Linking research to Policy Analysis

“Curbing Gun Violence Requires Trust” by Anthony A. Braga & Jeffrey L. Brown The Boston Globe The news paper article entitled “Curbing Violence Requires Trust” written by Anthony A. Braga and Jeffrey L. Brown published by the Boston Globe in November 25, 2007 was about a proposed police crises management program in Boston as a way of reducing crime in the city. The program, known as “Safe Homes Strategy” is based on the collaboration between Saint Louis community and the police in St Louis in the 1990s wherein the police recovered 510 guns within the eighteen months period of implementation.

According to the report, this proposed strategy triggered much public debates but when implemented, the program aims to diminish the number of guns in the possession of high-risk juveniles through the collaboration between Boston residents and the police by allowing the latter to search the room of their child for illegal guns on the condition that there will be no arrest to made in case a gun is found. According to the American Civil Liberties Union the residents have the right to refuse stop the search any time.

Police authorities however, noted that the success of this program is dependent on mutual trust between the police and the community. The report also noted that there is significant amount of mistrust and suspicion on the part of the community in the manner the law enforcement engages overly and aggressive. Evaluation research informing the policy process The above proposed strategy intended to reduce the number of guns held by the high-risk juveniles was a result of evaluation research in which it informs the policy process of the result of such kind of program in the past as a reference.

Here, knowledge has become the factor that serves as a reference for the policy process. In other words, the ‘Safe Home Strategy’ to be implemented by the Boston Police in order to reduce crime in the city was based on the evaluation of the program’s success when it was first implemented in St. Louis in mid 1990s. The evaluation of research provides important information needed by the policy process to be able to determine “to what extent the goals and expected outcomes are met (Rabin, J. 2003, p. 290). The evaluation research finds evidence and information that are necessary for the policy process in making fundamental decision.

In the case of the proposed Home Safe Strategy of Boston’s Police, the evaluation research provided important data that confirms the potential of the program to be successful when it is implemented, as well safety and precautionary measures, both for the police and the people which are important to policy process to make the decision to implement the program. Thus, without the information and evidences provided by the evaluation research, it would be very difficult if not impossible for the policy process to make the right decision.

Apparently, the evaluation research serves as guide to Boston’s policy processes for the crucial program implementation and for the policy process to determine the right course of action, to set the duration of the program as well as to define its goals and objectives.

Reference Braga, A. & Brown, J. L.. Curbing Gun Violence Requires Trust The Boston Globe, November 25, 2007 http://www. boston. com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/11/25/curbing_gun_violence_requires_trust/? rss_id=Boston+Globe+–+Today’s+paper+A+to+Z Rabin J. (2003) Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy USA: Marcel Dekker