CRF Blog

Interview of the Day: George Kelling

by Bill Hayes

In Crime Fighter, Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison interviews George Kelling, one of the developers of the “broken windows” theory of policing.

Do people confuse and conflate broken windows with “zero-tolerance policing” or “stop, question and frisk” practices?

Yes. The other day I read that a Delaware police chief said his department was going to do broken windows with steroids. I find that pretty scary because that smacks of zealotry.

Broken windows is a tactic, an essential part of community policing that works with the community to identify problems and set priorities. It doesn’t matter what problems police are up against, they need partners to resolve them, whether it’s squeegee men or homeless in the subway. Broken windows is a tactic within community policing strategy. [more]