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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200041 Find in a Library
Title: Police-Resident Interactions and Satisfaction with Police: An Empirical Test of Community Policing Assertions
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:14  Issue:1  Dated:March 2003  Pages:55-74
Author(s): James Hawdon; John Ryan
Editor(s): Nanci Koser Wilson
Date Published: March 2003
Page Count: 20
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This exploratory study analyzed the perceptions of the local community-policing effort in a small southern neighborhood in order to predict resident satisfaction with the local police.
Abstract: Community-policing places emphasis on resident-police interaction in an attempt to deformalize the formal mechanisms of social control. However, community-policing is based on assumptions that cannot necessarily be taken for granted. It assumes that a community actually exits and that residents are willing to cooperate with the police. This study analyzed these assertions. It addressed the issue of community solidarity’s effect on attitudes toward the police. It analyzes the relationship between resident-police interactions while controlling for levels of solidarity and tested if resident-police interactions operated differently for ethnic minorities than they did for Anglos by fitting the interaction between resident-police interaction and minority status. The study randomly selected and interviewed 130 residents from a neighborhood in a small southern city. Contact with the police was not a significant predictor of resident assessment of police effectiveness. Residents appeared to be more concerned about having the police patrol their neighborhood than they were with interacting with them. The findings raise issues for the community policing attempts being undertaken across the Nation. The study found that once levels of community solidarity were accounted for, positive interactions between residents and the police did not influence resident perceptions of police effectiveness. However, the visible presence of officers in the neighborhood improved the residents’ opinions of the police. This study adds to previous evaluations that find the assertions of community policing advocates to be somewhat overstated. Appendix and references
Main Term(s): Community policing
Index Term(s): Community relations; Community support; Police crime-prevention; Police effectiveness; Police-citizen interactions; Policing innovation; Public Opinion of the Police
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