There is widespread interest in moving beyond crime statistics to measure police performance in new ways, especially the quality of police-community interactions that…
There is widespread interest in moving beyond crime statistics to measure police performance in new ways, especially the quality of police-community interactions that influence police legitimacy and public trust. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Police-Community Interaction Survey (PCIS) developed by the National Police Research Platform.
The PCIS collected data from 53 police agencies around the USA in 2013-2014. The psychometric properties of the constructs measured are presented. This study also offers a preliminary test of the effects of an alternatively specified and expanded procedural justice model on willingness to cooperate with the police, mediated through perceptions of officer trustworthiness.
Scales were developed with good reliability and validity that measure various aspects of the police-community interactions. The authors find evidence that empathy is an important addition to the procedural justice model, and that the effects of procedural justice on willingness to cooperate with the police are partially mediated through perceptions of officer trustworthiness.
This is the first attempt to validate the measurement of police-community interactions on a large scale in the USA with policy implications at the local and national levels. The findings can help local police agencies incorporate new performance metrics at the individual, group, and agency levels. Nationally, the science of policing can be advanced by specifying the antecedents and consequences of respectful and empathic actions, including behavior that strengthens police-community relations.
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…
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.