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What's in a Name? Organizational, Environmental, and Cultural Factors on Support for Community Policing in Turkey and the U.S.

NCJ Number
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research Volume: 17 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2011 Pages: 285-303
Mahesh K. Nalla; Kaan Boke
Date Published
December 2011
19 pages
This study compared community policing in Turkey and the United States.
Community policing (COP) represents officers' expectations of police work that revolves around specific order maintenance chores that take place within the community. It is generally assumed that police officers are cognizant of the community policing type activities occurring in police organizations where COP is either formally or informally adopted. However, very little research has been done to examine whether or not police officers in other countries are engaging in similar COP type activities without the organizational endorsement or official implementation of community policing as it is known in the U.S. and elsewhere. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, the authors compared law enforcement officers' attitudes toward their conceptions of police work with specific attention to order maintenance and community oriented type police activities in two countries, Turkey (no formal COP programs) and the U.S. (formal and informal COP programs). Secondly, the authors examined to what extent police organizational and environmental factors in these two countries influence officers' conceptions of community-oriented policing activities. Findings suggest that, relative to Turkey, U.S. police officers have a favorable disposition toward COP type activities, suggesting name does matter. However, findings in both countries also suggest that officers' orientation to police work that is reflective of the police operational philosophy, and the organizational and environmental factors are better predictors of COP type activities. (Published Abstract)