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NCJ Number: 34006 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: ON THE FATE OF 'LILLIPUTS' IN METROPOLITAN POLICING
Journal: PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REVIEW  Volume:36  Issue:2  Dated:(MARCH/APRIL 1976)  Pages:192-200
Author(s): E OSTROM; D C SMITH
Corporate Author: American Soc. for Public Admin
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: American Soc. for Public Admin
Washington, DC 20036
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Rockville, MD 20857
Grant Number: 5 R01 MH 19911
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE AUTHORS REFUTE THE ARGUMENTS OF THOSE WHO MAINTAIN THAT SMALL POLICE DEPARTMENTS ARE INEFEECTIVE AND INEFFICIENT, AND OFFER EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE INDICATING EQUAL OR SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE BY THESE SMALL AGENCIES.
Abstract: IT IS ARGUED THAT NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE HAS BEEN FOUND TO SUPPORT THE PROPOSITION THAT LARGER SIZE OF THE DEPARTMENT IS ASSOCIATED WITH LOWER COSTS FOR LOCAL POLICE PROTECTION SIMILARLY, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT SMALLER AGENCIES PROVIDE A LOW QUALITY OF SERVICE. THE AUTHORS PRESENT THE RESULTS OF A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF POLICE PERFORMANCE IN THE ST. LOUIS METROPOLITAN AREA. SMALL, MEDIUM, AND LARGE DEPARTMENTS WERE INCLUDED IN THE STUDY. POLICE PERFORMANCE WAS MEASURED IN THIS STUDY BY A VARIETY OF INDICATORS DERIVED FROM A CITIZEN SURVEY, FROM INTERVIEWS WITH POLICE OFFICIALS, AND FROM POLICE AND PROSECUTORIAL ACTIVITY RECORDS. THE PATTERN ACROSS A NUMBER OF INDICATORS WAS CLEAR: THE VERY SMALL DEPARTMENTS CONSISTENTLY PERFORMED AT HIGHER LEVELS THAN THE TWO LARGEST POLICE DEPARTMENTS IN THE ST. LOUIS METROPOLITAN AREA. THE PER CAPITA COSTS OF SMALL DEPARTMENTS WAS ALSO MUCH LOWER. BASED ON INTERVIEWS WITH POLICE FROM SMALL, MEDIUM, AND LARGE DEPARTMENTS, IT WAS FOUND THAT SIZE OF DEPARTMENT WAS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH YEARS OF COLLEGE EDUCATION OR WITH ATTITUDES TOWARD DEMOCRATIC VALUES. THE AUTHORS DISCUSS POSSIBLE REASONS FOR THE COMMON PERCEPTION THAT LARGER DEPARTMENTS ARE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN SMALLER DEPARTMENTS.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Missouri; Police agencies; Police attitudes; Police consolidation; Police effectiveness
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=34006

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