Citizen Review of Policing: Police Perceptions

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

Citizen involvement in police oversight and agendy administration is an area of growing debate and experimentation. Viewed in one way, 'average' citizens may not have sufficient knowledge to accurately judge police conduct and make informed policy recommendations. Alternativelyk principles of open democracy support the idea that police operations should be subject to public scrutiny and input. This paper reports the results of a patrol officer survey administered to personnel in two agencies serving adjacent jurisdictions. Data relate to officer views on police-community relations, the appropriate role of citizens input in police operations, and the ability of citizens to make meaningful contributions to the functioning of police agencies. Key findings are compared to the results of a citizen survey in the same city.

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Updated 05/20/2006