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NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: NCJ 185725     Find in a Library
  Title: Establishment of a Police Gang Unit: An Examination of Rational and Institutional Considerations
  Document URL: PDF 
  Author(s): Charles M. Katz Ph.D.
  Date Published: 2000
  Page Count: 42
  Annotation: Research that used a multimethodological design sought to determine the factors that led to the creation of a specialized police gang unit by a midwestern police agency and how these factors influenced the gang unit’s response to the community’s gang problem.
  Abstract: The research brought together data collected by means of field observations, interviews, and document reviews during 1996 and 1997. Results indicated support for the institutional perspective. The data suggested that the gang unit resulted from pressures placed on the police department from various powerful elements within the community. In addition, once created, the need to achieve and maintain legitimacy among various sovereigns in their environment was the main factor that influenced the gang unit’s response to the community’s gang problem. Findings differed from others that have suggested that police-created myths have led to gang units. Findings also suggested that the unit’s organization and operations were largely a function of ceremony rather than the need to act in a rational or effective manner. Findings also challenged the notion that specialized police units necessarily increase technical efficiency and effectiveness. The analysis concluded that although the findings provided considerable support for the institutional perspective, they nevertheless should caution researchers in making generalizations about the factors that might influence a police agency’s response toward a community’s gang problem. Future research should examine the impact that both rational and institutional considerations have on the police response to gangs and how these considerations may be contingent on geography and time. Table, footnotes, and 47 references
  Main Term(s): Police management
  Index Term(s): Police effectiveness ; Police internal organizations ; Political influences ; Gangs ; Specialized investigative units ; Gang Prevention
  Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Grant Number: 95-IJ-CX-0057
  Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
  Type: Report (Study/Research)
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

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