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NCJ Number: 65737 Find in a Library
Title: DOES ANYTHING WORK? AN EVALUATION OF URBAN POLICE INNOVATIONS (FROM EVALUATING ALTERNATIVE LAW-ENFORCEMENT POLICIES, 1979, BY RALPH BAKER AND FRED A MEYER, JR SEE - NCJ-65735)
Author(s): S H DECKER; R L SMITH; T M UHLMAN
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Lexington Books
866 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE EXAMINES THE SUCCESS OF TWO POLICE PROGRAM INNOVATIONS-POLICE COMMUNITY RELATIONS PROGRAMS AND CITIZEN-POLICE VIEW--AS PART OF A STUDY OF PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS OF POLICE IN 14 CITIES.
Abstract: POLICE WORK IS TWOFOLD: ENFORCING THE LAW AND MAINTAINING COMMUINTY PATTERNS BY PROVIDING SOCIAL SERVICES. RECENT STUDIES SHOW THAT POLICE SPEND 80 PERCENT OF THEIR TIME IN A SYMBOLIC CAPACITY. POLICE THUS HAMPER THEIR ABILITY TO ENFORCE LAW IF THEY DO NOT PROVIDE SOCIAL SUPPORT WHEN NEEDED, AS CITIZENS WILL NOT REPORT CRIMES TO POLICE THEY DO NOT TRUST. TWO TYPES OF DATA WERE COMBINED TO TEST THE HYPOTHESIS THAT ATTEMPTS BY POLICE TO FOSTER COMMUNITY SUPPORT WOULD LEAD TO MORE FAVORABLE CITIZEN EVALUATIONS. INDIVIDUAL LEVEL DATA ON CITIZEN PERCEPTIONS OF POLICE PRACTICES, ATTITUDES TOWARD GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, AND EVALUATIONS OF THE POLICE WERE TAKEN FROM A 1968 SURVEY OF RESIDENTS IN 14 CENTRAL CITIES. SEPARATE SAMPLES OF 2,809 BLACK PARTICIPANTS AND 2,950 WHITE PARTICIPANTS WERE ANALYZED. TWO KINDS OF PROGRAMS TO IMPROVE THE POLICE IMAGE WERE STUDIED: COMMUNITY RELATIONS PROGRAMS AND CITIZEN-POLICE REVIEW BOARDS. PUBLIC ATTITUDES AND EVALUATIONS OF POLICE WERE COMPARED IN THE 14 CITIES WITH AND WITHOUT THESE PROGRAMS. OVERALL, THE RELATIONSHIPS FOR POLICE-CITIZEN PROGRAMS TO PUBLIC EVALUATIONS FOR BOTH BLACK AND WHITE SAMPLES WERE JUDGED WEAK. HOWEVER, FOR BLACKS, BOTH THE EXISTENCE OF PROGRAMS AND PROGRAM COMMITMENT WERE RELATED TO MORE POSITIVE POICE EVALUATION. FOR WHITE RESPONDENTS, THE EXISTENCE OF CITIZEN COMPLAINT BOARDS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS PROGRAMS HAD ALMOST NO RELATIONSHIP TO PUBLIC EVALUATIONS OF POLICE. IN ADDITION, POLICE PROGRAMS AND CITIZEN EVALUATIONS WERE HIGHER AMONG CITIZENS WITH 'LOW' LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT TRUST. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE ABSENCE OF A STRONG POSITIVE PROGRAM-ATTITUDE LINKAGE MIGHT BE RELATED TO CITIZEN INTERACTIONS, POORLY CONCEIVED PROGRAMS, OR URBAN CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH NEGATIVE POLICE ATTITUDES. IN ADDITION, SUCH PROGRAMS ATTEMPTING TO IMPROVE MINORITY GROUP RELATIONSHIPS MIGHT HAVE HAD A NEGATIVE IMPACT UPON WHITES. NOTES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Citizen advisory committees; Community control of police; Evaluation; Police community relations; Police effectiveness; Police responsibilities; Police social services; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Role perception
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