Brief Updated: Views of the Police and Neighborhood Conditions
Evidence of Change in Six Cities Participating in the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice
Jocelyn Fontaine, Sino Esthappan, Nancy G. La Vigne, Daniel Lawrence, Jesse Jannetta
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After this brief was published in August, we noticed an error in the statistical code used to create the concept scales. This error underestimated scale values for respondents who did not answer all survey questions for a concept, such as perceptions of police legitimacy. It was especially problematic when a respondent did not answer any questions for a concept: the summated value and the scale value were zero, which is outside the possible range of response options.

To correct this problem, we have recalculated all the scales. We created a scale for a respondent only when they answered more than half the items about that concept. Then, we used the average of the valid responses rather than the average of the summated responses. These steps better ensure the scale for each respondent is measuring the intended concept.

These changes primarily affected the data tables and the text summarizing the tables. Some changes were statistically significant, prompting us to replace the August brief rather than correct it. The original analysis, with the November changes visible, is available here. The abstract for the August report appears below.


This brief examines changes in community sentiment about police within the six cities that took part in the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, an effort to promote more equitable, just, and respectful policing practices and improve relationships and trust between law enforcement and community members. In-person surveys of residents living in neighborhoods experiencing high rates of crime and concentrated poverty in each of the participating cities explored residents’ views of the police and police-community relationships, their perceptions of crime and neighborhood conditions, and their willingness to partner with the police on crime control and prevention. Comparisons of baseline to follow-up survey findings show that while views of the police were negative at both waves, considerable improvements in residents’ perceptions occurred after the Initiative was implemented—most notably around procedural justice, police legitimacy, and police bias.

Research Areas Crime, justice, and safety
Tags Policing and community safety
Policy Centers Justice Policy Center