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Citizen Reactions to Community Policing, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
68 pages
Citizen reactions to specific community policing activities were assessed in this research effort, and conditions that facilitated or hindered citizen involvement in community policing and related crime prevention efforts were identified.
The research was conducted at four sites in two jurisdictions (Salt Lake City, Utah, and Manatee County, Florida). Research analysts observed community policing officers during their shifts and interviewed citizens. An effort was made to document specific police-citizen interactions relative to major community policing activities and to compare community policing with traditional policing. Data collection began in April 1996 and was completed in January 1997. Findings revealed the most frequent type of police-citizen interaction resulted from problem-solving activities. Other frequently observed interactions involved calls for service, vehicle patrols, door- to-door contacts, foot patrols, bike patrols, and investigation. The four sites differed in the extent to which they implemented particular community policing activities. Even though community policing officers did not interact with citizens to the extent expected, citizens regarded their interactions with the police quite favorably. Many community policing officers, especially those in Salt Lake City, did not receive any special training prior to moving to community policing units. Although police departments indicated they were fully committed to implementing community policing, realities of such implementation were somewhat difficult. Both community policing officers and citizens said individual contacts improved police-citizen relations and contributed to neighborhood safety. Recommendations for further research are offered. An appendix contains the data collection forms used in the research. 36 references, 10 tables, and 1 figure

Date Published: January 1, 1998