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NCJ Number: NCJ 172859   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Systematic Observation of Public Police: Applying Field Research Methods to Policy Issues
Series: NIJ Research Report
Author(s): S D Mastrofski ; R B Parks ; A J Reiss J, ; R E Worden ; C DeJong ; J B Snipes ; W Terrill
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 55
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 95-IJ-CX-0071
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
810 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: Text PDF 
Dataset: DATASET 1
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report describes systematic social observation (SSO), a field research method, and its use in studying police.
Abstract: In SSO, researchers record events as they see them and do not rely upon others to describe or interpret events. Researchers follow well-specified procedures that can be duplicated. SSO offers many advantages for gathering and analyzing information on police at work. It can be designed to suit very specific information needs and does not rely upon the recordkeeping accuracy, candor, or recall of those being observed. It offers a scope and depth of data seldom available through official records and survey questionnaires. However, it is costly, time-consuming, and dependent upon the cooperation of the police. It requires special effort to address the reactivity of research subjects to observers and the reliability of observers in recording events. Training, supervision, and quality control in the field are the best ways to manage these problems, but they take planning, time, and money. Given these constraints, SSO seems less feasible as a mechanism for routinely monitoring police practice and better suited to special studies. Tables, notes
Main Term(s): Police
Index Term(s): Police services coordination ; Studies ; Data collection ; Productivity ; Police management ; Services effectiveness ; Police performance evaluation ; Police research ; Instrument validation
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