Purpose: There is widespread interest in moving beyond crime statistics to measure police performance in new ways, especially the quality of police-community interactions that influence police legitimacy and public trust. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Police-Community Interaction Survey (PCIS) developed by the National Police Research Platform.
Design/methodology/approach: The PCIS collected data from 53 police agencies around the USA in 2013-2014. The psychometric properties of the constructs measured are presented. This study also offers a preliminary test of the effects of an alternatively specified and expanded procedural justice model on willingness to cooperate with the police, mediated through perceptions of officer trustworthiness.
Findings: Scales were developed with good reliability and validity that measure various aspects of the police-community interactions. The authors find evidence that empathy is an important addition to the procedural justice model, and that the effects of procedural justice on willingness to cooperate with the police are partially mediated through perceptions of officer trustworthiness.
Originality/value: This is the first attempt to validate the measurement of police-community interactions on a large scale in the USA with policy implications at the local and national levels. The findings can help local police agencies incorporate new performance metrics at the individual, group, and agency levels. Nationally, the science of policing can be advanced by specifying the antecedents and consequences of respectful and empathic actions, including behavior that strengthens police-community relations.
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