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Field Surveys IV Volume 2--Police and the Community: The Dynamics of Their Relationship ina Changing Society Sections III and IV

NCJ Number
Joseph D. Lohman; Gordon E. Misner
Date Published
October 1966
316 pages
This is a comprehensive analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department’s (PPD’s) interaction with the city’s residents in the mid-1960s.
In the last 10 years, the PPD has taken some significant steps in making changes that are necessary in contemporary urban police work. The PPD was one of the first police department’s to create a police-community relations unit just over 10 years ago, and it has received increased support in budget and personnel over the years; however, the department apparently has not provided sufficient direction and leadership for this unit. Over the past 10 years, the number of African-American members of the PPD has increased approximately 1,000 percent. A number of African-American officers now hold supervisory and command ranks. Many of the problem areas that continue to exist in police-community relations in Philadelphia can be attributed to police structure in its broad sense. Structural issues relate to an ineffective command and control system and the refining of intradepartmental communication systems. Part of these structural problems relate to the posture of the PPD in its interaction with the community, neighborhoods, and resident subcultures. Part of the structural problems relate to the reluctance of the department to encourage meaningful citizen participation in community safety issues. The department has also failed to provide constructive leadership and support for an effective redress of citizen grievances toward the police. This has caused portions of the city’s populace to lose confidence in the ability and willingness of the police to address citizen complaints against police actions and policies. Recommendations are offered for actions at the Federal, State, and local levels that will assist police departments in dealing with interactions with their communities in a changing society. 24 tables