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Ecological Theory of Police Response: A State Police Agency Test

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies Volume: 23 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2010 Pages: 119-131
Richard R. Johnson; Erica L. Olschansky
Date Published
June 2010
13 pages
This study examined the operations of State-level law enforcement agencies to evaluate the existence of differences in enforcement actions across varying districts within the agencies.
Klinger's ecological theory of police response (1997) posits that differences in officer enforcement 'vigor' across districts within a police agency will be influenced primarily by district levels of social disorganization and serious crime. The present study tested the theory's validity within a State police agency. While the violent crime rate and social disorganization level of each district was correlated with some measures of enforcement vigor, the greatest influence on enforcement vigor was the calls for service workload and responsibility for patrolling an interstate highway. The potential research differences between municipal and State police agencies are also discussed. Tables, notes, and references (Published Abstract)