Police Housing Incentives Could Encourage Police Officers to Move into Baltimore City—Heightening Prospects for Reducing Crime and Increasing Citizen Satisfaction

September 2012 / Abell Reports / Community Development, Criminal Justice and Addiction

Case studies, findings, and recommendations.

This study analyzes incentives in place countrywide that are designed to encourage police officers to move into the communities they serve, and the applicability of such incentives to Baltimore City. In the case of Baltimore City, such housing incentives would likely lead to more police officers living in the City, with the implicit promise of reduced crime and increased citizen satisfaction.

Nearly 72 percent of Baltimore Police Department employees working in Baltimore City live outside of it. A greater number of officers live outside of the City than many other large police departments.

Interviews with Baltimore-area stakeholders suggest that it would be popular with residents to have more police officers live in Baltimore City. Although research suggests that many police officers are not interested in living in the City, especially in high-crime neighborhoods, interviews suggest that an increase in housing incentives could result in some officers moving to Baltimore.

For this study, a review of the literature—from academic, policy, and government sources, as well as news articles and other public websites—was conducted. Research topics included police effectiveness and  evaluation, community policing, and housing incentives. From that review (citations on request), potential interviewees were identified and questionnaires developed. Twelve people were interviewed, representing multiple local and national perspectives.