This NYU project grades police departments on their performance. How did DC police score?

Police in D.C., received high scores in a report card recently issued by criminologists at New York University.

The Metropolitan Police Department earned an overall score of 81.66% in an assessment of whether the department conducts sound, accountable, just and effective policing.

The assessment by the Policing Project at New York University School of Law includes more than 100 different metrics to determine whether a police department is transparent, grounded in democratic values and provides equitable treatment for all.

The full assessment is online here.

The results were released last week by the Office of the D.C. Auditor, which requested the assessment by the Policing Project.

“This is a very good score. There is not an expectation in any jurisdiction that you’re going to get 100 points,” said Chris Magnus, D.C.’s Deputy Auditor for Public Safety and a former police chief.

The assessment found that D.C. police officers are well-trained, accountable and disciplined, as well as strong on First Amendment protections and community engagement.

The assessment shows 100% scores for “Training and Officer Preparedness,” “First Amendment,” “Community Engagement” and dealing with “Individuals in Crisis/Susceptible to Victimization.”

Breaking it down, the department received ratings of:

  • 86.63% for “sound” policing, measuring its efficiency and effectiveness
  • 83.16% for “accountable” policing, measuring its transparency
  • 92.16% for “effective” policing, measuring how well it prevents and addresses crime
  • 67.56% for “just” policing, measuring whether it operates fairly and equitably

“This is a very strong score for a police department that really seems to be doing well in many, many areas,” Magnus said.

Lower scores for the police department included “Investigative Procedures” (54.79%) and “Stops, Searches and Seizures” (54.89%).

The Policing Project has used its SAJE assessment on just a few police departments, including Tucson, Arizona and Seattle, Washington.

“I believe this is a great tool for a police department to see where maybe there are some gaps where you might want to look at some changes,” Magnus said.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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