Can Community Policing Help The Truly Disadvantaged?

Michael D. Reisig, Roger B. Parks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Community policing advocates argue that reforms designed to break down barriers between police and citizens can produce favorable outcomes. The authors test a series of related hypotheses in a multivariate context by using four independent data sources community surveys, patrol officer interviews, Census Bureau, and police crime records to estimate hierarchical linear models. The results show that citizens who perceive police partnerships favorably report fewer problems related to incivilities and also express higher levels of safety. Findings from models including cross-level interaction terms indicate that the positive outcomes associated with police partnerships are not restricted to citizens residing in affluent neighborhoods. In our ecological analysis, we find that police-community collaboration is associated with higher aggregate quality of life assessments and that community policing as a form of public social control mediates the adverse effects of concentrated disadvantage. The findings support social-psychological and ecological theories on which community policing practices are partially based.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-167
Number of pages29
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Community policing
  • Hierarchical modeling
  • Neighborhood
  • Social disorganization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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