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Permanent Beat Assignments in Association with Community Policing: Assessing the Impact on Police Officers' Field Activity

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 17 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2000 Pages: 259-280
Date Published
June 2000
22 pages

This is an impact assessment of permanent beat assignment in association with a community policing program in Philadelphia, PA.


The study used a multiple time-series quasi-experimental design to assess the impact of permanent beat assignment in conjunction with a community policing program implemented in the Philadelphia Housing Authority Police Department. Permanent beat assignment in the treatment sites led to increases in officer-initiated investigative activity, indicating greater responsibility for beats. No such changes were observed in comparison sites. The extent to which this higher level responsibility might lead to differential exposure to risks of social control has not been determined. Future community policing research might explore possible links between variable levels of field investigative activity and changes in calls for service and crime rates over the long term. In addition, because this research was conducted in public housing, it is important to replicate the study in a municipal police setting in order to determine whether these results were an artifact of the research environment. Notes, tables, figure, references

Date Published: June 1, 2000