Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Appendix: Analysis of Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing Reports Involving Sting Operations

This table reports the findings of project reports submitted to the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing competition. As such, they are designed in a standard way based on the SARA model, and procedures followed are generally in compliance with the award criteria. However, more than half of the studies did not report data to back up their claims that the targeted crime had been reduced. Many assumed success because of the numbers of arrests or convictions that followed the sting. Even taking that into account, close to half reported that the sting operation did not work to reduce crime in the long run, though there were often temporary reductions.

Crime Targeted

Reduced crime?

Used other responses?

Yes No No data Yes No
Prostitution (n=11) 4 7 9 4 7
Car theft (n=6) 5 1 4 2 4
Illegal alcohol sales (n=3) 2 1 2 3 0
Traffic violations (n=2) 2 0 1 2 0
Various crimes (habitual offenders, graffiti) (n=3) 1 2 2 1 2
Street drug dealing (n=2) 1 1 0 1 1
Total = 27 15 12 18 13 14

List of Project Reports Reviewed (all available on The Center for Problem-Oriented Policing web site at

Aurora (Colorado) Police Department (1996). The Prostitution Dilemma.

Austin (Texas) City Police Department (1999). Reclaiming South Congress Street.

Boulder (Colo.) Police Department (1997). Underage Alcohol Abuse: The Boulder Experience.

Calgary (Alberta) Police Service (2000). A Multi-Discipline Approach to Management and Control of Prostitution.

Chico (Calif.) Police Department (1995). Alcoholic Beverage Control Grant.

El Paso County (Texas) Auto Theft Prevention Task Force (2001). The Repeat Offender.

El Paso Police Department (1996).San Jacinto Park Renovation Action Plan.

Fontana (Calif.) Police Department (2003). Fontana Serious Traffic Offender Program.

Fresno (Calif.) Police Department (1999). Prostitution Abatement and Rehabilitation First Offender Program.

Hollywood (Calif.) Police Department (1998). "Federal Highway Project.

Lancashire (England) Constabulary (2003). Putting the Brakes on Lorry Trailer Theft.

Lauderhill (Fla.) Police Department (1996). Mission Lake Plaza Combating an Open-Air Drug Market in a Shopping Complex.

Orlando (Fla.) Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (1997). A Task Force Approach to Organized Prostitution.

Michigan State University/East Lansing (Mich.) Community Police (1998). Illegal Alcohol Sales and Keg Tracking.

National City (Calif.) Police Department (1997). Roosevelt Avenue Project (Antiprostitution Effort).

New Rochelle (N.Y.) Police Department (2004). Q-TIP (Quality-of-Life Targeted Intervention Patrol).

Paducah (Ky.) Police Department (2006). The Set Operation Deterring Street Crime and Violence.

Redondo Beach (Calif.) Police Department (1998). Operation Bull Market: Targeting Habitual Offenders.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Williams Lake Detachment, British Columbia (1997). Hot Car Program.

Sacramento (Calif.) Police Department (2003). Graffiti Reduction.

Sacramento Police Department (1998). Oak Park Revitalization Program.

San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sheriff's Department (1993). Foothill Corridor Project

San Diego Police Department (1995). Varda Car.

Stockton (Calif.) Police Department (2003). Project Black Flag.

Tucson (Ariz.) Police Department (1999).Pimps, Prostitutes, and Pushers.

Wichita (Kan.) Police Department (1996). South Central Prostitution Project.

Williams Lake (British Columbia) Royal Canadian Mounted Police (1997). Hot Car Program.