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NCJ Number: 211001 Find in a Library
Title: Local Politics and Police Strength
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:22  Issue:2  Dated:June 2005  Pages:139-169
Author(s): Thomas D. Stucky
Date Published: June 2005
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
State University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52240
Grant Number: SES-0002291
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After developing hypotheses from a review of research that suggests local political context many impact police strength, this study empirically tested the hypotheses through an analysis of relevant 1990 data from 945 cities with 25,000 or more residents in 1990.
Abstract: The research reviewed encompasses both urban-politics research and criminal justice research. The hypotheses developed were as follows: cities with mayor-council forms of government would have more police officers; cities with district-based elections would have more police officers; cities with partisan elections would have more police officers; police employment will increase as the number of traditional municipal political-system characteristics increased; and the effect of crime rates and racial threat on police employment would increase as the number of traditional political system characteristics increased. In testing these hypotheses for 945 cities, the dependent variable was the rate of both sworn and unsworn police employees per 1,000 residents in 1989. Independent variables pertained to Uniform Crime Reports rates for violent and property offenses for 1986 and 1987 (2-year lag for impact on police strength); dollars of city revenue per capita for the 1990-91 fiscal year; economic inequality in the population, measured by the Gini index in 1990; percentage of Black residents in 1990; city political characteristics (form of government); city population density; percentage of population ages 18-24; and geographic region of the country. The data analysis indicated that mayor-council forms of government, district-based city councils, and partisan elections were related to more police employees per 1,000 residents; this effect varied by region. In addition, the effect of minority populations and crime rates on police strength varied across municipal political contexts. Implications of these findings for theories of police strength are discussed. 2 tables, 4 figures, 77 references, and appended supplementary statistics
Main Term(s): Police resource allocation
Index Term(s): Local government; Minorities; Municipal police; Police personnel; Political influences
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