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Products from the Second Annual 
Methamphetamine Initiative Conference

Interim Report





National Evaluation of the COPS Methamphetamine Initiative

The Institute for Law and Justice, working with 21st Century Solutions, conducted a process and outcome evaluation of the COPS Methamphetamine Initiative. The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services chose six sites across the country where methamphetamine has become a serious threat to their communities. Included were Phoenix, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Salt Lake City, Utah; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Little Rock, Arkansas. 

Each of the six sites received approximately $750,000 to implement programs to combat the increasing problem of methamphetamine abuse. Because these sites vary considerably both in the extent of their meth problem as well as the available resources to implement these programs, each citys approach was unique. The common theme throughout these programs, however, was the implementation of innovative community policing strategies to help alleviate the local meth problem. These strategies involved intervention, prevention, and/or treatment components with special emphasis on developing (or enhancing) partnerships with other local, state, and federal agencies.

The evaluation effort was multi-faceted in order to adequately gauge the magnitude of the project, the degree of success with which the project was implemented through a partnership approach, and any early indications of the projects impact on reducing methamphetamine abuse and distribution. The following is a brief description of efforts for the COPS Methamphetamine Initiative Evaluation.

  • Each site was personally visited by an evaluator on a regular basis. This provided information on the geography and population demography of each of the sites. Whenever possible, evaluators conducted ride-alongs with the local police department, observed drug court hearings, and attended any appropriate project-related meetings.
  • The evaluators conducted interviews with key personnel involved in the project. Depending upon the particular project, these individuals may have included representatives from local, state, and federal agencies such as local police departments, district attorney offices, local treatment facilities, state crime labs, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • The evaluation effort also included additional interviews with methamphetamine arrestees, drug court participants, and individuals enrolled in local treatment facilities. 
  • Analyses were conducted with site-specific data. This included information on drug arrests; drug seizures; clandestine lab arrests; drug court participation; local and state prosecutions and dispositions of drug cases; and public awareness-related information (e.g., number of radio announcements, television spots, and billboards). Where possible, national level data and data from neighboring agencies were included in the analysis.


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