Measuring Change in the Metropolitan Police of the District of Columbia: Measuring Member Attitude

Gretchen E. Moore, The Urban Institute

In April 1998, Chief Ramsey took command of the Metropolitan Police of the District of Columbia (MPDC). Shortly thereafter, he announced plans to restructure MPDC, to revitalize its facilities and operations, and to reorient its approach to policing. The Urban Institute followed this process closely, via surveys, interviews, and field observations. One method, the MPDC member survey, taking place in December 1998 and July 2000, yielded the opportunity to look at member attitude and perceptions during the restructuring. This paper will focus on placing these MPDC member surveys into the context of the restructuring. Using factor analysis, we will tap constructs captured by the member opinion section of the instrument, and create and test attitudinal measurement scales. Member topic questions include satisfaction with physical environment, satisfaction with work environment, morale/fairness, perceived relationship with the community and other agencies, and member expectations. This paper will look at the change in officer, civilian, and management perceptions and attitudes within the department at two points during the restructuring.

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Updated 05/20/2006