Policing and Homelessness: Using Partnerships to Address a Cross System Issue

Natalie Kroovand Hipple
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From: Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice.

Increasingly, law enforcement agencies have been forced to become more creative in their problem-solving efforts, that is, do more with less. Arresting their way out of a problem is not always the best response on many levels given the cost to taxpayers as well as the possible strain put on community relationships. Given the other realization that some problems are not solely police problems, solving problems using multi-agency partnerships has gained traction and there is evidence to support these partnerships as viable options. This manuscript presents a pilot study of a problem-solving effort in Indianapolis, Indiana, grounded in multi-agency partnerships. Led by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the goal was to reduce the burden of mentally ill and/or addicted homeless individuals on the criminal justice and emergency medical services (EMS) systems. It serves to inform both academics and practitioners about an innovative strategy occurring in Indianapolis which may help relieve some of the economic burden on the criminal justice system and ultimately decrease the homeless population.


Hipple, N.K. (2016). Policing and homelessness: Using partnerships to address a cross system issue. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice. doi: 10.1093/police/paw010