Neighborhood Disadvantage and Utilization of Police Resources

Teresa LaGrange, Cleveland State University

This research examines the influence of neighborhood characteristics ont he frequency, timing, and nature of calls for police services. Data are taken from all calls received and responded to in a single department in a medium-sized, Midwestern city that has a high proportion of economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, and a significant minority population. Neighborhood characteristics including percent of residents below the poverty line, percent single-parent households, percent receiving public assistance, percent unemployed, and percent black are taken from the most recent census. These characteristics are used as predictors to assess whether residents from disadvantaged neighborhoods are less likely to call police for assistance, as implied by Black's community stratification hypothesis; or whether residents of such areas are more likely to use the formal social control provided by police, as suggested by social disorganization theory.

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Updated 05/20/2006