Attitudes and Perceptions of Police Officers in Boston, Chicago, and Washington, DC, 1966 (ICPSR 9087)

Principal Investigator(s): Reiss, Albert J. Jr.


This survey was designed to explore perceptions and attitudes of police officers in three metropolitan areas toward their work and the organizations and publics with which they interact. Issues of interest include (1) the nature of police careers and police work, and officers' satisfaction with their jobs, (2) officers' orientations toward policing tasks and their relationships with the public, and (3) officers' perceptions of organizations and systems that influence or change police work.

Access Notes

  • 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.


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Study Description


Reiss, Albert J. Jr. Attitudes and Perceptions of Police Officers in Boston, Chicago, and Washington, DC, 1966. ICPSR09087-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999.

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This study was funded by:

  • President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice (OLEA-006)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    career choice, career expectations, job satisfaction, perceptions, police community relations, police officers, work attitudes

Geographic Coverage:    Boston, Chicago, District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1966-06

Date of Collection:   

  • 1966-06

Universe:    Police officers in major metropolitan areas of the United States.

Data Collection Notes:

These data are part of a larger study entitled "Field Surveys III: Studies in Crime and Law Enforcement in Major Metropolitan Areas." ICPSR distributes two related data collections: SURVEY OF VICTIMIZATION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CRIME AND LAW ENFORCEMENT IN BOSTON AND CHICAGO, 1966 (ICPSR 9085) and PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR IN POLICE AND CITIZEN TRANSACTIONS: BOSTON, CHICAGO, AND WASHINGTON, DC, 1966 (ICPSR 9086).


Sample:    Three sample cities (Chicago, Boston, and Washington, DC) were purposively selected to represent differences in the size, location, degree of control, and type of organization in police departments. Within each city, two police precincts (four in Washington, DC) with high crime rates were selected to represent areas with different race and class compositions. The selected sites were (1) Boston, MA: precincts Dorchester and Roxbury, (2) Chicago, IL: precincts Fillmore and Town Hall, and (3) Washington, DC: precincts 6, 10, 13, and 14. Simple random samples of approximately 25 police officers in each of the eight precincts were drawn from department rosters. The response rate was nearly 100 percent.

Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1989-05-04

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.
  • 1999-10-07 SAS and SPSS data definition statements and a PDF version of the codebook have been added to this collection.

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