Community policing, loose coupling, and sensemaking in American police agencies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


This study examines the community policing movement in the United States using two concepts from organization theory-loose coupling and sensemaking-to frame the analysis and discussion. In particular, we focus on the degree of coupling between police agencies' general and specific community policing claims. Because community policing may be considered a fairly ambiguous (or broad) reform movement, police agencies must engage in interpretive processes to define, make sense of, and enact it at the local level. While we did not observe these interpretive processes, our analyses enable us to observe the products of these processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-536
Number of pages34
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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