LAW ENFORCEMENT IN A TIME OF COMMUNITY POLICING *

LAW ENFORCEMENT IN A TIME OF COMMUNITY POLICING * Community policing creates the expectation that oficers will become more selective in making arrests and that those decisions will be influenced more by extralegal considerations and less by legal ones. Data on 451 nontraffic police‐suspect encounters were drawn from ridealong observations in Richmond, Virginia, where the police department was implementing community policing. The arrest/no arrest decision is regressed on variables representing legal and extralegal characteristics of the situation. Legal variables show much stronger effects than extralegal ones, but that depends upon the officer's attitude toward community policing. Supporters of community policing are, as predicted, more selective in making arrests and much less influenced by legal variables than are officers with negative views. However, pro‐community‐policing officers are like negative officers in the extent of influence exerted by extralegal factors. There are some differences between the two groups of officers on the strength and direction of effects of predictor variables taken individually, but only 1 of 17 is significant. Thus, in a time of community policing, officers who support it do manifest some arrest decision patterns distinguishable from those of colleagues who adhere to a more traditional view of law enforcement. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Criminology Wiley

LAW ENFORCEMENT IN A TIME OF COMMUNITY POLICING *

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0011-1384
eISSN
1745-9125
DOI
10.1111/j.1745-9125.1995.tb01189.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Community policing creates the expectation that oficers will become more selective in making arrests and that those decisions will be influenced more by extralegal considerations and less by legal ones. Data on 451 nontraffic police‐suspect encounters were drawn from ridealong observations in Richmond, Virginia, where the police department was implementing community policing. The arrest/no arrest decision is regressed on variables representing legal and extralegal characteristics of the situation. Legal variables show much stronger effects than extralegal ones, but that depends upon the officer's attitude toward community policing. Supporters of community policing are, as predicted, more selective in making arrests and much less influenced by legal variables than are officers with negative views. However, pro‐community‐policing officers are like negative officers in the extent of influence exerted by extralegal factors. There are some differences between the two groups of officers on the strength and direction of effects of predictor variables taken individually, but only 1 of 17 is significant. Thus, in a time of community policing, officers who support it do manifest some arrest decision patterns distinguishable from those of colleagues who adhere to a more traditional view of law enforcement.

Journal

CriminologyWiley

Published: Nov 1, 1995

References

  • Demeanor or crime? The Midwest City police‐citizen encounters study
    Lundman, Lundman
  • Improving observational studies of police
    Mastrofski, Mastrofski; Parks, Parks

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