This article examines whether police-community co-production influences levels of social capital within neighborhoods.
The author notes that in recent years there has been a renewed interest in the influence that communities play in public safety and neighborhood-level crime control. More specifically, theory and research have emphasized that the high social capital of a community is an important component to declining neighborhood-level crime rates. This study sought to add to this growing body of literature by examining the relationship between police-community co-production and neighborhood-level social capital. The author collected survey data from neighborhood association presidents in Indianapolis, Indiana for all neighborhood organizations that were registered with the Metropolitan Development Department in the year 2000. The author chose to interview neighborhood leaders rather than police officers in order to assess the process of police-community interaction from the perspective of the resident. Following the survey, telephone interviews were conducted, with a completion rate of 70 percent. Questions measured four main variables: the characteristics of the neighborhood organization, demographic characteristics of the neighborhood, the nature of police-community co-production, and the social processes defining the neighborhood. Finally, supplemental information was gathered from the 1990 census and the 1998 Family and Social Services Administration data. Results of statistical analyses indicated that collective social capital was higher in neighborhoods where residents perceived the police to be more accessible. Tables, references