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Measuring Community Building Involving the Police, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2001
542 pages
This study developed and evaluated three measurement protocols of police-community interactions: an observation protocol, a case study protocol, and a survey instrument.
The reliability and validity of the case study protocol was tested using eight case studies which were evaluated by four evaluators using the case study protocol. Results indicated that the case study protocol was reliable, particularly in its measurements of the Identification and the Improvement dimensions. Validity of the case study protocol was somewhat lower than its level of reliability. The evaluation of the survey instrument revealed modest to high levels of inter-item reliability. Field testing and refinement were performed in Indianapolis to evaluate the observation protocol. Results indicated high inter-rater reliability. The authors note that the observation protocol represents the best balance of comprehensive community building content that is available for collection. Community building is an important process that helps develop and sustain long-term community engagement. The two main goals of the Police Community Interaction Project (PCIP) are: (1) to define separate dimensions that describe and measure police-community interactions, and (2) to facilitate the use of PCIP-developed measures of police-community interactions. Five major community building processes involving the actions of police officers were identified by the PCIP: (1) steps to improve neighborhood space; (2) steps to identify with neighborhoods; (3) steps to encourage resident effort; (4) steps for resident participation; and (5) steps for coordinating organizations. These dimensions describe the ways in which the police can interact with community groups to improve community capacity to deal with crime and social order problems. PCIP developed measures of the five dimensions in three phases. Phase 1 involved the identification of police behaviors that appeared to fall along the dimensions. Phase 2 involved the development of the observation protocol and Phase 3 involved the development of a case study protocol and a survey instrument, all to measure the interaction dimensions. Exhibits, references, appendixes

Date Published: July 1, 2001