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George L. Wilson, revolutionized policing in America by targeting lesser infractions that stoke fear and unrest in urban neighborhoods, died on Wednesday at his home in Hanover, N. He was His death was confirmed by his wife, Catherine M. The cause was complications of cancer. Drawing on earlier research and his own field studies in Newark and Kansas City, Mo. Maintaining order and preventing crime, the two argued, go hand in hand.
Professor Kelling had been a seminarian, a social worker and a probation officer; he taught at Rutgers University and was a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank. Professor Wilson taught government and public policy at Harvard and later at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Police officers began reasserting their prerogative to pursue drunks, prostitutes, vagrants, subway turnstile jumpers and, notoriously, the so-called squeegee men who washed windshields, unsolicited, for money in stopped traffic. William J. Professors Kelling and Wilson viewed their strategy as a foundation for community policing — a means of addressing the causes behind patterns of complaints and recurring infractions, often by repeat offenders, that, they believed, bred more serious crime and fostered a climate of chaos.
But their thinking proved divisive in criminology. Detractors dismissed it as unproved neoconservative pablum that gave the police a reflexive excuse to arrest people for minor misconduct and that resulted in mass incarceration. Professors Kelling and Wilson had themselves warned from the outset that the strategy could prompt complaints of racial profiling and worse if officers applied it with insufficient discretion.
And, in retrospect, in an interview in , Professor Kelling agreed that the policy had at times been misapplied. While the theory was at first largely untested, no one has doubted that it had an impact. The dimensions of its influence, however, have been debated. The Bronx car was stripped clean within 24 hours. The one in California sat untouched for a week, but was vandalized within hours after Dr. Zimbardo smashed it with a sledgehammer. Muggers and robbers, whether opportunistic or professional, believe they reduce their chances of being caught or even identified if they operate on streets where potential victims are already intimidated by prevailing conditions.
George Lee Kelling was born on Aug. His father was a firefighter, his mother a factory worker and homemaker. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. His first marriage, to Sally Jean Mosiman, ended in divorce. He married Ms. Coles, a lawyer and urban anthropologist, in In addition to his wife, Professor Kelling is survived by a son, George, and a daughter, Kristin Lee Kelling Hayden, both from his first marriage; and four grandchildren.
Professor Wilson died in at In , after working as a probation officer and running a residential-care program for troubled youths, Professor Kelling was hired as a consultant to the National Police Foundation , a research and advocacy group, to evaluate how best to deploy officers.
Professor Wilson was later chairman of the group, from to In two studies he conducted, the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment and the Newark Foot Patrol Experiment, he concluded that foot patrols focusing on high-crime areas were effective deterrents to crime, and that even random encounters between residents and officers made the residents feel safer and improved relations between the police and the community. Mone, the president of the Manhattan Institute, said in an interview.
Bratton, who was then a sergeant with the Boston Police Department. At the urging of Mr. Wasserman and Professor Kelling, Mr. Even in , Professors Kelling and Wilson were aware that their theory was bound to generate a racial backlash. When people from minority groups are disproportionately the victims and perpetrators of crime, they asked, is it racist to focus police resources on them?
In , Eric Garner, a black man suspected of selling untaxed loose cigarettes on Staten Island, died during a struggle with police officers. An officer is currently facing possible dismissal over charges of reckless use of a chokehold and intentional restriction of breathing; a grand jury had declined to indict him in Mr.
Not the activities dealing with it, like an arrest. Obituaries George L. Home Page World U.
In the nineteenth century, British researchers began studying the variation in crime rates between and within cities. Some of these studies offered relatively simple accounts of the variance, in which concentrated poverty led to higher crime. Others went further, asking what explained the disparities in crime rates among poor neighborhoods. Of course, social scientists have long influenced crime policies. Wilson and the Rutgers criminologist George Kelling introduced, in a piece in The Atlantic , in
George L. Kelling, a Father of ‘Broken Windows’ Policing, Is Dead at 83
Broken windows theory , academic theory proposed by James Q. Wilson and George Kelling in that used broken windows as a metaphor for disorder within neighbourhoods. Their theory links disorder and incivility within a community to subsequent occurrences of serious crime. Broken windows theory had an enormous impact on police policy throughout the s and remained influential into the 21st century.