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Community Policing Activities: The Ohio Task Analysis Project

NCJ Number
171857
Author(s)
L F Travis III; B A Sanders
Date Published
1998
Length
58 pages
Annotation
This study determined whether the advent of community policing has changed the activities of line-level police officers in Ohio.
Abstract
Three data sources were used. The Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services conducted surveys of Ohio police officers in 1981 and 1996. These task analysis surveys asked officers to report the frequency with which they engaged in a variety of tasks. Twenty-three tasks drawn from the 1981 survey were repeated in the 1996 survey and formed the basis for the comparisons presented in this report. The task statements reflected activities that would be expected of community policing officers, such as interactions with citizens, problem-solving, and crime-prevention efforts. Also included were some traditional law enforcement tasks such as handcuffing suspects, conducting searches, and participating in raids. Almost 2,000 officers working in over 300 police agencies responded to the 1981 task analysis. Approximately 1,700 officers working in 229 agencies responded to the 1996 survey. The data show that officers assigned to community policing performed different tasks than officers not so assigned. Officers with community policing assignments more often engaged in interactions with citizens and in crime-prevention efforts. The study also found that assigning specialist officers to community policing tended to reduce the community involvement of other officers. Implementing community policing as a department-wide strategy may lead to increased involvement with the community across all officers, but may not allow officers to develop expertise in a particular area. 10 tables, the 1996 task analysis instrument, and 21 references

Date Published: January 1, 1998