This study explores the dimensionality of the community policing movement using four national data sets collected between 1993 and 1997. Researchers and reformers have established numerous definitions of community policing. Many of these definitions propose conflicting hypotheses about its underlying dimensionality. In the absence of a coherent body of theory to guide a more confirmatory approach, the authors use recently developed exploratory factor analysis techniques to estimate the dimensionality of community policing in four large and diverse samples of agencies from around the United States. The authors’ findings show that the number of dimensions underlying the community policing movement varies significantly according to the source of the data. The authors discuss the findings in the context of organization theory, providing an agenda for future theory testing. In addition, based on some of the problems encountered in this study, the authors offer a number of concrete suggestions for improving macro-level research on community policing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)