This study sought to understand several facets of officer attitudes toward community policing focusing first on understanding if global and specific attitudes concerning community policing were distinct concepts and to understand the factors influencing officers’ community policing attitudes through survey data obtained from officers and supervisors in a Midwestern police agency.
Community policing, as a theory, redefines the way in which the police view themselves and their clients and is intended to bring the police and the public together in a “co-productive” effort to enhance crime prevention, community safety, and the quality of life at the neighborhood level. Over the years, community policing has been viewed as a popular program and philosophy despite its appropriateness and effectiveness having not been conclusively established. This study builds upon the knowledge of community policing using one specific outcome measure, police officer attitudes, in a Midwestern police agency, the Motor City Police Department (MCPD), attempting an integrated generalist model of community policing. The study examined aspects of police attitudes toward community policing and tested the extent to which such attitudes were predicted by demographic and experiential variables. Data were used from a survey administered to officers and supervisors assigned to the patrol division in the MCPD. The survey assessed unique aspects of the team-based system in Motor City and broader community policing attitudes. The analysis illustrated a clear distinction between global and specific attitudes toward community policing. In addition, the analysis indicated that they were not predicted by the same demographic and experiential factors. Future longitudinal studies are recommended on an agency implementing generalized community policing that would produce richer insights into the degree to which these attitudes are reciprocal or simultaneous. There is the need to elaborate on these attitude sets and their composition, their causes, and the nature and form of their relationship. References