Apprehension vs. deterrence… or are they one in the same?
I got a comment on the story from Jose Chavarria (Iverify?). He asked the very good question what the true measure of success was: apprehending people or deterring crime in the first place. A very good question and insightful comment, and one I attempted to address in through the same medium (the comment box at the bottom of the story). Unfortunately for me, I tend to really bring the word count at times, and was told in no uncertain terms that my comment on Jose’s comment was too long. So I decided to take to the blog.
“Is apprehension really the success or is deterrence the real measure?”
As I said, good question. Here’s the reply I’d prepared and was unable to upload through the comments section:
Thanks for the read and the comment. You bring up a valid point, and one that, I admit, I did not address overtly in the story. However, Tom, Marcos and I did discuss deterrence briefly in our interview. One of Tom’s points was that apprehensions lead to deterrence. From our talk:
“At the end of the day, the best way to deter crime is to arrest people, because word gets out,” Tom said. “2003, Modesto City schools had 49 campuses and we installed that and we apprehended 130 people the first year. They’d had another alarm company for 20 years prior to us that was not a verified alarm system company and they’d apprehended zero in 20 years. We apprehended 130 that first year and roughly a comparable number the second year and then it started falling off. And we find that whenever we go into a new school district, it takes a little while, but the word gets out and people stop trying. So apprehensions now at Modesto–we’re six years into that relationship–are down to half that number of apprehensions and I think that’s from the deterrence of having the Sonitrol system in there and the Sonitrol stickers in sight. So verification is the key to apprehension–and to deterrence.”
Again, Jose, thank you for continuing the discussion.
Where do you stand? Do you think verification makes the difference? Do you think the threat of apprehension (yard signs, stickers) is enough (As I addressed in an earlier blog post, many people DO argue that the system itself is unnecessary, or at least vaguely superfluous) or does it take more (like bustin’ some perp and hauling him away in a cruiser). Does Sonitrol’s Tom Patterson have a point? Does word get out… the record seems to say yes. However, a recent story from SSN shows that crime over all recently has been down… so who can say. I’m interested in your opinion.