Degree Date

9-2022

Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy

Academic Discipline

Community Psychology

First Advisor

Judah Viola, PhD

Second Advisor

Jacqueline Samuel, PhD

Third Advisor

Tiffeny Jimenez, PhD

Abstract

Ethnic communities in the United States are at a greater risk of police-related mortality and experiencing racial profiling by the police and are more likely to report negative perceptions of the police than White Americans. Community policing has been proposed as a viable solution to this problem. Residents’ perceptions of the police seem to be predicted by race, where they live, and other factors. Studies also show that the intensity of racial profiling and brutality by the police differs in urban and suburban areas. Therefore, it is difficult to generalize the perceptions of the police across all communities. This study aimed to examine the degree and extent to which community policing is practiced and the likelihood of having experienced racial profiling or brutality by the police predicted residents’ perceptions of the police in urban and suburban communities. The researcher surveyed 112 participants using three quantitative instruments. A multivariate regression analysis revealed that the extent to which community policing is practiced and the likelihood of having experienced racial profiling or brutality by the police when combined had a highly significant predictive relationship and a moderate positive correlation with residents’ perceptions of the police, and explained 25.30 percent of the variance in residents’ perceptions of the police. Negative perceptions of the police decreased with an increase in community policing but increased with the likelihood of having experienced racial profiling. Location did not influence perceptions of the police. The findings encourage police departments to adopt community policing practices and train police officers against racial profiling and brutality.

Keywords: community policing, racial profiling and brutality, perceptions of the police

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