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National Survey of Police Call Management Strategies and Community Policing Activities, 2000 (ICPSR 3931) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

For this study, two different projects with an overlap of purpose made use of the same data, which were based on a national sample of 695 police departments. One project conducted background research for a guidebook on call management for community policing. The other focused on the use of computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems in community policing. Survey questions focused on the types of CAD systems, call management strategies, and community policing activities employed by each of the departments. Variables include types of CAD data used, use of different call management strategies, problem solving measures used, resource allocation measures used, community involvement/satisfaction measures used, support for special units, methods used for management accountability, and involvement in community policing activities.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. A login is required to apply for access. (How to apply.)

    A downloadable version of data for this study is available however, certain identifying information in the downloadable version may have been masked or edited to protect respondent privacy. Additional data not included in the downloadable version are available in a restricted version of this data collection. For more information about the differences between the downloadable data and the restricted data for this study, please refer to the codebook notes section of the PDF codebook. Users interested in obtaining restricted data must complete and sign a Restricted Data Use Agreement, describe the research project and data protection plan, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Dataset(s)

Study Description

Citation

McEwen, J. Thomas. National Survey of Police Call Management Strategies and Community Policing Activities, 2000. ICPSR03931-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03931.v2

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (97-IJ-CX-0048)
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (1999-CK-WX-K007)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   community policing, police departments, police records, police response

Smallest Geographic Unit:   None

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 2000-05--2000-10

Date of Collection:  

  • 2000-05--2000-10

Unit of Observation:   police departments

Universe:   Police departments in the United States.

Data Types:   administrative records data and survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   Two distinct projects with an overlap of purpose were included in this study. One project focused on the use of computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems in community policing, specifically, the extent to which CAD systems can support community policing and measure performance under new community policing objectives. The other project involved conducting background research for a guidebook on call management for community policing. This guidebook was developed to show police agencies how different strategies for managing calls could (1) free up officer time for problem solving and other community policing activities, and (2) make better use of call for service and other data to measure the success of community policing efforts. A national survey was conducted for this study because very little research had previously been done on these topics. The survey was designed to address these specific questions: (1) To what extent are police agencies currently using various alternatives to providing immediate, sworn responses to nonemergency calls for service (e.g., call stacking/delayed response, telephone reporting units, mail-in and walk-in reporting, 3-1-1 systems, Internet reporting)? (2) To what extent are police agencies using data captured by their CAD systems and other sources to help plan and measure the success of their problem solving and other community policing efforts? (3) What types of activities and organizational changes commonly associated with community policing are actually being implemented? (4) How do call management practices and community policing activities vary with the size of jurisdictions? and (5) What can be learned about promising and innovative call management practices currently being employed to enhance community policing?

Study Design:   A national sample of 695 police departments was surveyed for this study. The Institute for Law and Justice, in consultation with its funding agencies for both projects, decided there was enough overlap in the purpose of the projects to create a single survey instrument rather than surveying the same sample of agencies twice. A 24-item questionnaire was developed with input from Institute for Law and Justice staff, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and reviewers with backgrounds in CAD, police response, and community policing and problem solving. Survey questions were asked about departments' CAD systems as well as their call management strategies and community policing activities. The survey was mailed in May 2000. A second wave of questionnaires was mailed in August 2000 to departments that had not yet responded.

Sample:   The sample was drawn from a database that had been used in previous projects that contained contact information for almost all of the police departments in the country (but not sheriffs' offices). The sample of 695 departments included all departments serving jurisdictions with populations of 250,000 or greater and a random sample of departments with jurisdiction populations less than 250,000.

Data Source:

Data on jurisdiction population and the number of officers in departments were obtained from an Institute of Law and Justice database. All other data were gathered with self-enumerated questionnaires.

Description of Variables:   Variables include jurisdiction population in 1990, number of officers, type of CAD system, types of CAD data used, percentage of calls answered by different types of staff, use of different call management strategies, other methods available to citizens for filing police reports, whether call types are used that are specific to community policing, use of different problem solving measures, use of different resource allocation measures, use of different community involvement/satisfaction measures, use of support for special units, methods used for management accountability, and involvement in different community policing activities.

Response Rates:   By the end of October 2000, 467 surveys (67 percent) had been returned and 420 surveys (61 percent) were available for analysis. Although the survey instructions asked departments without CAD systems to complete the community policing items in the questionnaire, 46 surveys were returned blank with the notation that the department did not have a CAD system.

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

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-01-31 On 2005-12-20 additional restricted variables were added to the data collection by the principal investigator. The metadata record was revised to reflect these additions.
  • 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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