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NCJ Number: 93972 Find in a Library
Title: Linking Subjective and Objective Measures of Performance (From Understanding Police Agency Performance, P 148-159, 1984, Gordon P Whitaker, ed. - See NCJ-93967)
Author(s): R B Parks
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 12
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Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study uses citizen perception of police response time as a link between subjective and objective measures of police performance.
Abstract: Recent articles have debated the utility of 'subjective' indicators of the performance of urban service agencies. Subjective indicators are those drawn from the responses of citizens surveyed about their experiences, perceptions, and evaluations of services received, typically in their own neighborhoods. These subjective indicators have been contrasted with 'objective' indicators, which are drawn from the records maintained by the service agencies. Where there is a discrepancy between indicators drawn from surveys and those taken from agency records, critics argue that the discrepancy indicates citizens are unaware of the true levels of service they are receiving. When considering the reliability of subjective indicators compared to objective indicators, it is important to determine whether the subjective and objective indicators used are conceptually congruent (whether they attempt to measure the same thing) and whether the statistical manipulations used with the objective measure lead inevitably to lower congruence with subjective measures. To illustrate this logic, one conception was tested using objective and subjective indicators of an aspect of police services: the rapidity of police response. Citizen interviews concerning police response were used to obtain subjective data, while objective data were obtained from police agencies to determine the number of patrol officers deployed for street duty and the average number of citizens served by each, the percent of sworn officers actually assigned to patrol duty, and service demands in each of the study neighborhoods. Objective and subjective measures were associated statistically because they were conceptually linked. Tabular data and 19 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Data collections; Evaluation measures; Police effectiveness; Police response time; Public Attitudes/Opinion
Note: Available on microfiche as NCJ-93967.
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