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Building Group Capacity for Problem Solving and Police-Community Partnerships Through Survey Feedback and Training: A Randomized Control Trial Within Chicago's Community Policing Program

NCJ Number
Journal of Experimental Criminology Volume: 10 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2014 Pages: 79-103
Lisa M. Graziano; Dennis P. Rosenbaum; Amie M. Schuck
Date Published
March 2014
25 pages
To examine whether group capacity for problem solving and partnership building could be enhanced at police-community meetings by providing the results from community surveys and training for group facilitators. A randomized control trial was conducted in 51 police beats in Chicago's community policing program, CAPS.
Unlike control beats, results from Web-based community surveys were provided at beat meetings in the feedback and training beats, with facilitators in training beats also receiving training and exercises to guide problem solving about survey results. Analysis included OLS and logistic regression of data from questionnaires administered to police and resident participants, as well as observations at beat meetings, which measured resident capacity, attitudes about the police-community partnership, and problem-solving activities. Support for hypothesized effects was found with greater resident confidence in their ability to achieve outcomes and solve local problems, as well as officers viewing their relationships with residents at beat meetings more favorably. Effects, however, were inconsistent and limited to the feedback group. While additional training and support provided in training beats indicated fuller engagement in problem solving, possible negative effects on attitudes were observed. Failure to find more effects is discussed in terms of implementation and resistance. Officer resistance to and a shift in organizational priorities away from community policing worked against achieving full program implementation. The beat meeting context provided a traditional framework for police-resident interactions that precluded more comprehensive use of community data and possibly heightened dissatisfaction with the level of problem solving that occurred. Abstract published by arrangement with Springer.