The Source for Crime and Justice Data

Effects of Foot Patrol Policing in Boston, 1977-1985 (ICPSR 9351)

Principal Investigator(s):


This collection evaluates the impact of a new foot patrol plan, implemented by the Boston Police Department, on incidents of crime and neighborhood disturbances. Part 1 contains information on service calls by types of criminal offenses such as murder, rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, robbery, larceny, burglary, and auto theft. It also contains data on types of community disturbances such as noisy party, gang, or minor disturbance and response priority of the incidents. Response priorities are classified according to a four-level scale: Priority 1: emergency calls including crimes in progress, high risk or personal injury, and medical emergencies, Priority 2: calls of intermediate urgency, Priority 3: calls not requiring immediate response, Priority 4: calls of undetermined priority. Parts 2 and 3 include information about patrol time used in each of the three daily shifts during the pre- and post-intervention periods. Part 4 presents information similar to Parts 2 and 3 but the data span a longer period of time--approximately seven years.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Monthly Calls for Service Data - Download All Files (11.6 MB)
DS2:  Police Activity Reports Data File 1 - Download All Files (1.5 MB)
DS3:  Police Activity Reports Data File 2 - Download All Files (0.7 MB)
DS4:  Police Activity Reports Data File 3 - Download All Files (0.7 MB)

Study Description


Bowers, William, et al. EFFECTS OF FOOT PATROL POLICING IN BOSTON, 1977-1985. Boston, MA: Northeastern University [producer], 1989. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1990.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (84-IJ-CX-K035)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   assault, auto theft, burglary, civil disorders, crime, foot patrol, larceny, murder, neighborhoods, police departments, police patrol, police response, rape

Geographic Coverage:   Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1977-01--1985-07

Date of Collection:  

  • 1984--1985

Universe:   All 911 calls received by the Boston Police Department from 1977 through 1985.

Data Types:   event/transaction data


Sample:   Sampling consists of all calls for service and police activity data recorded in the Boston Police Department's computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system for relatively small geographical reporting areas in the city of Boston.

Data Source:

records of Boston Police Department's computer aided dispatch (CAD) system


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 5 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 5 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.

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