The establishment of a police gang unit: An examination of organizational and environmental factors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although researchers have begun to document the programs and activities performed by police gang units, little research has examined why police gang units are created and why they have responded to local gang problems in the way they have over the past 10 years. Using a multimethodological research design, the present study examines the factors that shaped a Midwestern police department's response to its community's gang problem. The results from the present study lend support for the institutional perspective. The data suggest that the gang unit was created as a consequence of pressures placed on the police department from various powerful elements within the community and that, once created, the unit's response was largely driven by its need to achieve and maintain organizational legitimacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-74
Number of pages38
JournalCriminology
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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