U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Community Policing and Quality of Life (From Community Policing: Can it Work, P 207-227, 2004, Wesley G. Skogan, ed. -- See NCJ-201829)

NCJ Number
Michael D. Reisig; Roger B. Parks
Date Published
21 pages
This article discusses ways in which community policing can produce positive outcomes.
This study documents how neighborhood residents’ perceptions of police partnerships with citizens are related to their assessments of their own quality of life -- a relationship characterized as psychological and social psychological in nature. The study also examined ecological or contextual relationships to determine whether community policing works in the eyes of the public. The findings of interviews with nearly 6,000 neighborhood residents were used, in conjunction with Census and crime data from the 62 areas where they lived. The neighborhoods were located in two cities, Indianapolis, IN, and St. Petersburg, FL. The results found that visible community policing was positively related to quality of life at both individual and neighborhood levels. Respondents that believed that a healthy level of collaborative relations between citizens and the police existed to address neighborhood problems felt safer and expressed greater satisfaction with their local surroundings. There was no evidence to suggest that these positive effects of police partnerships were less pronounced in neighborhoods characterized by structural disadvantage. It is concluded that community policing can have a positive impact on the psychological processes responsible for citizens’ quality-of-life judgments. Results also show that community-policing initiatives can have positive neighborhood-level effects. The findings show these effects were weak relative to those of neighborhood conditions, but statistically significant. A large portion of the variation between citizens in their perceived quality of life was linked to differential police activities among neighborhoods. 2 figures, 1 footnote, 42 citations