Characteristics and Effectiveness of the Police Investigation Process in Rural, Suburban, and Urban Contexts: National Surveys in the U.S. and South Korea

Yung H. Lee, Michigan State University
Frank Horvath, Michigan State University
Robert T. Meesig, Michigan State University

Although the bulk of research on policing has been conducted in the past three decades in the U.S., most of this has focused on urban settings and on the police patrol and service functions. Police investigation activities, even though it is an important aspect of police work, have not received attentions from researchers. Furthermore, the attention that researchers have given to police investigation function has been country specific. There is no research that has explored differences in the police investigative policies and practices between countries. To address this issue, we carried out mail surveys of representative samples of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. (n=1,746) and South Korea (n=224). In this paper we will highlight our findings on the characteristics of the police investigative process in rural, suburban, and urban contexts within both of those countries. The major emphasis will be on police investigative goals, management strategies, and police working relationships with other criminal justice agencies, and they will be evaluated with respect to their effectiveness in crime solving.

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Updated 05/20/2006