The New York City Police Department in October 2017 embarked on a major new initiative for performance evaluations of its officers. The new policy, recommended  on October 20, 2017 by Peter Zimroth, Monitor for the 2013 settlement of the Floyd stop and frisk case, involves qualitative rather than quantitative measures of officer performance.

Zimroth explained in his October letter to the District Court, “Officers are not required to count and report the number of stops” they make. Instead, officers will be evaluated on the basis of qualitative assessments of their performance. The twelve Dimensions of performance include “Problem Identification/Solving,” “Judgment,” “Proactive Policing Strategies,” and “community Interaction.” The letter explained that departmental pressure for officers to generate high rates of stops had been a major issue in the suit against the NYPD’s  stop and frisk program.

The creation of a qualitative system of performance evaluations is an extremely significant development in American policing, one that bears close scrutiny. The system described by Zimroth has not yet been fully implemented, much less evaluated. Nonetheless, it is a very important new development.

Read Zimroth’s letter to the judge, describing the new system here.