The Source for Crime and Justice Data

Effects of Community Policing on Tasks of Street-Level Police Officers in Ohio, 1981 and 1996 (ICPSR 2481)

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

These data were collected to analyze the impact of community-oriented policing (COP) on job assignments of police officers in Ohio. The study compared the self-reported job tasks of police officers in 1981 to those in 1996 to determine if job tasks had changed over time, if they differed between officers in departments pursuing community policing, or if they differed between officers assigned as "community policing" officers and those having more traditional assignments. The 1981 Ohio Peace Officer Task Analysis Survey was conducted to measure police officer tasks. A total of 1,989 police officers from over 300 Ohio police agencies responded to that survey. Recognizing that community policing had not yet begun to enjoy popularity when the first sample of officers was questioned in 1981 and that the job of policing and the training needs of peace officers had changed over the past 15 years, the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services again conducted a task analysis survey of a sample of police officers throughout the state in 1996. The 1996 survey instrument included 23 items taken directly from the earlier survey. These 23 items are the only variables from the 1981 survey that are included in this dataset, and they form the basis of the study's comparisons. A total of 1,689 officers from 229 police departments responded to the 1996 survey. Additionally, while the 1996 Peace Officer Task Analysis survey was in the field, the local police agencies included in the survey sample were asked to complete a separate agency survey to determine if they had a community policing program. A total of 180 departments returned responses to this agency survey. Background questions for the 1981 and 1996 task analysis surveys included police officers' age, race, sex, and job satisfaction. Items concerning police officers' job tasks covered frequency of conducting field searches of arrested persons, handcuffing suspects, impounding property, participating in raids, patrolling on foot, giving street directions, mediating family disputes, and engaging in school visits. The 1996 agency questionnaire gathered data on whether the police department had a COP program or a mission statement that emphasized community involvement, whether the COP program had an actual implementation date and a full-time supervisor, whether the respondents were currently assigned as COP officers, and whether the department's COP officers had had supplemental training.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (2 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Travis, Lawrence F. III, and Beth A. Sanders. EFFECTS OF COMMUNITY POLICING ON TASKS OF STREET-LEVEL POLICE OFFICERS IN OHIO, 1981 AND 1996. ICPSR version. Cincinnati, OH: University of Cincinnati [producer], 1997. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02481.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 (95-IJ-CX-0074)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   community policing, police community relations, police departments, police effectiveness, police officers, police patrol, program evaluation

Geographic Coverage:   Ohio, United States

Unit of Observation:   Individuals and agencies.

Universe:   All police officers in Ohio.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

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.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The dominant framework in American policing in the last decade has been community policing. Not only is community policing immensely popular with police administrators and the public, it has become a cornerstone of crime control policy nationwide. While much has been written on the concept and emergence of community policing, little is known of how departments translate these concepts into practice. Although numerous descriptive studies have been conducted regarding the nature of community-oriented policing, there is a dearth of scientific study regarding community policing's concrete effects on police departments and police officers. Similarly, most research on community policing has failed to explain what effect community policing has had on the daily tasks of police officers. If community policing entails that policing be decentralized, solve community problems, make officers proactive and creative, and involve community members, then in what specific tasks are community police officers engaged to this end? This study sought to examine the impact of community policing on police officers' activities in Ohio. It was guided by these primary questions: (1) Has there been a change in police officer activities since the advent of community policing? (2) Do the reported tasks of officers working in agencies that reported adopting community-oriented policing differ from those in agencies not adopting community policing? (3) Does departmental commitment to community policing affect officers' tasks?

Study Design:   To determine if the advent of community policing had changed the activities of line-level police officers, the study employed three sources of data. First, the 1981 Ohio Peace Officer Task Analysis Survey was conducted to measure police officer tasks. Over 300 Ohio police agencies participated, and the final sample included responses from 1,989 police officers. This survey contained groups of specific task statements categorized into subsections such as administration, arrest, search and seizure, patrol, community relations and crime prevention, and traffic. To determine what tasks police officers performed, the original questionnaire listed the task statements and asked police officers to tell how often they performed each task. Officers could respond from 0 (never) to 5 (daily). Recognizing that community policing had not yet begun to enjoy popularity when the first sample of officers was questioned in 1981 and that the job of policing and the training needs of peace officers had changed over the past 15 years, the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services again conducted a task analysis survey of a sample of police officers throughout the state in 1996. The survey instrument was changed from that of the 1981 survey to better assess needed knowledge, skills, and abilities for police officers. Nonetheless, the 1996 survey instrument included 23 items taken directly from the earlier survey. These 23 items are the only variables from the 1981 survey that are included in this dataset, and they form the basis of the study's comparisons. A total of 1,689 officers from 229 police departments responded to the 1996 survey. While the 1996 Peace Officer Task Analysis survey was in the field, the local police agencies included in the task analysis survey sample were asked to complete a separate agency survey to determine if they had a community policing program. This agency questionnaire gathered data on whether the police department had a community-oriented policing program, described the components of the program, and determined the level of departmental commitment to community-oriented policing. A total of 180 departments returned responses to this agency survey.

Sample:   Agencies having at least one full-time officer were sampled for the agency survey, and individual police officers were randomly selected from the agencies that received the agency survey.

Data Source:

self-enumerated mail-back questionnaires

Description of Variables:   Both the 1981 and 1996 task analysis surveys collected information on police officers' age, race, sex, and job satisfaction. Items regarding police officers' job tasks included frequency of conducting field searches of arrested persons, handcuffing suspects, impounding property, participating in raids, patrolling on foot, giving street directions, mediating family disputes, and engaging in school visits. The 1996 agency questionnaire gathered data on whether the police department had a community policing program or a mission statement which emphasized community involvement, whether the COP program had an actual implementation date and a full-time supervisor, whether the respondents were currently assigned as COP officers, and whether the department's COP officers had had supplemental training.

Response Rates:   Specific response rates are not available. However, 1,989 police officers from over 300 police departments responded to the 1981-1982 Ohio Peace Task Analysis survey, 1,689 police officers from 229 police departments responded to the 1996 Ohio Peace Task Analysis survey, and 180 departments responded to the agency survey, while 49 departments did not respond at all.

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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 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.

Related Publications ?

Utilities

Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics