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Street-Level View of Community Policing in the United States, 1995

Version
v1
Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
Creator
  • Langston, Elizabeth (Center for Criminal Justice Studies)
  • Richardson, Deborah (Center for Criminal Justice Studies)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
2000-05-09
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
Language
English
Free Keywords
attitudes; community policing; neighborhoods; police citizen interactions; police community relations; police officers; police patrol
Description
  • Abstract

    This study sought to examine community policing from a street-level officer's point of view. Active community police officers and sheriff's deputies from law enforcement agencies were interviewed about their opinions, experiences with, and attitudes toward community policing. For the study 90 rank-and-file community policing officers from 30 law enforcement agencies throughout the United States were selected to participate in a 40- to 60-minute telephone interview. The survey was comprised of six sections, providing information on: (1) demographics, including the race, gender, age, job title, highest level of education, and union membership of each respondent, (2) a description of the community policing program and daily tasks, with questions regarding the size of the neighborhood in terms of geography and population, work with citizens and community leaders, patrol methods, activities with youth/juveniles, traditional police duties, and agency and supervisor support of community policing, (3) interaction between community policing and non-community policing officers, (4) hours, safety, and job satisfaction, (5) police training, and (6) perceived effectiveness of community policing.
  • Abstract

    As community-oriented policing spreads throughout the United States, many law enforcement officers engaged in community policing have seen significant changes in the type of work they do and their attitudes toward the citizens they serve, while trying to understanding their role as police officers. It is the street-level officers who can be expected to directly experience many of these changes and challenges. These officers are the ones who can best describe what community policing looks like at its most basic level. The purpose of this study was to examine community policing from a street-level officer's point of view.
  • Abstract

    For this study active community police officers and sheriff's deputies from law enforcement agencies were interviewed about their opinions, experiences with, and attitudes toward community policing. Ninety rank-and-file community policing officers from 30 law enforcement agencies throughout the United States were selected to participate in a 40- to 60-minute telephone survey. The survey generally dealt with perceptions of the value and efficacy of community policing as it related to the community. The survey instrument was developed through a three-step process. First, a literature search was conducted to identify previous surveys of line-level community police officers. Those surveys having a component that addressed community policing from the officer's point of view were solicited from the responsible agencies or parties. Appropriate items were then adapted for the survey under development. Second, to ensure that the survey would be grounded in actual experiences, the researchers visited local community policing sites to get a first-hand view of community-oriented policing. Information gathered from these visits was integral to the design of the survey. Once the preliminary survey was completed, it was tested by the researchers to determine if the questions' structure and type were amenable to a telephone survey. Due to the time constraints associated with the administration of a telephone interview, many questions, including a victim services section, were dropped. Third, interview procedures were standardized by conducting practice interviews and by monitoring selected interviews. The survey was tested in a series of pilot interviews with local community-oriented police officers to gauge the length of the interviews and to ensure that the survey questions were worded correctly. Further modifications were made after these interviews. A more extensive pilot test was performed using the first ten officers formally interviewed. A number of questions were added to the survey and changes were made in the scoring of the task analysis section, rendering data from the first ten respondents unusable for that section. Each of the law enforcement agencies in the sample was sent a letter of introduction and a project information sheet. A follow-up call was made to each department to ensure that the fax transmission was successful and to determine if the letter and project information were received by the chief or sheriff. The officers selected were contacted by letter and phone. Once contact was made, the officers were interviewed at a time when the officers felt comfortable and confident of privacy. As the surveys were completed, they were coded so that data could not be matched to an agency or to an officer's name.
  • Abstract

    The survey questions covered topics from six categories: (1) demographics, including the race, gender, age, job title, highest level of education, and union membership of each respondent, (2) a description of the community policing program and daily tasks, with items regarding the size of the neighborhood in terms of geography and population, work with citizens and community leaders, patrol methods, activities with youth/juveniles, traditional police duties, and agency and supervisor support of community policing, (3) interaction between community policing and non-community policing officers, (4) hours, safety, and job satisfaction, (5) training, and (6) perceived effectiveness of community policing.
  • 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.; Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: Several Likert-type scales were used.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: The response rate for the survey was 98 percent.
  • Table of Contents

    Datasets:

    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1995
  • Collection date: 1995-09
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Law enforcement agencies in the United States implementing community policing.
Sampling
Stratified random sampling.
Note
Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (94-IJ-CX-K014).
Availability
Download
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 2798 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
Publications
  • Langston, Elizabeth, Richardson, Deborah. Community Police Officer Survey: A Street Level View, Executive Summary and Methodology. NCJ 172222, Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. 1995.

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

Langston, Elizabeth; Richardson, Deborah (2000): Street-Level View of Community Policing in the United States, 1995. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02798.v1