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Exploring the limits of collaboration in community policing: A direct comparison of police and citizen views

John Liederbach (Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA)
Eric J. Fritsch (University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
David L. Carter (Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Andra Bannister (Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 30 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to provide direct comparisons between the views of citizens and officers within a jurisdiction that has been largely influenced by the community‐oriented policing movement. Comparisons between police and citizen views are specifically made in terms of: the relative importance of crime problems in the jurisdiction; the value of community policing programs; overall satisfaction with the performance of the department; and strategies designed to improve the performance of the department.


The methodology of the study is officer and citizen surveys.


Officers and citizens significantly differed in their assessment of the importance of specific crime problems in the jurisdiction, the value of community policing programs, the degree to which they were satisfied with the performance of the department, and their assessment of improvement strategies. These differences are discussed within the context of previous literature that has focused on the implementation and continued acceptance of community policing.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are derived from surveys conducted in one jurisdiction. Findings are limited to the degree that citizen/officer views within this jurisdiction differ from those found elsewhere.


The study utilizes seldom‐used concurrent surveys of officers and citizens within a single jurisdiction. The method allows for the direct comparison of police and citizen views. Thus, this paper provides evidence regarding the feasibility of collaboration between police and citizens, and the continued viability of community‐oriented strategies.



Liederbach, J., Fritsch, E.J., Carter, D.L. and Bannister, A. (2008), "Exploring the limits of collaboration in community policing: A direct comparison of police and citizen views", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 271-291.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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