The Impact of a "Weed" Program on Minority Residents' Attitudes Towards the Police

Blaine Bridenball, University of California, Irvine

ABSTRACT
It is assumed that more negative attitudes towards the police among minority members of the community are the result of mistreatment by the police. This may not be the case. Data collected from interviews with residents of Santa Ana, CA has suggested that neighborhood, and not ethnicity, is the primary indicator of all ethnicities' attitudes toward the police. Focusing on data collected during 1999 and 2000, this paper reports the impact of the "weed" portion of an Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) funded "weed and seed" program on ethnic groups' attitudes toward the police. The findings add weight to the argument that perceptions of one's neighborhood is an important predictor of attitudes towards the police.

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Updated 05/20/2006