Port St. Lucie, Florida

Reducing Gun Violence through Offender-Focused Strategies

Port St. Lucie SPI Team Photo

Port St. Lucie Police Patch

Site LE Agency
Port St. Lucie Police Department

Site Researcher
Rachel Boba Santos, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Site Focus
Repeat Offenders, Organizational Change

SPI Strategy
Institutionalization of offender-based and evidence-based policing

Site Cohort
2012

Site Profile
Mid-sized rural area of 113.95 sq. miles with a population of 164,716

Project Overview

The goal of the Port St. Lucie SPI was to expand and institutionalize the police department’s current Stratified Model of problem-solving, analysis, and accountability by implementing offender-based responses in residential burglary and residential theft from vehicle hot spots. This SPI project included dedication of a crime analyst and a detective focused on repeat offenders, to ensure that the program was effectively implemented and institutionalized. Evaluation of the effectiveness of offender-based strategies was conducted through a randomized control trial.

Data Highlight

  • Detectives were involved in 1,143 responses with 151 offenders, an average of 7.57 responses per offender.
  • Although not statistically significant, there was a 22 percent reduction in residential burglary and residential theft from vehicle hot spots.
  • There was a 46 percent decrease in arrests of offenders who were contacted and living in control hot spots.
  • Offenders and their families reported improved behavior and family relationships as a result of the respectful and helpful tone of the program.