Performance Management in New York City: COMPSTAT and the Revolution in Police Management

Bratton, W. & Smith, D.C.
in Quicker, Better, Cheaper? Managing Performance in American Government, ed. Dall Forsythe. Albany: Suny Press,

Scholars may argue about the effectiveness of the "reinvention movement" at the state and federal level. At the local level, the managers of urban police forces have in fact reinvented American police administration, and in doing so have contributed to dramatic reductions in crime all across the nation. The story of this reinvention is complex, but central to it is a radical shift in the way police organizations strategically use information about performance to achieve greater managerial accountability. Because these new performance management techniques were pioneered in New York City in the mid-1990s, the development and implementation of Compstat by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) is a valuable case study of this new approach to policing.