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Does Local Community Control of Police make a Difference? Some Preliminary Findings

Elinor Ostrom and Gordon Whitaker
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 17, No. 1 (Feb., 1973), pp. 48-76
DOI: 10.2307/2110474
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2110474
Page Count: 29
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Does Local Community Control of Police make a Difference? Some Preliminary Findings
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Abstract

Using a comparative research design, this study examines the consequences of organizing neighborhood patrol functions on a large scale by a city-wide police force or on a small scale by local communities. The research was conducted in three small independent communities adjacent to Indianapolis, and three matched neighborhoods within the city. The findings indicate a consistent pattern of higher levels of police performance in the independent communities when compared to the Indianapolis neighborhoods. The findings strongly suggest that in the area studied, small police forces under local community control are more effective than a large, city-wide controlled police department in meeting citizen demands for neighborhood police protection. Further studies have been initiated to ascertain if the patterns found in this metropolitan area are also present in other areas.

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