Police-community relations are currently at a cross-road. Incidents over the past several years have severely damaged trust and faith in the police – particularly in minority communities. Society is faced with the choice of accepting an “us-vs-them” mentality with police on one side and citizens on the other or banding together to advance police-community coproduction in reducing violence. The purpose of this paper is to advance the latter by introducing a model for police to follow in police-citizen interactions in an effort to increase perceptions of fairness and legitimacy of police officers and police departments.
Using data from the National Police Research Platform’s Police-Community Interaction Survey, correlates of perceptions of fairness in police-community encounters as well as variation in agency-level fairness across 53 jurisdictions are examined.
Results show that application of the H.E.A.R.T. medical model is the most significant and substantial correlate of perceived fairness of police-community interactions and accounts for agency-level differences in perceived fairness.
The results highlight important ways that police can improve their image in the community and with minority communities in particular.
The authors wish to thank Michael Rocque for helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.
Posick, C. and Hatfield, H. (2017), "Putting H.E.A.R.T. into policing: a 21st century model for effective and fair policing", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 40 No. 1, pp. 128-140. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-07-2016-0113
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