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Police Department and Police Officer Association Leaders' Perceptions of Community Policing: Describing the Nature and Extent of Agreement

NCJ Number
Colleen Kadleck Ph.D.; Lawrence F. Travis III, Ph.D.
Date Published
September 2004
160 pages
This study assessed the current status of agreement on community policing initiatives between local police chiefs (n=1,754) and the leaders of police employee associations (n=648).
There were several areas of agreement between the two groups. First, they tended to view the same components of police activities as important or unimportant for community policing, suggesting that chiefs and union leaders have relatively similar views regarding the nature of community policing. Second, most conflicts between the chiefs and union leaders were not related to community policing by their own assessment. Third, both chiefs and union leaders reported that community-policing components were not widely implemented. Fourth, for both chiefs and union leaders, any conflict between the union and agency management was related to differing perceptions of police labor relationships. There were several areas of disagreement between chiefs and union leaders. First, most had different perceptions of police labor relationships. Second, chiefs and union leaders perceived different levels of conflict between management and employees. Chiefs generally reported less conflict than union leaders, and they differed on the types of conflict. Third, chiefs and union leaders had different opinions about whether the implementation of community-policing components were negotiable or managerial prerogatives. With the exception of fixed shifts for officers (57.1 percent of chiefs said this was negotiable), chiefs generally rated the implementation of community-policing components as managerial prerogatives. Union leaders, on the other hand, perceived the implementation of several community-policing components as negotiable. Recommendations pertain to future studies in this area and implications for dealing with police labor relationships and the implementation of community policing. 2 figures, 47 tables, and 67 references