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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 83555 Find in a Library
Title: They're Walking the Beat Again
Journal: Police Magazine  Volume:5  Issue:4  Dated:(July 1982)  Pages:53-55,57-58,60
Author(s): M J Patterson
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the increasing trend toward the use of foot patrols in urban police agencies, with emphasis on the results of a Police Foundation study of a 28-city New Jersey experiment in foot patrol use.
Abstract: The increasing use of foot patrol is a national phenomenon. Foot patrols are being used both in business districts and in more densely populated residential areas. However, many foot patrol programs have been cut back due to resource shortages. Nevertheless, police administrators and the public in most of the 46 cities of which the New Jersey experiment is a part are so pleased with foot patrol that it will probably continue indefinitely. The Police Foundation study, released in 1981, revealed that foot officers had little mobility, did not answer many calls for service, and made fewer arrests than their counterparts in patrol cars. Reported crime was not significantly reduced in neighborhoods with foot patrols. However, foot patrol made citizens less fearful and more willing to use the streets, fostered personal contact between citizens and police and improved each group's attitudes toward the other, and had the potential of opening new sources of street information about crime. Foot patrol officers tended to be happier with their jobs, show lower absenteeism, and exhibit a more positive view of citizens than regular patrol officers. The study recommends that foot officers be trained and that their role be that of neighborhood consultant. Photographs; an account of the history of the New Jersey experiment; comments from one foot officer; and a description of foot patrol in Flint, Mich., are provided.
Index Term(s): Foot patrol; New Jersey; Police effectiveness; Police social services
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