A Measurement Model Approach to Estimating Community Policing Implementation

Published in: Justice Research and Policy, v. 6, no. 2, Fall 2004, 24 p

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2004

by Jeremy M. Wilson

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Considerable resources in the form of public expenditures, effort, and scholarship are focused on community policing, yet little attention has been given to the measurement of its implementation. This study explores the utility of measurement models to improve the estimation of community policing implementation utilizing the 1997 (n = 462) and 1999 (n = 497) waves of the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics survey of large, municipal police organizations (i.e., 100 or more full-time equivalent sworn officers). Overall, the evidence suggests a second-order model is consistent with the data and is invariant across waves. Use of such models, which have many desirable properties, could assist in measuring community policing and how its implementation changes over time, comparing implementation across specific police organizations at one or multiple points in time, and delineating the role community policing has as both an exogenous (e.g., its impact on effectiveness) and endogenous (e.g., which factors influence implementation) phenomenon.

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