The experiment was held in Kansas City based on the local police department in 1970. The experiment lasted for one year and aimed to answer the main question whether police presence in the streets and areas can influence positively upon the level of crimes and the people’s behavior. Along with the first point, there was a second thesis, whether the amount of police patrols in the city area can diminish citizen’s fears or not. This experiment was held with the help of the Police Foundation Funding, powers of the local police department and the devotion of the police officers to the main aim of the hypothesis under the investigation. The background of the experiment was based on the division of the city area for three smaller areas with three different levels of police patrol. The first area was called “reactive area”, second was “proactive area” and the last one was “control area”. The conditions of police patrol and monitoring of these areas were different in the intensity of visible police patrol presence. As it is seen from the area’s names the “reactive area” was one with no preventive measures or under the police control, the police officers entered this area just in cases when citizens’ calls took place or there was information about the violation of the law. The second area, the so-called “proactive”, was intensified by the sources of preventive control up to two or even three times it was before. That was a bigger amount of the police patrol cars and officers in that area and there were even more police forces in cases of people’s calls or in cases of criminal offences in that area. Finally, the last part of the city that was entitled “control area” was without any changes in the level of police preventive control and like in any other experiment it served as a control area for the police department and the experiment monitoring group to have the initial and original situation with the results of the experiment. In fact, the whole experiment was realized according to all the rules and requirements of organizing a proper experiment. The main point in this is the presence of the so-called control part that was unchanged what provided the field for the true and significant comparison.
During the experiment, the police department faced several challenges that might influence the results of the experiment on the stage of conclusions after the experiment. The first problem was the limitation in the number of the police officers. This was a serious problem, as it could affect the results of the experiment in general and the department could not realize the experimental project without a necessary amount of people. However, the problem was solved by enrolling more police officers to the Police Department. Another problem was that the police officers that were assigned to work in the reactive areas were bored and could not fulfill their job, as it should be done. The statement of the experiment observers also solved this problem that those police officers who were responsible for the work in the reactive areas could still be working performing the preventive control duties in the proactive areas. It was a good idea because it served both sides: the police officers were not bored anymore and preventive patrols in proactive areas were enlarged by additional work force. The third problem was that the members of the department and some of the police officers were not maintaining the rules of the experiment and they were violating the recommendations for the proper experiment organization. This was the most serious and difficult problem to solve and the police department with the help of the Foundation funds tried to do their best to cope with it. The decision was to organize additional classes and lectures for all the participants of the experimental process to explain in details the main aims and goals of the experiment and its role and importance for the people in general and for the future life of the police department, and their work in the sphere of preventing crimes and criminal cases. The lecturers were assigned to emphasize the necessity to obtain the duties and to follow all the guidelines that were set for the proper experimental results. The main idea of the experiment is to follow all the rules and directions that are important for the experiment results and the police department of Kansas City did their best to fulfill that.
The constructive elements of experiment
The experiment was constructed according to the conditions and the possibilities of the police department. The most significant constructive element was that the territory of the city area was divided randomly into three different kinds of areas. Before the experiment started, a lot of literature like statistical data and various criminal reports were studied and underwent the deep analysis on the basis of the police department officers and the experiment observers. The statistical conclusion was made on the basis of the great amount of the reports and documents and data collections that were made and neatly collected during the whole experimental year. These were not only criminal reports or citizens’ reports about any violations or criminal cases but it was also information from the interviews and questionnaires of the observers and the police officers. Moreover, there were surveys that were suggested for the citizens and they could express their thoughts about the police officers’ work and the quality of their work from the point of view of those, directly under the care of the people dressed in the uniform. As for the internal and external validities, the next information should be mentioned that the experiment lasted for one year and all the participants of it tried to fulfill the rules and guidelines that were assigned for them as rules of the experiment. The term internal validity means that any changes that were inside of the experiment might make a great influence upon the results of the experiment in general at the end of the experimental period.
The aim of the experiment
The external validity means that the results of the experiment might help to answer the questions that were out of the sphere of investigation or they might help to solve problems that were not mentioned in the problematic field of the experimental process. As for this experiment, the external validity is on the very high level because the results of the experimental work of the police department of Kansas City may be used not only in answering the main questions whether the police preventive patrol can influence the level of crime in the city and whether it is important for the citizens and make any difference upon the level of their fears and thinking about their safety in the city. However, at the same time it can show the observers how well do the police officers can perform their duties, what are the things that police officers do while they maintain their duty in the city preventive patrol and many others. However, if to speak about the internal validity, the situation is vice versa, because there is no significant influence upon the results of the experiment in case of changing the conditions and certain points during the experiment. The major part of the importance depends on the participants of the experiment and whether they can maintain the guidelines and rules of the experiment or not. If to speak about the survey experiments, they are more dependants of any changes in the experiment structure. The results directly depend upon these questions. At the same time, the exterior validity of the survey investigation is on the low level because a certain sphere and the set of questions that make the essence of this investigation process limit it. The question of the internal and external validity is very important and difficult and it can have several points of view. This question is quite disputable that is why it also can become a topic for the research paper and not just one of the questions in the assignment.
Experimental and survey designs
Experimental and survey designs differ in all the stages starting with the organizational phase, data collecting part of the experiment, the experiment itself and even the way the conclusions are made at the end of the experiment. First of all, the design of the experiment is very different from survey design. The experiment always has the practical part and the question under the investigation is larger in its sizes and importance than one that becomes the topic of the survey investigation. Moreover, the preparation period of these two types of the experiment is different in general. Firstly, to start the experiment there is a strong necessity to prepare the people and the support stuff that will be responsible for the proper flow of the experiment. As for the survey investigation, there is a need to make a set of questions that would be interesting and at the same time would disclose the problem, help the investigators see the solutions to the questions asked, and find the solution of the problems that occurred. There is no need to prepare a team of workers to hold the survey and no need to explain the rules, aims of the survey because people just would ask others questions or even simply give out the papers, and then collects them. More often then not experiments can cover more than one question or problem while surveys usually meant to cover a certain sphere of the problem and answer concrete questions. One more thing is that on the level of conclusions and making the result report of the experiment there is more data to analyze after the experiment was maintained and it is not always simply calculating the number of the similar answers to the same questions. The last difference between these two types of the investigation processes is that the experiments usually face more problems and difficulties than surveys, but this means that holding the experiment is more interesting challenging and at the same time revealing kind of the investigation. The experiments are used for studying more serious problems and questions than those which are under the survey investigations.
Weak and strong points of the experiment
As for the weaknesses and strength of these two kinds of the experiments like surveys and experiments there are certain points in external and internal validities. The external validity means how can the results of the experiment be applied to the similar situations outside the experimental area and the results of it show whether they may be applied not only to the problems under the investigation of the experiment but also to the problems and questions that are not directly connected to those used in the experiment. As for this particular experiment, its results may be used not only for Kansas City but also for other cities and the information given in the report proves it by giving the examples of comparison of Kansas City and other cities like Chicago, Boston, Cincinnati and many others in different spheres and fields of criminal levels and its peculiarities. The results of this experiment may be used not only in the sphere of influence of the preventive patrol of the police department in different city areas but also in questions of social thinking and ideas about the police role in preventing the crimes and providing citizens with the thoughts that they live in the protected area and the police officers will react fast in case of emergency and come as soon as possible. Though the experiment proved that there was no significant difference in crime level and in the people’s thoughts and their trust to the police department as well as there were no changes in the level of people’s fears and there was no significant positive movement in enlarging the amount of the visible preventive patrol forces and bigger amount of police officers in the area. As for the internal validity, in this case there were no visible changes during the experiment. As for the survey methods, internal validity plays an important role and any changes may influence the results of the survey. At the same time if to speak about the external validity the results of the survey investigation hardly can be used somewhere else than in the field they were maintained for.