Scholars have extensively researched citizens’ preferences regarding the actions, language, and demeanors displayed by officers during citizen-police interactions. Specifically, there are a multitude of factors that can influence a citizens’ perception of such interactions as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory. What appears to be missing from the literature, however, is police officers’ understanding of citizens’ preferences for regarding factors. In other words, it is unclear if and how officers are actively attempting to interact with victims and witnesses based on actual citizen preferences or if officers do not consider these preferences during citizen interactions. This gap has important implications for officer training on citizen’s preferences due to the influence such interactions can have on citizens, specifically citizens’ physical and psychological well-being, as well as citizens’ perceptions of - and reaction to - the criminal justice system. This project examines original data collection of citizen and officer surveys regarding officers’ actions, language, and demeanors. Additionally, observations during ride-alongs are presented to expand on the current literature regarding citizen preferences during interactions with the police and to assess officers’ understanding and application of this knowledge. Results indicate that, while officers seem to understand what actions, language, and demeanors will increase citizen satisfaction, officers may believe that there exist situational factors that are more important in affecting citizen satisfaction with officers. Observations revealed that the vast majority of citizen-police interactions were positive and productive. Even so, results from the surveys and observations point to several important policy implications for improvement between officers and citizens.
- Citizen Satisfaction and Officer Understanding of Citizen Expectations: A Quantitative and Observational Analysis
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- Doctoral Dissertation Criminology and Criminal Justice 2020