Policeman on the Frontline or a Soldier? The Effect of Police Militarization on Crime
36 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2015
Date Written: October 23, 2015
Recently a considerable popular debate has been dedicated to the issue of “police militarization”. We investigate whether the “1033 Program”, which allows local law enforcement agencies to acquire excess property of the US Department of Defense, affects crime rates. To identify the causal effect of militarized policing on crime, we use temporal variations in US military expenditure and between-counties variations in the odds to receive a positive amount of military aid. We find that (i) military aid reduces street-level crimes; (ii) the program is cost-effective; and (iii) there is evidence in favor of a deterrence mechanism.
Keywords: police, crime, militarization, 1033 Program
JEL Classification: K42, H49, H76
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation