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Increasing the Efficiency of Police Departments in Allegany County, New York, 1994-1995 (ICPSR 2558) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This study sought to investigate the attitudes of residents and law enforcement personnel living or working in Allegany County, New York in order to (1) assess community support of law enforcement efforts to collaborate on projects, and (2) determine rural law enforcement agencies' willingness to work together on community policing projects and share resources in such a way as to improve and increase their overall individual and collective effectiveness and efficiency. Community policing, for this study, was defined as any law enforcement strategy designed to improve policy directed toward law enforcement interaction with community groups and citizens. Data were gathered from surveys that were distributed to two groups. First, to determine community perceptions of crime and attitudes toward the development of collaborative community policing strategies, surveys were distributed to the residents of the villages of Alfred and Wellsville and the town of Alfred in Allegany County, New York (Part 1, Community Survey Data). Second, to capture the ideas and perceptions of different types of law enforcement agencies regarding their willingness to share training, communication, and technology, surveys were distributed to the law enforcement agencies of Wellsville, Alfred, the New York State Police substation (located in the town of Wellsville), the county sheriff's department, and the Alfred State College and Alfred University public safety departments (Part 2, Law Enforcement Survey Data). For Part 1 (Community Survey Data), the residents were asked to rate their level of fear of crime, the reason for most crime problems (i.e., gangs, drugs, or unsupervised children), positive and negative contact with police, the presence and overall level of police service in the neighborhoods, and the importance of motor vehicle patrols, foot patrols, crime prevention programs, and traffic enforcement. Respondents were also asked whether they agreed that police should concentrate more on catching criminals (as opposed to implementing community-based programs), and if community policing was a good idea. Demographic data on residents includes their age, sex, whether they had been the victim of a property or personal crime, and the number of years they had lived in their respective communities. Demographic information for Part 2 (Law Enforcement Survey Data) includes the sex, age, and educational level of law enforcement respondents, as well as the number of years they had worked with their respective departments. Respondents were asked if they believed in and would support programs targeted toward youth, adults, the elderly, and merchants. Further queries focused on the number of regular and overtime hours used to train, develop, and implement department programs. A series of questions dealing with degrees of trust between the departments and levels of optimism was also asked to gauge attitudes that might discourage collaboration efforts with other departments on community-oriented programs. Officers were also asked to rate their willingness to work with the other agencies.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Community Survey Data - Download All Files (562 KB)
DS2:  Law Enforcement Survey Data - Download All Files (385 KB)

Study Description

Citation

Hall, William. INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY OF POLICE DEPARTMENTS IN ALLEGANY COUNTY, NEW YORK, 1994-1995. ICPSR version. Alfred, NY: Alfred University [producer], 1995. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000. doi:10.3886/ICPSR02558.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-0080)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   community policing, crime prevention, fear of crime, police citizen interactions, police community relations, police departments, police effectiveness, police patrol, public approval, public interest

Geographic Coverage:   New York (state), United States

Time Period:  

  • 1994--1995

Date of Collection:  

  • 1994--1995

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   Part 1: Residents of the villages of Alfred and Wellsville and the town of Alfred in Allegany County, New York. Part 2: Law enforcement personnel throughout Allegany County, New York.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The user guide and codebook are provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file 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:   Often, a roadblock to developing community policing projects is law enforcement agencies' concerns that increased interaction with community groups and citizens would take up valuable time and detract from efficient use of resources, thus decreasing overall law enforcement effectiveness. In theory, sharing personnel among various law enforcement agencies can provide more resources to carry out tasks without interrupting traditional police activities or increasing the need to use costly overtime. However, rural law enforcement agencies must overcome geographic dispersion, as well as maintain a willingness to interact and communicate with neighboring agencies, in order to implement successful community policing projects. This study sought to investigate the attitudes of residents and law enforcement personnel living or working in Allegany County, New York, in order to (1) assess community support of law enforcement efforts to collaborate on projects, and (2) determine rural law enforcement agencies' willingness to work together on community policing projects and share resources in such a way as to improve and increase their overall individual and collective effectiveness and efficiency.

Study Design:   Data were collected from surveys distributed to two groups. First, to determine community perceptions of crime and attitudes toward the development of collaborative community policing strategies, surveys were distributed to the residents of the villages of Alfred and Wellsville and the town of Alfred in Allegany County, New York (Part 1, Community Survey Data). It had been decided that the county would be the appropriate geographic area to use when defining a community. With this definition of community, organizations other than law enforcement agencies that operated throughout the county would be included in the analysis. However, time constraints and resources prevented sampling the entire county, so the population used in gathering information on citizens' perceptions was limited to the villages of Alfred and Wellsville and the town of Alfred. The police departments of Alfred and Wellsville worked with faculty and students of Alfred University to design the survey questionnaire. Because of the dominance of special housing and the large number of students in the village of Alfred, it was decided to give the survey to the total population of residences not situated on the two college campuses. Second, surveys were distributed to the law enforcement agencies of Wellsville and Alfred, the New York State Police substation (located in the village of Wellsville), the county sheriff's department, and the Alfred State College and Alfred University public safety departments (Part 2, Law Enforcement Survey Data). These agencies had a history of working together when officers needed backup, but there was no history of community-oriented programs involving collaboration among the agencies. The Community Policing Survey was designed to capture the ideas and perceptions of the different departments regarding their willingness to share training, communication, and technology, and whether personnel exhibited attitudes that would encourage or discourage collaboration with other departments on community-oriented programs.

Data Source:

self-enumerated questionnaires

Description of Variables:   For Part 1, Community Survey Data, information collected from interviews with the residents of the villages of Wellsville and Alfred and the town of Alfred, New York, asked the residents to rate their level of fear of crime, the reason for most crime problems (i.e., gangs, drugs, or unsupervised children), positive and negative contact with police, the presence and overall level of police service in the neighborhoods, and the importance of motor vehicle patrols, foot patrols, crime prevention programs, and traffic enforcement. Respondents were asked whether they agreed that police should concentrate more on catching criminals (as opposed to implementing community-based programs), and if community policing was a good idea. Residents were also asked their age, sex, and whether they had been the victim of a property or personal crime, and the number of years lived in their respective community. Demographic information for Part 2, Law Enforcement Survey Data, includes the sex, age, and educational level of law enforcement respondents, as well as the number of years worked with their respective departments. Respondents were asked if they believed in and would support programs targeted toward youth, adults, the elderly, and merchants. Respondents were further asked how many regular and overtime hours were used to train, develop, and implement department programs. A series of questions dealing with degrees of trust between the departments and levels of optimism were asked to gauge attitudes that would discourage collaboration efforts with other departments on community-oriented programs. Each officer was also asked to rate their willingness to work with each of the other agencies.

Response Rates:   Unknown.

Presence of Common Scales:   Several Likert-type scales were used in Parts 1 and 2.

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:

  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-03-30 File CB2558.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 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.

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