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Impact of Traffic Stops on Calling the Police for Help

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Policy Review Volume: 21 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2010 Pages: 139-159
Chris L. Gibson; Samuel Walker; Wesley G. Jennings; J. Mitchell Miller
Date Published
June 2010
21 pages
This study examined the link between experiencing traffic stops and citizens' confidence and trust in the police.
Using data from the PolicePublic Contact Survey (PPCS), the current study examined how experiencing traffic stops affect the likelihood that Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics will contact the police for services. First, experiencing one or more traffic stops in the past year significantly decreased the likelihood of contacting the police for assistance and to report a neighborhood problem, net of other demographic characteristics. Second, traffic stop experiences had similar effects on Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics, each group less likely to have contacted the police for assistance and to report neighborhood problems if they had experienced one or more traffic stops in the past year. This study also discusses the reasons why experiencing traffic stops are related to contacting the police for help and provides some implications for policecommunity relationships. Tables, notes, and references (Published Abstract)