Police Services Study, Phase II, 1977: Rochester, St. Louis, and St. Petersburg (ICPSR 8605)

Version Date: Mar 30, 2006 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Elinor Ostrom; Roger B. Parks; Gordon Whitaker


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The data for this study were collected in order to examine the delivery of police services in selected neighborhoods. Performances of police agencies organized in different ways were compared as they delivered services to different sets of comparable neighborhoods. For Part 1, Citizen Debriefing Data, data were drawn from telephone interviews conducted with citizens who were involved in police-citizen encounters or who requested police services during the observed shifts. The file contains data on the citizens involved in observed encounters, their satisfaction with the delivered services, and neighborhood characteristics. This file includes variables such as the type of incident, estimated property loss, police response time, type of action taken by police, citizen satisfaction with the handling of the problem by police, reasons for dissatisfaction, the emotional state of the citizen during the encounter, whom the officers referred the citizen to for help, the citizen's prior contacts with police, and the citizen's education, age, sex, and total family income. Part 2, General Shift Information, contains data describing the shift (i.e., the eight-hour tour of duty to which the officers were assigned), the officers, and the events occurring during an observed shift. This file includes such variables as the total number of encounters, a breakdown of dispatched runs by type, the number of contacts with other officers, the number of contacts with non-police support units, officer discretion in taking legal action, and officer attitudes on patrol styles and activities. Part 3, Police Encounters Data, describes police encounters observed by the research team during selected shifts. It consists of information describing the officers' role in encounters with citizens observed during a shift and their demeanor toward the citizens involved. The file includes variables such as the type of encounter, how the encounter began, whether the citizens involved possessed a weapon, the encounter location, what other agencies were present during the encounter and when they arrived, police actions during the encounter, the role of citizens involved in the encounter, the demeanor of the officer toward the citizens during the encounter, actions taken by the citizens, which services were requested by the citizens, and how the observer affected the encounter. Part 4, Victimization Survey Data, examined citizen attitudes about the police and crime in their neighborhoods. The data were obtained through telephone interviews conducted by trained interviewers. These interviews followed a standard questionnaire designed by the project leaders. Variables include perceived risk of victimization, evaluations of the delivery of police services, household victimization occurring in the previous year, actions taken by citizens in response to crime, and demographic characteristics of the neighborhood.

Ostrom, Elinor, Parks, Roger B., and Whitaker, Gordon. Police Services Study, Phase II, 1977:  Rochester, St. Louis, and St. Petersburg. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-03-30. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08605.v3

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National Science Foundation (APR74-14059 A03 and 78-NI-AX-0020), United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

1977-05 -- 1977-08
1977-05 -- 1977-08
  1. Column locations and widths of variables noted in the data collection coding guides within the original codebook do not describe the data in its present format. Some of the variables noted in these coding guides have also been deleted from the data. Users should refer to the ICPSR codebook or SAS or SPSS data definition statements for the current variable list and column locations.

  2. The General Shift Information (Part 2) file contains a variable named TIMERUN. The values for this variable are incorrect. Analysis utilizing the variable will probably be misleading. Users of this file will note that 49 shifts are represented twice in the data. This occurred because a single observer was unable to observe a shift in its entirety, thus requiring that the shift be split between two members of the research team. The split shift was then coded as two cases in the data.

  3. Value labels are not provided in the data dictionary files for the variables identifying the observed neighborhoods because these labels are unique in each jurisdiction. The variables identifying the neighborhoods contain some values that are not identified on the list of jurisdictions and neighborhoods. These values refer to combinations of neighborhoods.

  4. The variable identifying the observed shift contains values that are not included in the original format of the variable. It is not known which shifts these values refer to.

  5. The codebook and data collection instruments are provided by ICPSR as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. 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 on the ICPSR Web site.


Parts 1-3: The sample for this research was based on results from Phase I of the Police Services Study, which indicated that most Americans received police services from large agencies. Rochester, New York, St. Louis, Missouri, and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida, were selected as research sites because the police agencies in these cities ranged from small to large in size. Non-probability sampling methods were then used to obtain a sample of neighborhoods thought to be consistent with Phase I results. Part 4: The sample consisted of randomly selected households in three standard metropolitan statistical areas (Rochester, New York, St. Louis, Missouri, and Tampa-St.Petersburg, Florida), which included 24 cities and small towns. Households were identified through listings in the telephone directory. A single respondent was chosen from each household to provide information on the entire household.

Parts 1-3: personal interviews, and observations of police officers during selected shifts, Part 4: telephone interviews



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Ostrom, Elinor, Roger B. Parks, and Gordon Whitaker. Police Services Study, Phase II, 1977: Rochester, St. Louis, and St. Petersburg. ICPSR08605-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08605.v3

2006-03-30 File QU8605.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

2006-03-30 File CB8605.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.

2001-07-26 The data were reformatted to logical record length format. SAS data definition statements were added and SPSS data definition statements were updated for Parts 1-3. SAS and SPSS data definition statements were created for Part 4. ICPSR created a PDF codebook for the LRECL data and converted the original codebook and data collection instruments to PDF.

1987-01-12 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.