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Community Building Measures: How Police and Neighborhood Groups Can Measure Their Collaboration

NCJ Number
Date Published
34 pages
This article identifies five community building processes and develops three measurement protocols for assessing the level of police involvement in community building.
Identified by the Police Community Interaction Project (PCIP), the five major community building processes in which police are often active are: (1) steps to improve neighborhood space; (2) steps to identify with neighborhoods; (3) steps to encourage resident effort; (4) steps for resident participation; and (5) steps for coordinating organizations. These dimensions describe the ways in which the police can interact with community groups to improve community capacity to deal with crime and social order problems. PCIP also developed three different measurement instruments for police departments and community groups to use for assessing their interactions along the five community building processes: a case study protocol, an annual survey, and regular observations of police-community meetings. Three main reasons are offered for why communities should engage in the measurement of police community building: (1) to get valuable information for future police and citizen problem solving efforts; (2) to link police-neighborhood activities with measurable outcomes; and (3) to aid in strategic planning. Community building is an important process that helps develop and sustain community group involvement. The goal of the PCIP has been to identify processes of community building and then to determine how police might get involved in these community processes to make a positive and sustained impact on neighborhoods. Exhibits, endnotes

Date Published: January 1, 2001