The Northwestern Neighborhood & Network (N3) Initiative: Neighborhood Policing Initiative and Street Outreach Projects

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Northwestern Neighborhood & Network Initiative (N3) will serve as an incubator for new ways that faculty and experts at Northwestern can engage communities, civic partners, and policy makers to help address core problems facing the residents of Chicago and surrounding communities. The current proposal will support two research projects being developed and conducted by N3. (1) The Evaluation of Police-Community Engagement Efforts in Chicago. The director of N3, Professor Andrew Papachristos, will serve as a research partner and external evaluator on two new efforts to foster trust between citizens and police in Chicago by the Policing Project at New York University: the Neighborhood Policing Initiative (NPI) the Community Engagement Initiative (CEI). NPI and CEI are designed to create new mechanisms and police practices by which residents engage police and, in so doing, hopefully build positive network ties with police. A qualitative research component will focus on understanding the perceptions of residents and police about their relationship and how (if at all) NPI and CEI improve the health, safety, and well-being of the community. A quantitative component will implement a quasi-experimental analysis that brings together a host of data on police-citizen behaviors to measure any impact on sentiment towards the police, crime and violence indices, and other indicators of community safety. The additional funds would support a full-time Research Manger to oversee all aspects of the research development and to expand data collection efforts in treatment and control districts. (2) The Evaluation and Impact of Street Outreach and Violence Interruption in Chicago. N3 is currently in discussions with Metropolitan Family Services (MFS) about the design and implementation of an evaluation and research effort to support new street outreach efforts in Chicago being developed through Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P). Nearly all street outreach and violence interruption programs explicitly engage a network logic: in order to mediate a dispute or reach otherwise hard-to-reach populations, outreach workers must be able to enter and navigate otherwise closed street networks. Yet, to date, no outreach organization has employed formal network methods to guide outreach workers or in it evaluation. Although still in the development phase, this project will develop new network matching techniques to create an experiment within a larger co-offending network in Chicago. The research team will work with CP4P to collect data on the recruitment and outcomes of participants and compare their performance with individuals not involved in the program but similarly embedded in the co-offending networks. In addition to assessing such direct effects, the proposed network experiment will also allow for the detection of indirect or “spill-over” effects within one’s immediate social network, street gangs, and even specific geographic neighborhoods. The requested funding would be used to hire a Research Manger needed to coordinate research activities across multiple communities involved in CP4P.
Effective start/end date8/1/182/28/21


  • Joyce Foundation (18-38756)


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.