Decision-Related Research on the Organization of Service Delivery Systems in Metropolitan Areas: Police Protection (ICPSR 7427)

Published: Mar 30, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
Elinor Ostrom

Version V1

This study represents one of four research projects on service delivery systems in metropolitan areas, covering fire protection (DECISION-RELATED RESEARCH ON THE ORGANIZATION OF SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS IN METROPOLITAN AREAS: FIRE PROTECTION [ICPSR 7409]), public health (DECISION-RELATED RESEARCH ON THE ORGANIZATION OF SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS IN METROPOLITAN AREAS: PUBLIC HEALTH [ICPSR 7374]), solid waste management (DECISION-RELATED RESEARCH ON THE ORGANIZATION OF SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS IN METROPOLITAN AREAS: SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT [ICPSR 7487]), and police protection (the present study). All four projects used a common unit of analysis, namely all 200 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) that, according to the 1970 Census, had a population of less than 1,500,000 and were entirely located within a single state. In each project, a limited amount of information was collected for all 200 SMSAs. More extensive data were gathered within independently drawn samples of these SMSAs, for all local geographical units and each administrative jurisdiction or agency in the service delivery areas. Two standardized systems of geocoding -- the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) codes and the Office of Revenue Sharing (ORS) codes -- were used, so that data from various sources could be combined. The use of these two coding schemes also allows users to combine data from two or more of the research projects conducted in conjunction with the present one, or to add data from a wide variety of public data files. The present study used five major clusters of variables to investigate the delivery of police services: service conditions, the legal structure, organizational arrangements, manpower levels, and expenditure levels. Information about specific services such as patrol, traffic control, criminal investigation, radio communications, adult pre-trial detention, entry-level training, and crime laboratory analysis was collected at the local jurisdiction level in a random sample of 80 SMSAs. Part 1 summarizes in matrix form the relationships between all consumers and producers for each type of service in a given SMSA. Part 2 provides data about 1,885 consuming units, or service areas, defined as mutually exclusive geographical divisions of each SMSA that received police services. Part 3 contains information for 1,761 police agencies, defined as service producers, with functions and duties that may overlap several jurisdictions.

Ostrom, Elinor. Decision-Related Research on the Organization of Service Delivery Systems in Metropolitan Areas:  Police Protection. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-03-30.

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National Science Foundation (RA-770001, 75-01320)

1970 -- 1975

1974 -- 1975

The questionnaire 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 Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

A subsample of 80 SMSAs was randomly chosen from the total of 200 SMSAs that qualified for inclusion in the universe.

Police services providers in metropolitan areas with populations of less than 1,500,000 and located entirely within one state.

personal interviews, telephone interviews, mailback questionnaires, census tables, and other public data files.

survey data, and census/enumeration data



2006-03-30 File QU7427.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.

1984-05-03 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.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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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.