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.

Survey of Drug Enforcement Tactics of Law Enforcement Agencies in the United States, 1992 (ICPSR 6506)

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This program evaluation study is intended to capture fully the universe of drug enforcement tactics available in the United States and to assess trends in drug enforcement. The primary objective of the study was to learn more about the application of anti-drug tactics by police: What tactics are used by police to address drug use problems? How widely are these tactics used? What new and innovative tactics are being developed and applied by police? What anti-drug tactics are most effective or show some promise of effectiveness? To answer these questions, state and local law enforcement agencies serving populations of 50,000 or more were mailed surveys. The survey was administered to both patrol and investigation units in the law enforcement agencies. This dual pattern of administration was intended to capture the extent to which the techniques of one unit had been applied by another. The questionnaire consisted primarily of dichotomous survey questions on anti-drug tactics that could be answered "yes" or "no". In each of the 14 categories of tactics, respondents were encouraged to add other previously unidentified or unspecified tactics in use in their agencies. These open-ended questions were designed to insure that a final list of anti-drug tactics would be truly comprehensive and capture the universe of drug tactics in use. In addition to questions regarding structural dimensions of anti-drug tactics, the survey also collected standardized information about the law enforcement agency, including agency size, demographic characteristics and size of the agency's service population, and a description of the relative size and nature of the jurisdiction's drug problems.

Access Notes

  • One or more data files in this study are set up in a non-standard format, such as card image format. Users may need help converting these files before they can be used for analysis.

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Investigation Unit Data - Download All Files (1.2 MB)
Data:
DS2:  Patrol Unit Data - Download All Files (1.2 MB)
Data:

Study Description

Citation

Weisel, Deborah Lamm. SURVEY OF DRUG ENFORCEMENT TACTICS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1992. ICPSR version. Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum [producer], 1994. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06506.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (91-DD-CX-0045)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   drug law enforcement, drug law offenses, drug traffic, drug use, law enforcement agencies

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1992

Date of Collection:  

  • 1993

Unit of Observation:   Law enforcement agencies.

Universe:   State and local law enforcement agencies in the United States serving populations of 50,000 or more.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook is provided by ICPSR 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 on the ICPSR Web site.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The primary objective of this study was to learn more about the application of anti-drug tactics by police: What tactics are used by police to address drug problems? How widely are these tactics used? What new and innovative tactics are being developed and applied by police? What anti-drug tactics are most effective or show some promise of effectiveness? Answers to these questions were intended to provide useful information to police practitioners and to provide some direction to policymakers who must make decisions about the allocation of resources, organization and deployment of various units, development of collaborative relationships with other agencies, and cross-training of personnel in various tactical approaches.

Study Design:   A mail survey was developed and administered to state and local law enforcement agencies to document and identify the frequency with which various drug enforcement tactics were in use and to search further for previously unidentified tactics. Nearly 750 investigation and patrol units in the United States serving populations of 50,000 or more were mailed surveys. Two surveys, identical except for color coding and title, were sent to each agency's chief of police: one survey was for completion regarding the patrol unit and the other survey was for completion regarding the investigations unit. This dual pattern of administration was intended to capture the extent to which the techniques of one unit had been applied by another. Basic data collection efforts began prior to primary data collection with a comprehensive literature review and consultations with panels of practitioner and academic drug experts. These data were used to develop a listing of the various anti-drug tactics that could be readily identified. This listing was designed to cover both traditional and nontraditional or innovative tactics. Based on the basic data collection, some 140 various drug tactics were identified. Research staff participated in a meeting with an expert advisory panel including law enforcement representatives to group the various tactics into mutually exclusive, concise, and closely-related categories of tactics. The survey instrument was designed to collect information about the use of various drug enforcement tactics, improve the comprehensiveness of the list of anti-drug tactics by soliciting additional tactics, and gain more detailed insight into the nature of promising anti-drug tactics.

Sample:   Nearly 750 state and local law enforcement agencies serving populations of 50,000 or more were mailed surveys. A total of 630 (323 investigation, 307 patrol) respondents (84 percent) replied to the survey.

Data Source:

mail survey

Description of Variables:   The questionnaire consisted primarily of dichotomous survey questions on anti-drug tactics that could be answered "yes" or "no". In each of the 14 categories of tactics, respondents were encouraged to add other previously unidentified or unspecified tactics in use in their agencies. These open-ended questions were designed to insure that a final list of anti-drug tactics would be truly comprehensive and capture the universe of drug tactics in use. In addition to questions regarding structural dimensions of anti-drug tactics, the survey also collected standardized information about the law enforcement agency, including agency size, demographic characteristics and size of the agency's service population, and a description of the relative size and nature of the jurisdiction's drug problems.

Response Rates:   This study produced a total initial sample of 750 state and local law enforcement agencies. A total of 387 agencies (51 percent) responded, producing a final sample consisting of 323 investigation units and 307 patrol units.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

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:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 3 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.
  • 1997-02-13 The codebook was converted into Portable Document Format (PDF) format.

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