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Contacts between Police and the Public: Findings from the 2002 National Survey

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2005
35 pages
Matthew R. Durose; Erica L. Schmitt; Patrick A. Langan Ph.D.
Publication Type
This report presents data on the nature and characteristics of contacts between residents of the United States and the police over a 12-month period.
Findings are provided from a nationally representative survey of nearly 80,000 residents age 16 or older. Detailed information is presented on face-to-face contacts with the police, including the reason for and outcome of the contact, resident opinion on police behavior during the contact, and whether police used or threatened to use force during the contact. The report provides demographic characteristics of residents involved in traffic stops and use-of-force encounters and discusses the relevance of the survey findings to the issue of racial profiling. Highlights include the following: (1) about 25 percent of the 45.3 million persons with a face-to-face contact indicated the reason for the contact was to report a crime or other problem; (2) in 2002, about 1.3 million residents age 16 or older--29 percent of the 45.3 million persons with contact--were arrested by police; (3) the likelihood of being stopped by police in 2002 did not differ significantly between White (8.7 percent), Black (9.1 percent), and Hispanic (8.6 percent) drivers; (4) during the traffic stop, police were more likely to carry out some type of search on a Black (10.2 percent) or Hispanic (11.4 percent) driver than a White (3.5 percent) driver. Tables
Date Created: July 2, 2018