skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 202111 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Structural Change in Large Police Agencies During the 1990's
Journal: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management  Volume:26  Issue:2  Dated:2003  Pages:251-275
Author(s): Edward R. Maguire; Yeunhee Shin; Jihong Solomon Zhao; Kimberly D. Hassell
Editor(s): Robert H. Langworthy
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 98-IJ-CX-0003
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This longitudinal study examined the evidence for changes in the structure of large municipal police organizations during the 1990's.
Abstract: Throughout the twentieth century, the organizational structures of large municipal police departments in the United States have changed significantly. Over the past two decades community policing reformers have advocated for a revamping of organizational structures and administrative practices in several ways: reducing the size of their administrative components, decentralize, de-specialize, reduce the depth of their hierarchies, and to civilianize, replacing sworn officers with civilians in various occupational specialties. This restructuring is seen as essential for community policing practices to take root. This paper, supported by the U. S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, examines the evidence for change in one substantive domain: formal organizational structure. Data are used from six different sources: three waves of data from the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics Series (LEMAS)(1990, 1993, and 1997), two waves of data (1993 and 1996) on the organizational structures of police agencies collected by Maguire (2002), and data from a 1998 University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) survey of police agencies conducted by Maguire (2002). Overall, 353 agencies provided sufficient data to compute functional differentiation scores for each of the six sources. Findings provided mixed news for community policing advocates. Large municipal police organizations in the United States experienced significant decreases in centralization and administrative intensity, together with significant increases in occupational differentiation. These changes are consistent with the structural reform agendas of community policing advocates. Overall, the evidence provides more room for optimism among community policing reformers than previous research, with some structural elements changing in the direction urged by reformers. References
Main Term(s): Police organizational structure
Index Term(s): Community policing; Local government; Municipal police; NIJ grant-related documents; Police agencies; Police civilian employees; Police effectiveness; Police management; Police personnel; Police reform
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 website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.