This study developed and assessed a measurement model to examine the implementation of community poling (COP).
The results suggest that the measurement model is able to offer an accurate assessment of both changes in COP implementation over time and in comparison to other police agencies. The measurement model withstood two samples of data, suggesting that the model was consistent with multiple sets of data. Moreover, the model uses variables that can be directly measured and the application is fairly straightforward. Policymakers and researchers are encouraged to use this measurement model to gauge progress in COP implementation since it is capable of measuring change over time and in comparison to other agencies. The development of the COP implementation measurement model was based on data drawn from the 1997 and 1999 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) Surveys, which are general administrative surveys sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau and distributed to every municipal police organization with 100 or more sworn, full-time employees. Five COP-related activities were selected to comprise the measures of COP implementation: (1) training; (2) written COP plan; (3) fixed assignment; (4) problem solving; and (5) citizen interaction. To estimate and assess the measurement model, the author used confirmatory factor analysis to determine the best fitting model. The measurement model was then tested on both the 1997 and 1999 waves of the LEMAS survey using a panel analysis. The findings should be considered preliminary and subsequent research based on the measurement model should proceed cautiously until it is further assessed. Figures, tables, footnotes, references
Date Published: January 1, 2004