In 1997 the researchers observed police officers for
approximately 240 hours in each of 12 of St. Petersburg's 48
Community Policing Areas (CPAs). The CPAs were selected to
represent variation in social distress (amount of unemployment
and poverty and the number of female-headed households), which
affects service conditions for police. Field researchers observed
911 officers responsible for answering calls for service,
Community Policing Officers (CPOs) free to focus on
problem solving, and supervisors assigned to the selected CPAs.
Researchers also personally interviewed nearly all St.
Petersburg patrol officers (n=240) and their immediate
supervisors (n=37). In addition, more than 1,900 randomly
selected residents of St. Petersburg were surveyed by telephone.
The findings pertain to the police role, allocation of officer
time, police-citizen interactions, and citizen perceptions.
Overall, the research shows that community policing made inroads
in the outlook of officers and that the strength of those effects
is related to whether an officer has a specialized community
policing assignment or serves as a general patrol officer.
Citizens are relatively satisfied with police services, although
minority citizens tended to evaluate their police somewhat lower
than did whites.