The Narcotics Initiative: An Examination of the NYPD Approach to Drug Enforcement, 1995-2001

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



In the mid-1990s, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) developed a new approach to address drug conditions called the narcotics initiative. Centered on a three-prong enforcement strategy, the initiatives were concentrated in specific clusters of precincts and successively deployed over a period of several years throughout New York City. This study examines the impact of two initiatives deployed in Queens County, NY, and examines the effectiveness of the initiatives based on the decrease in crime and increase in enforcement associated with their deployment. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) is used to examine the data, and the results showed limited impact in community conditions after the initiatives were deployed.