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Social Ecology and Police Discretion: The Influence of District Crime, Cynicism, and Workload on the Vigor of Police Response

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 38 Issue: 4 Dated: July/August 2010 Pages: 481-488
Date Published
July 2010
8 pages

This study provided a partial test of Klinger's (1997) postulations on the ecological correlates of police vigor using data drawn from the Project on Policing Neighborhoods (POPN).


Klinger's theory hypothesized that a form of police behavior he called vigor would vary inversely with district crime levels because officers would be more cynical of residents, view crime as normal, perceive victims as less deserving, and have less time to devote to calls in high crime districts. Although data limitations precluded a full test, the current study examined two of the four mediating variables (officer cynicism and district workload) and their influence on the crime/vigor relationship. Findings revealed variables other than those examined might mediate the effect of district crime on vigor or the relationship between district crime and vigor might be spurious. Implications for future research and theoretical development are discussed. (Published Abstract)

Date Published: July 1, 2010