Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice


Maria (Maki) Haberfeld

Committee Members

Larry E. Sullivan

Jon Shane

Subject Categories

Criminology and Criminal Justice


The reduction in crime rates that occurred in large cities across the United States (US) over the course of the past two decades has been the subject of much speculation and research. However, there have been no definitive empirical studies that conclusively determine the causes for this phenomenon. The goal of this study is to identify the impact of certain factors to the reduction of crime in large US cities that occurred over the past two decades by examining data over a thirty-year period (1980-2009). The identification of contributing factors may allow government officials, both on a local and national level, to focus their efforts on the implementation of policies that, based on empirical study, are likely to reduce crime.

This study focuses on Observable Crime, which is operationalized as robberies and larcenies reported in the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Part II Offenses that were likely to be visible to the police. Those crimes likely to be visible police are determined to be all robberies that were not committed in residences and larcenies that were committed in public areas excluding stores. Law enforcement strategies that were examined in this study include Quality of Life (QOL) Enforcement and Police Presence, which is operationalized as arrests for drug offenses as reported in UCR Part II Arrests and Police Officers per 100,000 residents as reported in the UCR, respectively. The findings of this research supports the hypothesis that Quality of Life Enforcement significant in reducing crime in the twelve largest US cities from 1980-2009.


Digital reproduction from the UMI microform.