Police Chief James Craig early this year cited Detroit’s overall drop in crime as evidence that Project Green Light is working.
“The best evidence is, first of all, crime reduction. Take a look at our stats,” Craig told the Free Press of the program that lets his department monitor live camera feeds. But some are skeptical of Craig’s conclusion, writes Allie Gross of the Freep:
Researchers, however, deem Craig’s first example too small of a sample and the second too short of a time frame. No study compares Green Light locations to non-Green Light locations, and the chief says no such dataset exists.
In the absence of this, researchers including Bryce Peterson of the Urban Institute say it is nearly impossible to tie Detroit’s crime reduction to specifically Green Light.
“Violent crimes have been declining in many cities across the country,” said Peterson, who is advising Milwaukee police on surveillance options. “Without rigorous evaluations that use comparison groups, it is difficult to attribute the decline in any city to a specific program or policy,”