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NCJ Number: NCJ 184612   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Perceptions of the Police Among Members of Six Ethnic Communities in Central Queens, NY
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Robert C. Davis
Corporate Author: Safe Horizon
United States of America
Date Published: 08/2000
Page Count: 85
  Annotation: This investigation examined the effects of ethnicity on conditioning public attitudes toward the police, based on representative samples of 200 residents from six different ethnic groups in Central Queens, New York.
Abstract: The ethnic groups included African-Americans, Italians, Indians, Colombians, Ecuadoreans, and Dominicans. Respondents were asked about voluntary and involuntary contacts with the police, perceptions of police effectiveness and misconduct, and crime reporting. Contrary to expectations, no significant differences were found among the six ethnic groups in police-initiated contacts. On the other hand, there were large differences between ethnic communities in voluntary contacts with the police. The ethnic communities that were the longest-established and the best-integrated into the local political structure (African-Americans and Italians) were far more likely to use the police in instrumental ways than communities that were less well-established. Respondents held contradictory attitudes toward police behavior. Most believed that police officers were effective in addressing local crime concerns, but most also believed that police officers were guilty of engaging in misconduct. Experience with the police played a role in shaping people's attitudes. Individuals who had been stopped by the police within the past year were more likely to believe that police engaged in misconduct and were less willing to report crimes than other respondents. The most powerful determinant of opinions about the police and willingness to report crimes was membership in particular ethnic communities. Respondents who were born in the United States had more positive attitudes toward the police than respondents who had been born abroad. References, tables, and figures
Main Term(s): Public Opinion of the Police
Index Term(s): Police effectiveness ; Municipal police ; Police community relations ; Minorities ; Black/African Americans ; Urban area studies ; Citizen crime reporting ; Hispanic Americans ; Ethnic groups ; Police-minority relations ; Police misconduct ; NIJ grant-related documents ; New York
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 96-IJ-CX-0073
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Safe Horizon
2 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10007
United States of America
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: See NCJ-184613 for the executive summary.
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