Evolution of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 Case Study

Pages: 7 (2303 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice


The office of COPS needed to monitor a number of things. First, that in line with the requirements of grant allocation, police departments retained the new officers hired under the '100,000 Cops' initiative even after the lapse of the three-year period of federal funding (Marion & Oliver, 2012). Secondly, that the beneficiary police departments only used the grants for officers hired under the initiative (Marion & Oliver, 2012). This was probably the greatest failure of the COPS office if the numbers of agencies purported to have adjusted their budgets so as to paint a false picture of having hired new officers is anything to go by (Marion & Oliver, 2012).

Moreover, the COPS office failed to consider the rates of crime in an area, and relied more on conditions such as the 25% local match requirement when advancing grants (Marion & Oliver, 2012). This led to a situation where some areas were not eligible for federal grants despite having very high crime rates (Justice Policy Institute, 2012).

The Violent Crime Control Act - the State of California

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The Violent Crime Control Law unites the local, tribal, state and federal crime-control efforts. It is the basis through which new resources are injected into crime-control efforts at the local level to enable police work hand in hand with their local communities (DOJ, 1999). In the state of California, "crime rates remain at historically low levels," and although this trend cannot be fully attributed to the Violent Crime Control Law, the possibility of its contribution cannot be ruled out (Lofstrom & Raphael, 2013, p. 1). A 28% reduction in crime was reported in California between 1995 and 2006 (Fields, 2006). Minerva Armenta, a resident of Orange County in California, while making reference to community policing efforts, alludes to this reprieve. In her words, "there used to be shootings here every day and you couldn't go outside because of the gunfights…Not now" (DOJ, 1999).

TOPIC: Case Study on Evolution of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 Assignment

The law paved way for community policing in California, and the state is, today, known for some of the best community policing strategies (Fields, 2006). In its 1996-2006 report on award-winning grassroots policing strategies, the COPS office recognizes the state of California as having the highest number "of award winners and finalists" (Fields, 2006, p. 6)

California possesses some of the best police-community partnerships, which are thought to have contributed immensely to the reduction in crime rates therein (Fields, 2006). The most significant include; i) the Pasadena Police Department-social worker partnership, resulting in the formation of the HOPE, which seeks to establish long-term solutions to mental illnesses and homelessness, ii) the Rossville Department-city leaders partnership, which led to the creation of a task force which "worked full-time in troubled neighborhoods mobilizing, partnering, and problem-solving" as well as empowering other neighborhoods (Fields, 2006, p. 18).

In order to make community policing more comprehensive, Californian agencies have embarked on community prosecution efforts, which involve getting prosecutors to work with community groups, attack crime-related concerns at the grassroots level, "and support community's law-enforcement zero-tolerance policies by prosecuting crimes they might not otherwise prosecute" (DOJ, 1999).

Youth correctional efforts in the state have been significantly boosted by partnerships between community police officers and either parole/probation officers or high school guidance counselors (DOJ, 1999). The 'United Families of West Boulevard' and the 'City Safe Community Taskforce' in Pittsburgh and Irvine respectively, both of which were formed with the aim of offering guidance to high school students to prevent youth delinquency, offer perfect examples (Fields, 2006).


Generally, significant decline in crime rates has been witnessed, with violent crime decreasing by 20% in the six years immediately following the enactment of the Violent Crime Control Act. There still is room to make greater gains in the ongoing anti-crime efforts. Communities still need financial assistance to save their future generations from violence, illegal gun and drug trafficking, and the hold of illegal gangs. Judging from the improving law-enforcement agencies and the organized community prosecution efforts in the State of California, I can confidently conclude that finally, "the goal of a safer America is within reach" (DOJ, 1999).


Carter, G.L. (2006). Gun-Control in the United States: a Reference Handbook. Santa Barbra, CA: ABC-CLIO.

DOJ. (1999). The Clinton Administration's Law-Enforcement Strategy: Combating Crime with Community Policing and Community Prosecution; Taking Back our Neighbors, One Block at a Time. U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved from http://www.justice.gov/archive/dag/pubdoc/crimestrategy.htm#stage1

Fields, C. (2006). Award-Winning Community Policing Strategies. U.S. Department of Justice, COPS Office. Retrieved from http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Publications/e08071596.pdf

Justice Policy Institute. (2012). Rethinking the Blues: How We Police in the U.S. And at What Cost? Justice Policy Institute. Retrieved from http://www.justicepolicy.org/uploads/justicepolicy/documents/rethinkingtheblues_final.pdf

Lofstrom, M. & Raphael, S. (2013). Public Safety Realignment and Crime Rates in California. Public Policy Institute of California. Retrieved from http://sbud.senate.ca.gov/sites/sbud.senate.ca.gov/files/FullC/PPIC_Realignment_and_Crime_Rates_FINAL.pdf

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