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Jun 25th, 2015
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Police Evaluations and Studies

In Chapter One of Policing America: Challenges and Best Practices, you read that there were developments for the police during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Foot patrols became more popular, and many larger jurisdictions (such as Newark, New Jersey; Boston, Massachusetts; and Flint, Michigan) even began to require this form of patrol. In Newark, an evaluation led to the conclusions that officers on foot patrol were easily seen by residents, produced a significant increase in the level of satisfaction with police service, led to a significant reduction of perceived crime problems, and resulted in a significant increase in the perceived level of neighborhood safety.
Newark, New Jersey is not the only location in the United States where an evaluation was completed to measure citizen satisfaction with the police. Visit the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. In the search box, click on the Related Literature radial and type “citizen satisfaction” or “evaluations” in the search field. Information related to other studies involving citizen satisfaction with the police will populate. Choose two additional studies/evaluations which have been conducted in the United States as a means to measure the citizen satisfaction with the police from the list.).
For your discussion, analyze the results of the two studies you selected from the search result. How can this information be used to further the effectiveness of policing in today’s world? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being concerned with citizen satisfaction?   

Our dicusssion first, individuals response, bad and good list reference

(Wi) For your discussion, analyze the results of the two studies you selected from the search result.

In order to evaluate or implement any effective community policing program, law enforcement agencies should conduct “citizen surveys” prior to the implementation of a program, and several times after the program has been instituted in order to guage there effectivenss.  These “pre” surveys promote community oriented policing because it allows for agencies to understand the fears within their communities and to hear what the communities expectations for the department are. 

  • Study 1

In Madison, Wisconsin, the police department decided they needed to restructure the departments organizational design from top to bottom in order to better align with the philosophy of community-oriented policing.  Before implementing change, the police department conducted employee surveys and citizen surveys to gauge what changes were needed and how those changes should be implemented.  The surveys were conducted in four different phases in order to measure the effectiveness of the changes over a period of time. 

Phase 1 consisted of personal interviews/surveys from a random sample of 1,166 Madison residents and inter-departmental surveys that were completed by the majority of department officers.  The surveys conducted in phase 1, were used by administrators to identify community issues and department issues.  In subsequent phases, plans were implementated for increased departmental training and community enhancement programs. 

This case study was instrumental to the success of the Madison Police Departments restructuring efforts.  Police personnel provided their assessments on how successful quality leadership had been implemented, the amount of their interaction with detectives, the amount of time available for problem-solving, ease of arranging schedules, safety of working conditions, attitudes toward change, and attitudes toward decentralization. Residents provided their perceptions of police presence, frequency of police-citizen contacts, quality of police-citizen contacts, evaluation of problem-solving efforts by police, levels of fear of crime, and demographic information (Wycoff, M. Skogan, & W. Skogan, 1987-1990). 

  • Study 2

In 2008 and 2009, the police departments in Dallas, Texas; Knoxville, Tennessee; Kettering, Ohio; and the Broward County, Florida Sheriff's Office, conducted citizen surveys to examine the feasibility and costs of implementing performance measures as a new way of gauging police performance and as a method of improving accountability of police services.  In a four part process, research teams gathered data from 458 members of the community (Part 1), 312 police officers (Part 2), and 804 individuals who had voluntary contact (Part 3), and 761 individuals who had involuntary contact (Part 4) with police departments (Cordner, Davis, Hartley, Newell, & Ortiz, 2008-2009). 

The study revealed the effectiveness and the innefenciencies of department wide police delivery services; issues with police officer ethics and values; job satisfaction; organizational competence and commitment to high standards; and reducing crime.  The community surverys made Administrators aware of police effectiveness, police professionalism during contacts, neighborhood problems, and feelings of victimization.

How can this information be used to further the effectiveness of policing in today’s world?

Without the valuable information obtained from citizen surveys, law enforcement agencies would have a difficult time with gauging how effective their community policing programs are.  This information allows for Administrators  to come up with solutions that value the input of police officers and the residence within the community, in order to effectively solve problems. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being concerned with citizen satisfaction? 

The advantages of citizen satisfaction is that community problems are effectively handled due to the partnership between law enforcement and the community, which allows for long term success.  The disadvantages of citizen satisfaction is that politicans and special interest groups might use the opinions collected within surveys, as evidence of social problems, without seeking data from law enforcement agencies that back up the claims mentioned.  This would result in handling the surface of the problem without getting to the root of the problem, and if that happens, the issue will never be resolved. 


Cordner, G., Davis, R., Hartley, C., Newell, R., & Ortiz, C.  (2008-2009). Developing Uniform Performance Measures for Policing in the United States: A Pilot Project in Four Agencies, 2008-2009. ICPSR29742-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-04-24. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR29742.v1

Skogan, M., Skogan, W., & Wycoff (1987-1990). National Acrchive of Criminal Justice Data.  Community Policing in Madison, Wisconsin: Evaluation of Implementation and Impact, 1987-1990. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1996. Retreived from http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACJD/studies/6480?archive=NACJD&permit%5B0%5D=AVAILABLE&q=citizen+satisfaction&x=0&y=0

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