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NCJ Number: 93368 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Public Perceptions of the Police in Texas
Author(s): R H C Teske; L T Hoover; R H Meyer
Corporate Author: Sam Houston State University
Criminal Justice Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77340
Publication Number: 82-T-0002
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

Sam Houston State University
Criminal Justice Ctr
Huntsville, TX 77340
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A l982 survey of a representative sample of Texas residents revealed that the majority of the l,343 respondents rated their law enforcement officers positively on all categories, with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers receiving the highest overall ratings.
Abstract: The questionnaire mailed to 2,000 residents in l8l counties examined attitudes toward police, formal and informal contacts with police, and extent to which Texans use police services. Of the respondents, 8l.2 percent were white, 6.5 percent black, l0.9 percent Spanish-surnamed, and l.4 of other origins. Males accounted for 52.56 percent, and the sample's median age was 39. With respect to professionalism, fairness, and competence, the DPS troopers received a positive rating from at least 80 percent of the respondents, while over 60 percent rated local police and sheriffs' departments positively in these categories. Of the respondents, 57 percent reported at least one contact with the police during l98l. The most frequent type of contact was a traffic stop at 29.2 percent; followed by other reasons at 24 percent, such as reporting a suspicious activity or medical emergency; and reporting a victimization at l6.4 percent. When asked about professionalism and courteousness in these contacts, at least 60 percent rated the officer positively, with the exception of misdemeanor arrest. The majority of respondents stopped for traffic and involved in accidents rated their police contacts positively. While 62 percent and 77 percent of the respondents who had reported at least one victimization rated officers in charge positively on professionalism and courteousness, respectively, less than half were satisfied with the overall job done by the police. Responses from witnesses to crime showed a similar tendency to rate the officer positively, but be dissatisfied with police handling of the case. Only l2 percent of the respondents indicated they had participated in at least one crime prevention program during l98l. Approximately one-half the respondents felt crime in their community had become worse over the last 3 years. Tables and an executive summary are supplied.
Index Term(s): Public Opinion of the Police; Texas
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=93368

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