Organizational Factors That Affect Police Participation in Hate Crime Reporting in Large U.S. Cities

Everett Elliott, West Virginia University
James J. Nolan III, West Virginia University

The passage of the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 resulted in the creation of a new crime category within law enforcement, i.e., "hate crime." Linking the collection of national hate crime data to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program required changes in organizational policies and structures within thousands of police organizations throughout the United States. In this paper, the authors build on prior research that examined factors that affect the level and quality of law enforcement participation in hate crime data collection. Using data obtained from the 1999 Law Enforcement Management and Statistics (LEMAS) and the FBI's Hate Crime Statistics 1999, the authors use multivariate techniques to examine the organizational policies, structures (e.g., community policing, bias crime units, etc.), and hate crime reporting practices of police departments in approximately 120 cities ranging in size from 100,000 to 250,000. The authors discuss the relevance of their findings for improving the quality of the national hate crime statistics.

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Updated 05/20/2006