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NCJ Number: 97848 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Foot Patrol On Black and White Perceptions of Policing
Author(s): R C Trojanowicz; D W Banas
Corporate Author: National Neighborhood Foot Patrol Ctr
Michigan State University
School of Criminal Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Flint, MI 48502
National Neighborhood Foot Patrol Ctr
East Lansing, MI 48824
Sale Source: National Neighborhood Foot Patrol Ctr
Michigan State University
School of Criminal Justice
560 Baker Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Interviews conducted over a 4-year period demonstrated that the Neighborhood Foot Patrol program implemented in Flint, Mich., not only improved police-community relations, but reduced the disparity in perceptions of police performance between blacks and whites.
Abstract: The Flint Police Department operated solely with motorized or preventive patrols until January 1979. The Neighborhood Foot Patrol Program began in 1979 with 22 foot patrol officers assigned to 14 experimental areas which included about 20 percent of the city's population. In their innovative foot patrol program, officers were based in all types of socioeconomic neighborhoods and focused on the social service as well as the law enforcement aspects of their jobs. The program reduced crime rates by 8.7 percent and calls for service by 42 percent between 1979 and 1982. Attitudes of Flint residents were assessed through interviews conducted in 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1983, using samples drawn randomly from the patrol areas. The 1979 interviews showed that Flint residents did not deviate from the national pattern of blacks consistently rating the police less favorably than whites. Interviews conducted in the subsequent 3 years demonstrated a dramatic decrease in the differences between black and white perceptions of the foot patrol. The range of differences between the two groups' attitudes toward the police in 1979 was from 13.2 percent to 20.2 percent. In contrast, the greatest variation between blacks and whites in their perceptions of the foot patrols' performance was 8.5 percent, and many neighborhoods had a lower variation. In effect, residents felt they gained control over the operation of the police department, while the foot patrol officers became responsive to community needs and sensitive to neighborhood culture. Charts and 13 footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Black/White Attitude Comparisons; Citizen satisfaction; Foot patrol; Michigan; Police-citizen interactions; Program evaluation; Public Opinion of the Police
Note: Community Policing Series, number 4.
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