When President Bill Clinton vowed to put 100,000 more cops on the streets, it was a very popular program. But did it result in safer streets and towns? Not according to at least one study that looked at the issue:
“Some criminologists find no evidence that the new cops did anything to lower the level of mayhem. A study by John Worrall and Tomislav Kovandzic of the University of Texas at Dallas, published this year in the journal Criminology, concluded that “COPS grants had no discernible effect on serious crime.” A 2005 report by the Government Accountability Office disagreed, but said the effect was very small. About 95 percent of the decline in crime in the 1990s, it said, was attributable to other factors.” (http://reason.com/archives/2007/11/12/do-more-cops-equal-less-crime)
Calling for more police is still popular politics whether there is evidence for it or not. It plays on the fears of voters– fear of outsiders, people different from ourselves. That allows us to be manipulated by politicians who promise a safer Binghamton. But guess what? Crime prevention is more about the economy, jobs, education, people who care about young people.