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Defending the Community: Results of a Citizen Survey on Coproduction and Community Policing (Video)

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2002
0 pages
This is a video of researchers' reports on the methodology and findings of a survey of four Los Angeles neighborhoods to determine demographic, community, and citizen attitudinal correlates with coproduction crime-control efforts in community policing.
The researchers determined that a self-administered citizen mail survey coupled with a follow-up phone call to non-respondents was the most effective method compared with random digit telephone dialing. The four neighborhoods selected for the survey encompassed communities that ranged from the highest to the lowest crime rates and from low to high resident incomes. The survey was conducted between October 1997 and March 1998. Demographic data on residents and communities were obtained from the 1990 Census. For the purposes of the survey "coproduction" was defined as the involvement of people outside of government agencies and organizations in partnership with such entities in providing public service in addition to being recipients of government services. In connection with community policing, "coproduction" consists of the involvement of citizens as individuals and groups in partnership with police engaging in activities designed to increase public safety and order in the community. This video report by the researchers focuses on correlations between other variables and coproduction activities by respondents. The study found that trust in the police fostered by informal positive interactions with police officers correlated significantly with citizen involvement in coproduction activities that might include volunteer efforts, attendance at community meeting that featured crime-control discussions, and talking with an officer about community concerns. "Sociability," defined as interacting with and socializing with neighbors in a helpful way, also correlated with coproduction. Victimization was more associated with private efforts, such as alarm installation and other personal security measures, than with coproduction. The perception of public disorder in the community correlated with both private security efforts and coproduction. The existence of collective networks that involved both formal and informal structures of communication and cooperation among residents was strongly associated with coproduction efforts. When such collective networks did not exist in the surveyed communities, obstacles to coproduction were significant, even when citizens engaged in some coproduction attempts. The researchers advise that citizens and police should work together in devising ways to build networking and socialization among residents as the primary means for developing a capability for coproduction public-safety efforts. In the question-and-answer period following the presentation, attention is given to the kinds of community policing efforts in which the Los Angeles Police Department is involved.

Date Published: March 1, 2002