skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 197062     Find in a Library
Title: Not Just a Popularity Contest: Factors That Influence Public Opinion of the Police, Interim Report.
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Cheryl Maxson ; Karen Hennigan ; David C. Sloane
Corporate Author: University of California, Irvine
Criminology, Law and Society
School of Ecology
United States of America
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 22
  Annotation: Through a survey of Los Angeles residents, the authors of this report present primary influences on public opinion of police performance.
Abstract: Discussing principle influences on public opinion of police performance, this study presents the results of a mail survey conducted with residents in four areas within the city of Los Angeles. Arguing that there is often an ambivalent relationship between community residents and police officers, the authors discuss community members’ direct experience with the police and residents’ expectations of their public safety in order to ascertain factors contributing to public opinion of the police department. After presenting a brief literature review on prior studies of factors influencing attitudes towards police officers, this report argues that by asking residents whether police officers do a good job, have a respectful and trustworthy demeanor, and if the police use more force than necessary, individuals’ direct experiences and expectations of police officers can be measured. Survey findings indicate that greater amounts of informal police contact and low levels of police victimization lead residents to have favorable opinions of local police work. Respondents who perceive that there neighborhood is safe also hold more positive opinions concerning police officers. Furthermore, despite police perceptions, the media is not a source of negative opinion concerning the Los Angeles Police Department, except with regard to police use of force. A series of tables illustrating survey results completes this report. 20 Endnotes
Main Term(s): Complaints against police ; Police performance evaluation
Index Term(s): Public Attitudes/Opinion ; Surveys ; Evaluation ; Public Opinion of the Police ; Police department surveys ; California
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 96-IJ-CX-0069
Sale Source: University of California, Irvine
Criminology, Law and Society
2317 Social Ecology II
School of Ecology
Irvine, CA 92697-7080
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:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.