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Community Policing: 1997 National Survey Update of Police and Sheriffs' Departments

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2000
290 pages
This study documents how extensively community policing has been implemented in the United States and how it has changed in recent years.
This study, designed to update and enhance information collected by the Police Foundation in their 1993 study, was a large-scale survey of local police and sheriffs' departments using two independent samples. The "main sample" consisted of 2,314 agencies surveyed in 1993, which represented a random sample of law enforcement agencies stratified by size. From the main sample, 1,637 agencies returned a completed survey between August and December 31, 1997. The second sample represented agencies that received one or more COPS grants; 239 agencies responded. The report presents key findings in the following areas: (1) Law Enforcement Executives' Views of Community Policing; (2) Implementation of Community Policing; (3) Organizations' Experiences With Community Policing; (4) Citizen Participation; (5) Organizational Programs and Practices; (6) Organizational Arrangements; (7) Personnel Function and Activities; and (8) Lessons Learned. The study concludes that the current status and development of community policing (CP) can be assessed in terms of its two traditional key components: community partnerships and police-community problem solving. Community policing can be regarded as a "movement" and CP continues to evolve. However, this recognition is not reflected in the views of responding agency executives or in the activities of their agencies. Municipal agencies adopted CP earlier than did their sheriff counterparts. CP is perceived to have met executives' expectations. Finally, if this study is to be replicated in the future, careful and thoughtful consideration should be given to identifying and prioritizing survey objectives. The report recommends considering drawing a new sample, but only after all of the study objectives are identified. Notes, references, tables, appendixes

Date Published: September 1, 2000