In a piece that had far-reaching effects on law enforcement, Kelling and Wilson took aim at policing techniques that were quietly endangering communities. The changes they called for—putting more officers on the streets, empowering them to combat the conditions that cause lawlessness—were credited with sharp declines in urban crime nationwide.
This influential March 1982 piece has been credited with reversing the lengthy crime epidemic that plagued New York City.
The police and neighborhood safety
Everyone wants a better police force, but the disturbing conclusion of most police experts is that the proper remedies are still to be tried. The author, whose recently published Varieties of Police Behavior (Harvard University Press) promises to become a classic in the field, outlines the sources of disagreement and chronicles past frustrations with reform. Professor Wilson teaches government at Harvard and is a former director of the Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies.