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Patterns of Citizen Demands for Police Service

NCJ Number
S L Percy; E J Scott
Date Published
221 pages
The nature and timing of citizen calls for police service were studied using data from an analysis of calls for service and interviews with police and callers in Fort Worth, Texas.
Fort Worth was chosen because of its size, its heterogeneous population characteristics, and its use of a computer-aided dispatch system. Data were collected in 1980 and 1981. Demands were varied and sometimes were unrelated to the mandated police functions. Call volume was greatest on Fridays and Saturdays and during evening hours. Most people who called were outwardly calm. Calls about serious property problems and problems with persons tended to come from lower-income, high-density areas, while less serious property problems were reported more often from more affluent neighborhoods. The disposition of calls varied according to the type of problem reported. Most callers were satisfied with the operator response. Findings suggest needs in the areas of police management and planning, call processing, police responses, and research. Figures, tables, footnotes, appended instruments, and 31 references.