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Survey on Street Disorder in Large Municipalities in the United States, 1994-1996

Version
v1
Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
Creator
  • Conner, Roger (Center for the Community Interest)
  • Teir, Robert (Center for the Community Interest)
  • Baum, Richard (Center for the Community Interest)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
1999-06-02
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
Language
English
Free Keywords
arrests; cities; civil disorders; disorderly conduct; law enforcement; police departments; police officers; police response; policies and procedures
Description
  • Abstract

    The objective of this survey was to provide city officials and police with information on how to carry out street disorder enforcement strategies within the constitutional guidelines established by the courts. To that end, a survey of 512 municipal police departments was conducted in the spring of 1996. The agencies were asked to supply data for the current year as well as for 1994 and 1995. Information was collected on the existence of particular street disorder ordinances, when such ordinances were passed, the number of citations and arrests resulting from each ordinance, and whether the ordinances were challenged in court. Data covered the following types of street disorder: panhandling, open containers of alcohol, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, sleeping in public places, unregulated day labor solicitation, vending, dumpster diving, camping in public, and juvenile curfews. Departments were also asked about their written policies regarding certain types of street disorder. Other departmental information includes location, number of personnel, and population of jurisdiction.
  • Abstract

    Street disorder is a growing topic of concern in many American cities. Police departments, mayors, city councils, and prosecutors are facing an increased demand for action on panhandling, graffiti, camping in urban parks, sidewalk interference, excessive noise, public urination, street drug and prostitution markets, and loitering. This renewed interest in an old set of problems stems, in part, from the ambitious efforts under way in virtually every major city to revitalize central business districts and older commercial strips. The introduction of community policing has also played a part in bringing attention to this issue. Once officers began to ask, they discovered that "low-level crimes" were very important to the residents, small business owners, office workers, shoppers, and tourists, who are the life blood of central cities. In addition, research over the past 20 years related to the now well-known "broken windows" theory has provided a firm intellectual foundation for increased attention to quality-of-life issues. Despite the widespread interest in street disorder, some cities have been hesitant to act aggressively in this area for fear of expensive lawsuits. To give local leaders guidance on how to carry out disorder enforcement strategies within the constitutional guidelines established by the courts, a survey of 512 municipal police departments was conducted in the spring of 1996. The agencies were asked to supply data for the current year as well as for 1994 and 1995. The project was designed to answer three questions: (1) Do the large municipalities have local ordinances on certain antisocial behaviors? (2) If so, how and to what extent are these ordinances enforced? (3) What are the factors that affect enforcement?
  • Abstract

    To give local leaders guidance on how to carry out disorder enforcement strategies within the constitutional guidelines established by the courts, a survey of 512 municipal police departments was conducted. The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), in conjunction with the Center for the Community Interest, mailed the questionnaire in the spring of 1996 to all 512 police departments in municipalities with populations of 50,000 or more in the United States. Most of the responding agencies provided comments or sent copies of their ordinances.
  • Abstract

    Information was collected on the existence of particular street disorder ordinances, when such ordinances were passed, the number of citations and arrests resulting from each ordinance, and whether the ordinances were challenged in court. Data were collected on the following types of street disorder: panhandling, open containers of alcohol, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, sleeping in public places, unregulated day labor solicitation, vending, dumpster diving, camping in public, and juvenile curfews. Departments were also asked about their written policies regarding certain types of street disorder. Other departmental information includes location, number of personnel, and population of jurisdiction.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Standardized missing values.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: None.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: The response rate was 76 percent.
  • Table of Contents

    Datasets:

    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • 1994 / 1996
    Time period: 1994--1996
  • Collection date: 1996
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Police departments of large municipalities in the United States.
Sampling
All 512 police departments in municipalities with populations of 50,000 or more in the United States were sampled.
Collection Mode
  • A user guide, a codebook, and data collection instruments are provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.

Note
2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions. Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (95-IJ-CX-0050).
Availability
Download
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 2479 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
Publications
  • Conner, Roger, Teir, Robert, Baum, Richard. New Approaches to Street Disorder Attracting Support From Cities, Approval by Courts, Final Report. NCJ 167173, Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. 1997.
  • Cosgrove, C.A., Grant, A.C.. National Survey of Municipal Police Departments on Urban Quality of Life Initiatives. NCJ 167172, Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. 1997.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Conner, Roger; Teir, Robert; Baum, Richard (1999): Survey on Street Disorder in Large Municipalities in the United States, 1994-1996. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02479.v1