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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149994 Find in a Library
Title: Legalistic and Order-Maintenance Behavior Among Police Patrol Officers: A Survey of Eight Municipal Police Agencies
Journal: American Journal of Police  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:(1993)  Pages:103-126
Author(s): J P Crank
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 24
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study identifies and models variables associated with the frequency with which police produce order- maintenance activity; this analysis is done in conjunction with an analysis of legalistic activity, so that a comparison of the effects of various predictors on the frequency with which police perform both types of activities is possible.
Abstract: Data were collected from eight Illinois municipal police departments ranging in size from 40 to 100 sworn full-time personnel. Site visits were subsequently conducted, and questionnaires were distributed to all sworn full-time officers present at roll-call, among all shifts during the day of the site visit. A total of 205 usable questionnaires, and this analysis used only line-level respondents (n=198). Eight core tasks were used to construct two composite scales of four items each to measure legalism and order-maintenance activity. The frequency with which officers perform four tasks -- issue nontraffic citations, make custodial traffic arrests, issue traffic citations, and search cars under independent probable cause -- were used to construct a summative measure of legalistic activity, in which increases in the frequency of performance of each of the behavior indicated increased legalism. The frequencies with which officers perform four tasks were similarly summed to construct a variable called order maintenance. These tasks were establish rapport with citizens on the beat, mediate civil disputes, mediate family disputes, and verbally warn offenders instead of arresting them. Attitudinal predictors, individual predictors, and assignment predictors were examined to determine their influence on order-maintenance and legalistic behaviors. The findings show that individual officer attitudes and background characteristics had little influence on police order-maintenance and legalistic behavior. 8 notes, 46 references, and appended scale items used to construct attitudinal indexes
Main Term(s): Police responsibilities
Index Term(s): Police attitudes; Police policies and procedures
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