Citizen perceptions of community policing: Are attitudes toward police important?

Michael D. Reisig, Andrew L. Giacomazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


This study assessed citizen attitudes toward police performance and their perceptions of policing strategy in a small, northwestern town. At the neighbourhood-level, significant differences in attitudes toward police performance (i.e. officer demeanour and citizen-police relations) were revealed; however, variations in perceptions of community policing initiatives (i.e. collaborative police-community partnerships) were not observed. At the individual-level, results showed that attitudes toward police performance were not significant determinants of citizen perceptions of community policing. This evidence suggested that citizens were receptive to the idea of co-production of order, and specifically of partnerships between residents and the police to address neighbourhood crime-related issues. As such, these findings call into question the long standing assumption that positive attitudes toward police are a necessary precursor to the establishment of meaningful, co-operative ties between citizens and the police.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-561
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitude surveys
  • Police

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Public Administration
  • Law


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