CompStat: Policing Strategies

COMPSTAT_BANNER“Let’s talk about policing and public safety. Let’s debate what works and what does not. We must abandon practices that do not work, and do more of the things that actually do work to save lives.” – Martin O’Malley, 61st Governor of Maryland


statisticsCompStat is the abbreviation for Computer Comparison Statistics (UoM, 2015). CompStat process uses statistical indicators identifying high crime areas and then reallocating police assets to these “hot-spot” areas in an effort to reduce crime (UoM, 2015). The CompStat is proactive policing strategy designed to hold police administrators accountable to reduce crime in their assigned areas of responsibility (UoM, 2015).

CompStat-690x473New York City Police Department (NYPD) commissioner William Bratton created CompStat in 1994 (UoM, 2015). Commissioner Bratton stated the CompStat was a two-step process designed to examine police operations in an effort to reduce crime through pro-active policing (UoM, 2015). The first step in CompState process identifies where and when crimes have been occurring (UoM, 2015). The second step in the CompStat process is an internally examination of the department’s best policing practices and the problem solving on how to best reallocate police resources to high crime areas (UoM, 2015). The process is constant reflective approach to improve police practices and response times (UoM, 2015).

The CompStat process has adopted four (4) principles, accurate and timely intelligence, effective police tactics, rapid deployment, relentless re-assessment (UoM, 2015).

Page36tblbAccording to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), CompStat process is best described as “Collect, analyze, map, and review crime data and other police performance measures on a regular basis; create best-practice strategies to address identified issues and implement these strategies in real-time; hold police managers and employees accountable for their performance as measured by these data; and consistently review and repeat the process” (LAPD, 2015, p. 1).

Crime mapping technology is a tool that supports CompStat concept of identifying high crime areas and possible criminal patterns occurring.


Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). (2015). ComStat plus. Retrieved from

University of Maryland (UoM). (2015). Implementing and institutionalizing CompStat in Maryland. Retrieved from

About the Author

Mark Bond

Mark Bond has worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms instructor for more than 33 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in criminal justice, and M.Ed in educational leadership with Summa Cum Laude honors. As a lifelong learner, he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education (EdD) with a concentration in college teaching and learning. Mark is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at a university and adjunct professor of administration of justice studies at a community college.