National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Street-Level View of Community Policing in the United States, 1995 (ICPSR 2798) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

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.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

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Documentation:
Data:

Study Description

Citation

Langston, Elizabeth, and Deborah Richardson. Street-Level View of Community Policing in the United States, 1995 . ICPSR02798-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02798.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (94-IJ-CX-K014)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   attitudes, community policing, neighborhoods, police citizen interactions, police community relations, police officers, police patrol

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1995

Date of Collection:  

  • 1995-09

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   Law enforcement agencies in the United States implementing community policing.

Data Types:   survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   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.

Study Design:   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.

Sample:   Stratified random sampling.

Data Source:

telephone interviews

Description of Variables:   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.

Response Rates:   The response rate for the survey was 98 percent.

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

Extent of Processing:  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.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

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