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Small city community policing and citizen satisfaction

Vivian B. Lord (Department of Criminal Justice, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)
Joseph B. Kuhns (Department of Criminal Justice, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)
Paul C. Friday (Department of Criminal Justice, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 6 November 2009

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2919

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the impact of the implementation of community‐oriented policing and problem solving in a small city.

Design/methodology/approach

Citizen surveys that measure perceptions and activities of the police are completed before and three years after broader implementation of community policing. Because the existing literature supports the influence of a number of individual, neighborhood, and situational characteristics, several variables are included and controlled.

Findings

The results show that although the police invest a great deal of time building partnerships with and problem solving in neighborhoods, there are no significant differences over time in citizen satisfaction with police or in fear of crime. Personal contact with police mediates the influence of individual and neighborhood characteristics on citizen satisfaction. Police presence remains a common significant predictor of citizen satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

Ensuring anonymity of subjects requires different samples between data collection periods; however, the same stratified random sampling process is used both times. The pre/post research design allows for measuring changes over time, but the lack of a control city threatens internal and external validity.

Practical implications

Citizen satisfaction is an important concern for all police and local governmental administrators; therefore, the findings of this study are useful for smaller agencies that are implementing or planning to implement community‐oriented policing.

Originality/value

With its focus on a small city and the capability to survey citizens before department‐wide implementation, this article expands research conducted on citizen satisfaction with police in a small town.

Keywords

Citation

Lord, V.B., Kuhns, J.B. and Friday, P.C. (2009), "Small city community policing and citizen satisfaction", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 574-594. https://doi.org/10.1108/13639510911000713

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited