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Do more eyes on the street reduce Crime? Evidence from Chicago's safe passage program

Daniel McMillen (), Sarmiento-Barbieri, Ignacio and Ruchi Singh

Journal of Urban Economics, 2019, vol. 110, issue C, 1-25

Abstract: Chicago's Safe Passage program attempts to ensure the safety of student traveling to and from schools by placing civilian guards along specified routes. The program was launched during the 2009-2010 school year and was expanded to 140 schools by 2015-16. We use data from more than 10 years of geocoded Chicago police reports and school level data to analyze the Safe Passage program's effects on crime rates and the rate of absenteeism from schools. Our findings suggest that the program is an efficient and cost effective alternative way of policing with direct effects on crime and student's outcomes. Exploiting both spatial and temporal variation in the implementation of the program, we find that the presence of guards results in lower levels of crime, with violent crime declining by 14% on average. The rate of absenteeism is estimated to decline by 2.5 percentage points. We find no evidence of spillovers of crime to areas that are not along the Safe Passage routes.

Keywords: Crime; Police; Policy deployment; Public schools; Educational outcomes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I38 I26 K42 H53 R38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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