 2nd reviews and final quality control. Application grading sheets for MORE, hiring grants, and 'cops in schools.' PPSE contract for external peer reviews and example.

YES 9%
3.CO2

Does the grant competition encourage the participation of new/first-time grantees through a fair and open application process?

Explanation: Previously unfunded agencies are given priority in the competitive grant programs (Universal Hiring Program, COPS in Schools, Making Officer Redeployment Effective), and current grantees have no advantage when applying to grant programs. Applications are graded based on grantees' needs and their plans for using community policing strategies. Earmarked grants do not have a competitive process, and are heavily weighted towards states and localities represented by appropriation committee members.

Evidence: Application grading sheets for UHP, MORE, CIS. CJS report language for law enforcement technology grants, Methamphetamine grants, and Safe school grants.

YES 9%
3.CO3

Does the program have oversight practices that provide sufficient knowledge of grantee activities?

Explanation: COPS has a detailed oversight protocol and direct communication between grantees and grant advisors. These procedures include quarterly Financial Status Reports (SF-269s), programmatic progress reports, COPS count surveys, and final reports/deliverables from grantees. However as each advisor oversees 200+ grantees, the level of detailed oversight is fairly low. The Grants Monitoring and Compliance Divisions also play a significant role, but only 50% of all grant funds have been subject to site visits.

Evidence: Copy of SF-269 (Quarterly Financial Status Report), UHP, MORE, CIS programmatic progress reports; Monitoring Division strategic plan

NO 0%
3.CO4

Does the program collect performance data on an annual basis and make it available to the public in a transparent and meaningful manner?

Explanation: COPS has released grantee data primarily via the FOIA process, though it has agreed to make such data more readily accessible in the near future. The COPS website does include aggregate information, such as grant announcements and the amount and type of each grant, by jurisdiction and state. COPS-funded evaluations are also available on-line.

Evidence: COPS Websites: www.usdoj.gov/cops/foia/default.htm www.usdoj.gov/cops/foia/foia_err.htm

NO 0%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 64%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score
4.1

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term outcome goal(s)?

Explanation: A no response must be given because the program cannot identify any targets for timelines for achieving its new goals. At its inception, COPS long-term goals were to fund 100,000 additional law enforcement officers and advance community policing. By 1999, COPS had reached the funding goal (though only 60,600 officers were on the street) and almost 2/3 of law enforcement agencies used community policing practices. Given such progress, COPS is moving towards new, outcome-based measures, but these are still under development.

Evidence: COPS Count survey found 60,600 funded officers on duty as of 1999, and 88,028 as of Aug 2002. Due to attrition, it is unlikely that 100,000 officers will ever be on street simultaneously. The 1999 BJS/LEMAS study found that 64% of all law enforcement agencies (and 90% of large cities) were using community policing to some extent. The Univ. of Nebraska found some correlation with local crime rates over 1995-1999, but there is not a clear methodology for tracking future progress.

NO 0%
4.2

Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: Until this year, COPS has met its goals for funding officers (i.e. awarding grants). It will not make the FY02 target due to revisions in prior year data. Deployment of 100,000 officers on the street has been slowed by the challenge of recruiting and hiring qualified candidates, as well as realizing time savings from technology grants. Each year COPS trains thousands of law enforcement officers, local government officials, and citizens in community policing through the RCPIs and other training providers.

Evidence: DOJ performance report and plan; Draft performance table. Aug 2002 COPS count found 88,028 officers on the street out of 113,941 funded at that point. The number of officers funded actually dropped in the first half of FY02, due to the revised data on officers funded in prior years.

SMALL EXTENT 7%
4.3

Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies and cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: Improved data collection has reduced the number of annual COPS count surveys from 3 to 1. To simplify grants management for its grant advisors (who often have hundreds of grants) COPS developed an automated monthly mass mailing of extension requests for hiring grants expiring within 90 days. While this saves staff time, it also demonstrates the extent to which many grantees don't use their funds in the allotted time. Other reporting procedures are being moved on-line, such as the COPS Count survey and routine updates of grantee data, saving time and paperwork.

Evidence: Redeployment and Retention fact sheets, E-grants initiative summary memo. COPS Count evidence: As of 9/2002, approximately 3,000 grant surveys have been completed online (out of 12,000 grants to be surveyed). This, already, is an improvement over last year's online COPS Count figures. During the last round of COPS Count, only about 15% of the total grants to be surveyed completed the COPS Count survey online.

SMALL EXTENT 7%
4.4

Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: No other program has focused the same effort on advancing community policing, but there have been no comparative studies of COPS performance vs. the OJP block grant programs. Studies such as NIJ/Urban have argued that these programs should be viewed as complementary, because they can fund a wider range of needs than a single program could.

Evidence: In COPS favor, local law enforcement agencies generally find it to be more 'customer friendly,' and the program has tried to measure and report on performance, though the sheer number of grantees makes this difficult. In OJP's favor, block grant funds can be used for a wider variety of activities and the reliance on state intermediaries simplifies grant execution and oversight.

LARGE EXTENT 13%
4.5

Do independent and quality evaluations of this program indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: The Nebraska study showed a correlation between COPS funding (per capita) and a partial reduction in crime for cites larger than 10,000. COPS believes this proves the program's effectiveness. However, the relatively small "innovative grants" displayed a much stronger correlation than hiring grants, and MORE grants did not have a statistically significant correlation. Furthermore, for the entire populations of cities (over 1,000) in the model, only the "innovative grants" had statistically significant correlation with reduced crime -- a result strikingly similar to a 2001 study by the Heritage Institute. The Nebraska study also found a positive correlation between COPS hiring grants and increased crime in cities under 10,000. The NIJ/Urban Institute study credited COPS with accelerating, but not launching, the spread of community policing, but did not address its impact on crime. This study also questioned whether 100,000 COPS officers would ever be on the street simultaneously given officer turnover and the failure of agencies to retain positions.

Evidence: "A National Evaluation of Effect of COPS Grants on Crime from 1994 to 1999," by Jihong Zhao, Dec. 2001. The study's independence is open to question because the executive summary ignores results that do not reflect favorably on the program, and equates correlation with causation despite the absence of other policy variables, i.e. changes in local law enforcement spending over the study period. The COPS Office disclaimed any influence on the final report, and notes that the study was published in a peer reviewed journal, "Criminology and Public Policy." However, the COPS Office and the study author have refused to make the underlying data available to other researchers.

SMALL EXTENT 7%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 33%


Last updated: 09062008.2002SPR