Citizen Review of Policing: Public Perceptions

William M. Wells, Southern Illinois Univ. at Carbondale
Jody L. Sundt, Indiana University
Joseph A. Schafer, Southern Illinois Univ. at Carbondale

Recent history has witnessed a trend to involve citizens in the operations of police organizations, including external mechanisms of police oversight. This trend is an extension of calls for greater citizen input into police operations in the spirit of open democracy and improved police-community relations. This paper examines citizen pcerceptions of police oversight procedures in a city that is creating a new mechanism for external oversight of police. Results are based on a survey of citizens about their attitudes toward police control of misconduct and the role of citizens in holding police accountable. Key findings are compared to the results of a police officer survey in the same city.

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Updated 05/20/2006