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Residency requirements and public perceptions of the police in large municipalities

David W. Murphy (Criminal Justice Program, Washington State University, Washington, USA)
John L. Worrall (Department of Criminal Justice, California State University, SanBernardino, CA, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 1 September 1999



Proponents of police officer residency requirements maintain that police officers who live in the area they serve contribute to the local tax base, provide better information dissemination, and represent community interests in their agencies. However, little research has been conducted to assess the extent to which residency requirements affect public perceptions of the police. This paper explores the relationship between police residency requirements at the municipal level and citizen satisfaction with law enforcement – specifically, the connection between residency requirements and reported confidence in the abilities of the police to prevent crime, solve crime, and protect citizens. Data derived from a national survey of citizen satisfaction with criminal justice institutions conducted during 1995 and from the 1993 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics survey of agencies with more than 100 sworn officers reveal, among other things, that residency requirements affect citizens’ perceptions of the police in a negative way.



Murphy, D.W. and Worrall, J.L. (1999), "Residency requirements and public perceptions of the police in large municipalities", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 327-342.




Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

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