Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Hilda Shepeard


Large, metropolitan areas across the nation have experienced high rates of violent crime over the past 2 decades. As a consequence, law enforcement agencies have increased patrol efforts, but little is known about whether the decrease in violent crime rates was correlated to increased police patrols or to the economic variables of unemployment, inflation, level of education, unemployment compensation, and homeownership. The purpose of this non-experimental, correlational study was to examine the nature of the relationship between increased police patrols, the 5 economic variables, and violent crime rates in 7 large US cities for a 10-year period. The theoretical framework for this study was based on Paternoster's deterrence theory and Becker's economic theory of crime causation. Data were acquired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and used a sample of 114 cases of reported violent crimes for each city included in the study for the years 2000 - 2010 (n = 798). A multiple regression analysis was initially performed with inconclusive results. Spearman's correlations between each of the independent and dependent variables of violent crime indicated that all the independent variables except for homeownership had statistically significant inverse correlations with violent crime rates. The findings of this study may be used by law enforcement agencies and policy makers to develop crime prevention interventions that address those economic factors associated with violent crime, thereby promoting positive social change through creating safer communities.