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Speaker Series Shines a Light on the "Levels of Inequality in Municipal Policing" Research

Posted: April 2017


Assistant Professor Agustin Leon-Moreta presented his findings last Friday as the last installment of the SPA Speaker Series for this spring as the public has a “renewed interest in the performance of policing services in America.” He said, “inequality in policing is a defining public policy challenge of our time. Recent events in Ferguson and other cities have raised the sense of urgency about policing programs of municipalities.”

To measure the level of police resources across American municipalities, he used the amount of police expenditures per capita and discovered that New Mexico has the 13 highest amount of police expenditure per capita. Comparing the level of resources to an American Community Survey that recorded metropolitan disparities, income inequality as well as racial and ethnic heterogeneity, Professor Leon-Moreta also discovered that police expenditures increase with racial and ethnic heterogeneity, years of municipal incorporation as well as prevalent income inequality.

Professor Leon-Moreta said the solution for fixing inequalities is through the development of institutional capacity, which will have an increase in intergovernmental aid, inter-local cooperation and oversight of municipal policing. His research indicates that “social and institutional mechanisms should be a part of policy analysis if the intent of policy or administrative practices is to reshape programs of municipalities.”

For a complete overview of the talk, please read the DailyLobo article. As well, check out events for future SPA Speaker Series announcements!