A renowned foundation supported PARC in conducting a groundbreaking assessment of police-community relations in Pasadena, California. The study became one of the first published studies that contemporaneously surveyed both a community's thoughts about its police department and the views of police officers about themselves and the community they serve.
Historically, policing in southern California has received sustained, significant national and political attention – but only intermittent scholarly engagement. The John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation provided PARC, working with the Vera Institute of Justice, with support to carry out a Police-Community Relations Assessment in Pasadena, California.
Scope of Work & Approach
Pioneering Focus. Prior studies concentrated on either the community's views of its police or a police agency's views of the community. PARC's study looked at both. It is one of the first to interrelate and compare the two sets of survey results and, likewise, to measure police and community attitudes towards traditional policing activities (making arrests, response times, lowering the crime rate) as well as community policing activities (crime prevention, problem-solving, voluntary cooperation with the police, and police-community partnerships).
Cutting-Edge Methodology. PARC used two different types of surveys to measure levels of community and officer satisfaction in Pasadena. The surveys addressed a wide breadth of issues through the surveys including police-community relations, quality of police services, and police-public contacts.
Comparisons to Other Agencies & Communities. The study is the first published research to compare policing in Pasadena with policing in other American cities. Policing in the great urban centers in the United States— Los Angeles, New York, Chicago— has been studied extensively, as have midsized cities— Denver, Seattle, Washington, DC, Cincinnati. Policing in smaller, suburban cities like Pasadena has not. Therefore, this study of Pasadena is unique.
Validation of Community Policing Efforts. PARC's study largely validated and affirmed Pasadena's community policing efforts, revealing that the department took seriously both its efforts to reduce crime and promote public confidence.
Ongoing Study on Community Relations & Policing in Pasadena. PARC's study became the first of several, subsequent studies and initiatives – including several prominent initiatives headed by PARC – to further evaluate best practices in community policing.
KEY ISSUES ADDRESSED
Comprehensively assess police-community relations in a major suburban center.
KEY ISSUES ADDRESSED