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Support for Community Policing versus Traditional Policing among Non-Metropolitan Police Officers: A Survey of Four New Mexico Police Departments

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Abstract

Looks at policing in small to medium departments in nonmetropolitan areas. Describes the level and sources of support for traditional and community policing activities. Finds that highly educated and long-serving officers had lower levels of police solidarity (social cohesiveness); conversely the higher the police solidarity, the lower the level of police professionalism. Traditional policing and CP were seen as separate but related aspects and higher expenditure on the former aspect was supported. Suggests that officers are not in favor of funding CP at the expense of traditional policing. Finds that well-educated officers are less supportive of police solidarity and of CP. Points out that although the officers surveyed were based in relatively isolated communities they did not unequivocally support CP.
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... In a sample from a midsized Midwestern city, Schafer (2002) found that female officers had more positive globalbut not specificviews of community policing. Across other studies in St Petersburg, FL, Indianapolis, rural Alabama, New Mexico and Turkey, officer gender did not influence views of community policing Paoline et al., 2000;Uluturk et al., 2017;Winfree, Bartku, & Seibel, 1996). In sum, officer gender influences support for community policing in just a few studies. ...
... By contrast, older officers in Racine, WI, were less supportive of some aspects of community policing (Lewis et al., 1999). Other samples from rural Alabama, New Mexico, and Turkey found that age had no impact on views of community policing Uluturk et al., 2017;Winfree et al., 1996). Taken together, there is contradictory evidence regarding the impact of officer age on support for community policing. ...
... Just as it is important to identify the factors that consistently impact officer support for community policing, it is also important to identify factors that consistently have no impact on it. The impact of age on officer support for community policing is mixed, with most studies finding either no impact Uluturk et al., 2017;Winfree et al., 1996) or a positive one (Lurigio & Skogan, 1994;Skogan & Hartnett, 1999;Sun et al., 2016), and one study finding a negative relationship (Lewis et al., 1999). In our study, age only has a relationship with support for community policing in the pooled model in Wave 1, but the effect disappears in models of departments separately. ...
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Community policing is often seen as a way to repair fractured relationships between law enforcement and the public. Despite its relationship‐building promise and widespread department‐level adoption, individual officers show varying levels of support for community policing which can harm policy implementation. Why are some officers more supportive of community policing than others? Prior research suggests that demographic factors such as the officer's gender, race, age, and education can explain this variance. Across these studies, however, there are several contradicting or non‐replicating findings. Conflicting findings may result from differences by department or differences in methodology or temporal variance – but most policing studies focus on a single department. We begin to adjudicate between the possible explanations for conflicting findings using roll‐call survey data from 741 officers across three neighboring police departments in 2016 and then a replication with 452 officers from one of the original departments in 2019. We find that experience with community policing consistently influences support for the practice while officer gender, age, and education consistently do not. Other results do not replicate across department or time, although we do find non‐replicating significant factors associated with officer support for community policing. Our findings also suggest that departmental and temporal aspects help to explain why policing studies often do not replicate or generalize to other places or contexts.
... For example, compared to male officers, female officers were found to be less oriented toward using force (Brooks et al., 1993), have a broader role orientation (Sun, 2003), and report more favorable global attitudes toward community policing (Schafer, 2002). Some studies found that college-educated officers, relative to their less-educated counterparts, hold more positive attitudes toward peer groups, supervisors, and top managers (Sun, 2002;Wang et al., 2020) and are supportive of community policing (Winfree et al., 1996) or procedural justice on the street (Sun et al., 2019). A study of Chinese officers revealed that those with military service experience expressed stronger support for fair and respectful treatment of citizens than those without such experience (Sun et al., 2019). ...
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Purpose This paper comparatively assesses the connections between individual demographic traits, occupational characteristics, and organizational factors and officers' attitudes toward important groups in China and Taiwan. Design/methodology/approach Survey data used in this study were collected from 722 police officers from mainland China and 531 officers from Taiwan. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted to assess the correlates of police attitudes toward peers, supervisors, and citizens. Findings The Chinese and Taiwanese officers do not differ in their trust in peers, but the Chinese officers hold significantly more positive views on the trustworthiness of supervisors and citizens compared to the Taiwanese officers. Supervisor justice and organizational identification are significant predictors of officers' attitudes toward all three groups in both countries. Research limitations/implications A major limitation revolves around the inability to test and explain exactly why findings from the two groups vary in their ways. Future research should include specific social, political, and cultural predictors. Originality/value This study represents one of the few studies that compare police attitudes toward important groups of peers, supervisors, and citizens across nations/cultures.
... Most CP works have concentrated on secondary data and only one or two strategies in measuring the effectiveness of CP without including the communities where the strategies are applied (see Thomas, Gregory, & George Seibe 1996;Dumenyah, 2016;Havi, 2014). This is because most secondary data from the law enforcement agencies may have problems of accuracy, and thus, may not actually represent what is going on in the communities. ...
Thesis
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The connection between security and development cannot be overstated. This is because human security is a vital objective of development which when not in place can have negative consequences for development. Crime is one of the major precipitators of insecurity globally, and capable of impeding development. The continuous increase in high rate of crime even in the presence of traditional policing is said to have triggered the call for shift from military-based policing to a democratic-based policing, thus, community policing which focuses on preventing crime. The Ghana Police Service adopted this trending approach for crime prevention and management in the country. However, crime rate continue to rise, especially in the Wa Municipality. This study therefore investigated the prospects of Community Policing Approach (CPA) for crime management in the Wa Municipality, Ghana. It specifically investigated common crimes in the area, the effect of crime on development and the effectiveness of community policing strategies and community participation in the Municipality. The research adopted an explorative sequential mixed method in a study of four communities, namely, Bamahu, Dondoli, Kumbiehe, and Mangu, and applied focus group discussions, key informant interviews and and a survey for data collection and analysis. First, the results show that stealing (theft), burglary, robbery, assault, threat to harm, unlawful damage, unlawful harm, possession of narcotic drugs, and abortion are the common crimes in the Municipality. Secondly, that crime affect development by creating fear among residents; causing psychological trauma to the victims and relatives; engendering financial bankruptcy/loss of income to the direct and indirect victims; causing loss of properties; adversely affecting private investments, school enrolment and educational achievements ; and reducing trust in interpersonal relationship among community members. Thirdly, that community participation and community policing is not effective in the Municipality due to ineffective strategies, lack of trust and public confidence in the Police. To improve CP, the study recommends revamping of the Neighbourhood Watch Committee (NWC), which existed prior to Community Police Assistants (also known as CPAs) as part of the CPA infrastructure for enhancing trust, cooperation and community participation in community policing.
... This was especially true for White officers who evidenced more individual factors explaining under-policing and apprehensiveness toward stopping minorities than nonwhite officers. These findings contribute to studies that account for race alongside structural, individual, and societal forces when understanding police attitudes and behaviors (Adams, Rohe, & Arcury, 2002;Gau & Paoline, 2017;Gau & Paul, 2019;Winfree, Bartku, & Seibel, 1996) and recommend the continued use of such measures when studying officers across multiple agencies. ...
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This pilot study examines police patrol activity, specifically engagement in under-policing, and investigatory-apprehensiveness toward minorities across White and nonwhite patrol officers in the context of policing post-Ferguson. Using a sample of unranked, patrol-duty officers in the United States (n = 887) from an online survey a series of multivariate binary logistic models suggest that although departmental and officer level variables can predict the likelihood of practicing under-policing and being apprehensive toward stopping minorities, various contextual post-Ferguson variables beyond de-policing also matter. Further, predictors of under-policing and apprehensiveness toward stopping minorities are different across White and nonwhite patrol officers. Results suggest the post-Ferguson period appears to have made an impression on patrol officers’ behaviors.
... Research has generally found that minority officers are more supportive of community policing (Lurigio & Skogan, 1994;Novak et al., 2003;Skogan & Hartnett, 1997). Other factors like higher rank and more education increase support for community policing in some studies (Lewis et al., 1999;Lurigio & Skogan, 1994;Skogan & Hartnett, 1997) but not others (Novak et al., 2003;Winfree, Bartku & Seibel, 1996). Beyond individual-level differences, O'Shea (1999) found that officers in a rural department were more supportive of community policing than urban officers. ...
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Officers are not equally supportive of community policing despite its potential for improving police–citizen relationships. Research has yet to identify and explain variations in officer support for community policing with racial minorities. Using roll-call surveys with 741 officers in three departments, this project addressed two questions: Do officers differ in their support for community policing across racial groups? And, if so, why? Officers are less supportive of community policing with racial minorities and perceive greater social distance from minority groups. General support for community policing and lower perceived social distance from a minority community are linked with greater support for community policing with that group. Community policing experience is not related to support for the practice across racial groups. By understanding differences at the officer-level, departments can build support for community policing—particularly with minority communities—through reducing perceived social distance. Additionally, department-level differences highlight the importance of comparative research.
... Some studies found PIJPSM 32,4 that college educated officers have more positive attitudes toward legal restrictions (Worden, 1990), peer groups and top managers (Sun, 2002), and selective enforcement (Paoline et al., 2000;Sun, 2003). Studies also showed that college educated officers were less oriented toward law enforcement and order maintenance (Paoline et al., 2000) and less supportive of community policing activities (Winfree et al., 1996) than their less educated counterparts. ...
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine Chinese police cadets' attitudes toward police roles and their work. Design/methodology/approach Using survey data collected from 182 cadets in a Chinese police college, this paper assesses the influences of cadets' characteristics and training on their attitudes toward law enforcement, order maintenance, preventive patrol, and community building. Findings Cadets without family members or relatives serving as police officers and with stronger physical capability are more likely to support the law enforcement role, while cadets with greater physical capability are less likely to favor order maintenance. Younger cadets and those without a Bachelor's degree are more likely to view preventive patrol as an important goal for the police. Cadets with stronger attitudes toward law enforcement are more likely to regard community building as an important police goal. Research limitations/implications Future research should continue to explore factors that influence officers' occupational attitudes and incorporate more attitudinal dimensions into the analysis. Future projects should also target local station officers from different departments. Originality/value This study represents one of the first attempts to empirically assess Chinese police cadets' work‐related attitudes. Findings of the study provide Chinese police administrators with useful references and directions to improve police training and enhance police‐community relations.
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Informed by the Broken Window Theory, this study investigated the incidence of crime in the Wa Municipality of Ghana and its implications for policy and crime management planning. The study employed an exploratory sequential mixed method for data collection in four communities within the Wa Municipality, namely, Dondoli, Bamahu, Mangu, and Kumbiehe. The methods of data collection included Focus Group Discussion (FDGs), Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and a Survey of 180 households. The result showed that stealing (theft), burglary, robbery, banditry and illegal abortion were the common crimes in the Municipality. For crime management planning, the study recommends that community participation should be strengthened through revitalization of Neighbourhood Watch Committees (NWC) in the communities for effective crime prevention and management.
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