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Exploitative revenues, law enforcement and the quality of government service

JANUARY 23, 2019 | by Rebecca Goldstein, Michael Sances, Hye Young You | NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW

A growing body of evidence indicates that local police departments are increasingly being used to provide revenue for municipalities by imposing and collecting fees, fines, and asset forfeitures. We examine whether revenue collection activities compromise the criminal investigation functions of local police departments. We find that police departments in cities that collect a greater share of their revenue from fees – conceivably because their governing bodies put pressure on them to generate revenue – solve violent crimes at significantly lower rates.

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