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Differences in Arrest Patterns Based on Officer Orientation Preference

HIDE
 Title Page
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 Abstract
 Introduction
 Literature review
 Current focus
 Hypotheses
 Data sample
 Variables
 Analysis
 Results
 Discussion
 Conclusion
 References
 Biographical sketch
 

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DIFFERENCES IN ARREST PATERNS BASED ON OFFICER ORIENTATION PREFERENCE By MICHAEL BAGLIVIO A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2003

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Copyright 2003 by Michael Baglivio

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank Dr. Alex Piquero for his patience and guidance during the course of this project. iii

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES...............................................................................................................v ABSTRACT.......................................................................................................................vi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................3 Orientation Studies.......................................................................................................3 Commitment Studies....................................................................................................7 Contextual Studies........................................................................................................8 Situational and Attitudinal Studies.............................................................................10 Organizational Studies................................................................................................11 Style of Control Studies..............................................................................................15 3 CURRENT FOCUS....................................................................................................18 4 HYPOTHESES...........................................................................................................20 5 DATA SAMPLE........................................................................................................22 6 VARIABLES..............................................................................................................24 7 ANALYSIS.................................................................................................................26 8 RESULTS...................................................................................................................27 9 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................31 10 CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................34 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................36 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................39 iv

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 6-1 Descriptive Statistics................................................................................................25 8-1 Dependent Variable=Arrest......................................................................................28 8-2 Did officer arrest or cite suspect..............................................................................28 8-3 Variables in the Equation.........................................................................................29 8-4 Variables in the Equation.........................................................................................30 v

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Arts DIFFERENCES IN ARREST PATTERNS BASED ON OFFICER ORIENTATION PREFERENCE By Michael Baglivio December 2003 Chair: Dr. Alex Piquero Major Department: Department: Sociology This study attempts to shed light on the argument which exists in previous literature questioning whether the community policing orientation leads officers to be guided more by extralegal factors with regard to arrest decisions. Officers who hold positive attitudes toward community policing were found to arrest citizens less frequently than officers not favoring the approach. Furthermore, the arrest decisions of officers favoring community policing were found to not be predicted using extralegal factors such as race, gender, apparent age, or apparent socioeconomic status of the suspect. For officers holding negative opinions toward community policing, race and apparent socioeconomic status of the citizen were significant predictors of a decision to arrest. Limitations and implications are discussed vi

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The purpose of this project is to illustrate whether or not differences exist in the arrest patterns of police officers who favor a community policing orientation from those who do not. The focus of the research is on police officer demeanor and the unit of study is officer arrests. The question at hand has to deal with predicting which type of officer (officers who favor community policing vs. those who do not) is likely to have more arrests in a given time, and then to look at whether or not certain citizen-level characteristics are more prevalent among those individuals arrested by one type of officer or the other. Since all officers in the sample work in a community policing environment, this study will not compare traditional officers with community policing officers. It will, however, look at the effects of officer attitudes and values on behavior, comparing those officers who favor community policing with those who do not, even though all officers work for the same department which, at the time of data collection, had implemented the community policing approach. This project is important because it may help to show if officers favoring community policing are more, or less, likely to arrest certain types of individuals (based on basic demographic characteristics). This research will not attempt to illustrate a cause/effect relationship between officer orientation preference and arrest patterns, only to show whether or not the two are related. If the relationship is shown to be strong, then perhaps it would lead to policy consideration for re-evaluating the type of orientation philosophy which police departments prescribe to. 1

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2 This study will look at the demographic characteristics of those arrested and try to determine if certain of those characteristics are more predictable in the arrests of one type of officer orientation preference or the other. Demographic characteristics will include factors such as age, gender, apparent socio-economic status (SES), and most importantly, race. The study will attempt to show whether or not officers who favor a certain orientation are more likely to arrest, and then whether or not certain types of individuals (based on demographic characteristics) are the target of those arrests. This research is designed to examine police officer arrest patterns at the local level. The project will use data collected from the Richmond Study (collected by Mastrfoski et al., 1995), and will continue to explore issues related to a police officers decision to arrest in an encounter. Much of the prior demeanor research (see Klinger, 1994; Lundman, 1994; Worden and Shepard, 1996) has been focused on suspect demeanor without taking into consideration the role of officer demeanor or the organizational philosophy of the police department. This analysis will examine the extent to which suspect race remains a significant predictor of arrest and whether this phenomena occurs more often with respect to a certain officer orientation preference. Most previous research has treated police officer behavior as the dependent variable; this study will instead examine the influence of the police officers values on their behavior. The dependent variable will be whether or not an arrest was made. Independent variables will include demographic characteristics of the suspect, seriousness of the crime, as well as whether or not the officer favored a community policing orientation or not.

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Previous research with respect to attitudes and demeanor in the realm of police-citizen encounters has focused primarily on the suspect. Other research has developed to include the importance of considering the demeanor and status of the victim or complainant in regard to arrest decisions. While research on the relationship between suspect demeanor and arrest has been extensive, there has been limited research conducted on the effect that police officer orientation has on arrest patterns. It has been noted that the number of studies that stress individual officer characteristics has decreased since the 1980s, and that the effects of officer gender, years of experience, and officer attitudes remain unresolved (Riksheim and Chermak, 1993). Mastrofski and colleagues point out that the accumulated evidence on the correlation between officers traits and their behavior is rather small (Mastrofski et al., 1996). These researchers further state that officers who have the will and skill to do community policing will behave differently and will outperform those who do not, especially in matters requiring the cooperation and compliance of the public (Mastrofski et al., 1996:280). These statements are supported by several other researchers as well (Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department, 1991; Lurigio and Rosenbaum, 1994; Skolnick and Fyfe, 1993; Sparrow, Moore, and Kennedy, 1990; Wycoff and Skogan, 1994). Orientation Studies There are two main orientations that have been examined in previous research. The first is the traditional officer orientation and the other is that of community policing. 3

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4 Traditional policing is a strategic focus on the control of crime and the suppression of serious crimes or the zero tolerance perspective that focuses on reducing social disorder to reduce crime (Ford et al., 2003:160). According to Ford and colleagues, community policing is the delivery of police services through a customer-focused approach, using partnerships to maximize community resources in a problem-solving format to prevent crime, reduce the fear of crime, apprehend those involved in criminal activity as well as improve the quality of life in that community (Ford et al., 2003:160). William Pelfrey, Jr. argued that community policing is more of a set of distinct initiatives and implementations rather than a shift in philosophy (Pelfrey, 2003: 3; Moore, 1992). Pelfrey has argued that the community policing orientation has been the first significant role shift in the past 60 years for American policing. Community policing involves a more proactive style of policing rather than the traditional reactive mode. He found that community policing officers operate in many of the same situations as traditional officers so the expansion of their role to include community policing functions has resulted in some role conflict for these officers. Pelfrey defined the major premise of community policing to be assigning officers to positions where they can exercise autonomy and creativity in resolving problems, their job satisfaction increases, and performance increases occur (Pelfrey, 2003:7). Ford and colleagues state that at the individual officer level, the move to community policing has implications for officers greater autonomy in decision making, increasing feedback on community issues, and greater task identity (Ford et al., 2003:160). These officers are encouraged to engage in proactive approaches to problem solving and to foster community relations. Community policing officers, in addition to answering calls, work

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5 closer with the public to identify crime and public order problems, and to develop specific initiatives to resolve those problems. This approach is intended to foster relations between the public and the police. Pelfrey examined whether or not differences in style, tactics, and performance existed between officers in community policing roles and those in reactive traditional policing assignments (Pelfrey, 2003). He found that higher levels of job satisfaction relate to officers engaging in a variety of task and endorsing innovative styles of policing. The results showed that those officers assigned to community policing roles utilized more problem solving and felt a greater positive impact on their beat and the community. Motorized patrol officers were found to be more likely to engage in reactive patrol. Pelfrey found that motorized traditional patrol officers endorsed community policing concepts at significantly lower levels, which he argued suggested disapproval or resistance rather than an ambivalent status (Pelfrey, 2003). Pelfrey points out that it now appears that a set of foundational beliefs exist regarding traditional policing and are shared regardless of assignment, and that community policing simply adds a layer of beliefs, perceptions, and activities on top of the officers standard set of ideas and functions (Pelfrey, 2003:29). Study results showed that assignment to community policing roles was related to higher levels of job satisfaction than those reported by traditional officers. Pelfrey concluded that officers assigned to community policing positions are increasingly likely to be more satisfied, motivated, and productive, and thus more efficient. Community policing involves seeking alternatives to arrest and formal sanctions when they are thought to be more effective in solving situations, which is believed to

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6 create a more effective type of crime control (Mastrofski et al., 1996). Mastrofski and his colleagues state that officers embracing community policing are assumed to be more familiar with the people they police, sensitive in diagnosing situations, and skillful in selecting the best approach (Mastrofski et al., 1996:280). In one study looking at compliance of citizens to officer requests and demands, Mastrofski and his colleagues found that the officers favoring the community policing orientation would more likely use a friendly, nonthreatening approach which was found significantly more likely to elicit a compliant response. In an earlier study, Mastrofski argued that community policing sets the stage for officers to become more selective in making arrests and that arrest decisions will be influenced more by extralegal considerations and less by legal ones (Mastrofski, Worden, and Snipes, 1995). The philosophy of community policing, according to these researchers, stresses the building of the community, especially with regard to strengthening the mutual trust and support between police and citizens, and the officer following the preferences of the community in regard to how to handle situations. Critics of this orientation have pointed out that officers paying more attention to extralegal factors could create a situation where the officers own biases will be more evident in their behavior. The weakening of the influence of legal factors, coupled with the increased attention to extralegal ones, may mean that officer discretion is governed more by that officers own particular values and beliefs, which may be manifested in biases against those citizens in lower status groups (Mastrofski et al., 1995; Manning, 1988; Mastrofski, 1988). However, another extralegal consideration may be the officers attitude towards the philosophy of community policing and its objectives (Mastrofski et al., 1995). In a jurisdiction where the police department favors a community building or

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7 problem solving approach, officers should be less inclined to arrest than in a department that favors an aggressive order where arrests indicate that all offenses be taken seriously and treated formally (Mastrofski et al., 1995). This hypothesis was supported in a study by Mastrofski and colleagues (1995) when they found that the more positive an officer was to a community policing orientation, the less likely is an arrest. Another study concluded that the morality of the situation, and the officers desire to respond to that, dictate the actions officers take when ending an encounter (Bayley, 1986). Prior research has also found that police officers show more attitude-behavior consistency in their orientation to the use of force (passion) than philosophical perspective (Snipes and Mastrofski, 1990:289). This goes against earlier research that found police officer attitudes to be a poor or weak predictor of behavior (Walker, 1993; Worden, 1989; Smith and Klein, 1983). Commitment Studies Another study focused on the differences between being committed to the police organization as a whole and being committed to a strategic approach to policing (using community police as the approach). This study looked at the impact of these two various types of commitment and the impact each had on job behaviors as well as job satisfaction. The researchers argued that the attitudes and behaviors of the officers reflect how committed the officers were to the police agency as a whole (Ford et al., 2003).They sought to distinguish between level of commitment to the organization and level of commitment to the new strategic approach of the agency (community policing). The results of the study did show that the two types of commitment are indeed distinct. The researchers found that when job behavior was the dependent variable, strategy commitment had a significant effect on behavior but organizational commitment did

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8 not and that when satisfaction was regressed onto strategy commitment and organizational commitment, strategy commitment had a nonsignificant effect on job satisfaction while organizational commitment had a significant effect (Ford et al., 2003:173). Therefore, it appears from this study that job satisfaction is more related to commitment to the agency itself, while job behavior is related to commitment to the approach being examined (community policing in this case). This study shows that an officers commitment to the organization does not necessarily equate to that officer following the behaviors dictated by a new strategic approach, such as community policing. In order for the behaviors of the officers to follow a new strategic approach, they must also be committed to that approach, not just to the organization itself. Contextual Studies Douglas Smith (1986) conducted research on whether or not the context of the encounter had an effect on officer decisions and behaviors. This study specifically looked at the context of 60 neighborhoods and wanted to investigate if police responded differently to similar situations in different types of neighborhoods, and to find if arrest decisions are influenced by certain neighborhood factors after controlling for characteristics of specific individual police-citizen encounters. Smith found that the racial composition of the neighborhood did influence certain police actions. The bivariate results indicate that police are more apt to initiate investigative actions, such as suspicious person stops, in racially heterogeneous neighborhoods and that police are more likely to offer assistance to residents in neighborhoods with a larger share of elderly residents (Smith, 1986:324).

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9 The results also suggested that the lower the socioeconomic status of a neighborhood, the greater the probability of an encounter culminating in an arrest. The results indicated that socioeconomic status of the community was the strongest factor affecting the probability of arrest across the 60 neighborhoods. Smith found that as the status of the neighborhood increases, the probability of arrest decreases, independent of offense type, characteristics of the suspect, and demeanor of the complainants (Smith, 1986). Smith noted that this finding was difficult to interpret since it may be the case that police act in a more legalistic fashion in lower-status neighborhoods, or that more offenses that are likely to result in arrest occur in those neighborhoods. Smith reported that no other neighborhood characteristic had a significant effect on arrest decisions in the study. Racial heterogeneity was found to influence the use of coercive authority by the officers in that police use more force in higher-crime areas and in lower-status neighborhoods (Smith, 1986). The same increased likelihood for the use or threat of force was evidenced in primarily black or racially mixed neighborhoods. Contrary to other existing research (see Rubenstein, 1973) that police act more aggressively toward blacks encountered in white neighborhoods, Smiths analysis found that police are more likely to exercise force toward black offenders in primarily black neighborhoods. The probability that an officer filed an official report after an encounter did not however correlate strongly at the neighborhood level with any of the measured characteristics, according to Smith. The study concluded that police do act differently in different neighborhoods, depending on certain characteristics of each context. Smith noted that police assessments of individual offenders may reflect the officers

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10 perceptions of the kind of people who live in a particular neighborhood (Smith, 1986:338). Situational and Attitudinal Studies Worden (1989) examined the extent to which both situational and attitudinal variables impact police behavior. He stated that attitudinal explanations hold that officers develop distinctive styles of performing their duties, and that the development of their behavioral styles is shaped by their attitudes and values (Worden, 1989:668). The findings of this study indicated that attitudinal variables did not account for much of the variation in officers behavior, which Worden points out is consistent with a large amount of social-psychological research on the relation of attitudes to behavior. Worden explains the continued interest in attitudinal explanations arguing that attitudinal explanations seem commonsensical even in the absence of strong empirical evidence, due to the intuitive link between attitudes and behavior. Worden argues that the theoretical problem lies in identifying officers decision premises since different officers can subscribe to different meanings of the same event. Worden stresses that each officer extracts some meaning from a limited number of cues, but the particular cues from which officers focus and the meanings that they derive from them vary from officer to officer withlittle or no correspondence to their attitudes (except perhaps with respect to the arrest decision) (Worden, 1989:673-4). Worden examined six attitudes that could be expected to influence the behavior of an officer and found weak effects of most of the six, some having no effect at all, and only two with significant effects which were small in magnitude (Worden, 1989). Overall, Worden found that less than 10 percent of the variation in traffic stops can be accounted for using situational and attitudinal variables. Worden also reported that

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11 attitudes had little influence on aggressiveness, the number of suspicion stops made, end result of the action made using license violations as a baseline, and little impact on officer behavior in disputes. Worden concluded that even though officers might individually adopt distinctive styles of performing their jobs that manifest themselves in behavioral patterns across similar sorts of situations, these styles bear little relationship to their occupational attitudes, and that the failure of attitudinal variables to account for a significant proportion of the variation in officer behavior is striking (Worden, 1989:701-2). One study (Friedrich, 1980) examining police attitudes and excessive force found that job satisfaction had no influence on use of force, but the officers racial attitudes did have an effect. In addition, Friedrich found that the more prejudiced a white officer, the more force that officer used against African Americans. A summary of the literature on the effects of suspect demographic characteristics will not be undertaken here (see Riksheim and Chermak, 1993 for review); the Friedrich study remains one of the only tests of police attitudes as they interact with suspect race. Organizational Studies There has been another group of studies looking at the discretionary responses of police officers with respect to citizen encounters. This research was conducted mainly by Douglas Smith. Unlike other research examined, Smith found that police responsiveness was more related to the victim of the crime rather than the offender (Smith, Visher and Davidson, 1984). These scholars looked at several aspects not examined in detail before. They argued that no consensus existed among scholars as to why blacks are more likely to be arrested than whites (Smith et al., 1984). One variable added in this study was the degree of bureaucratization of the police agencies themselves. This was included based

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12 on earlier findings by Hepburn who argued that many cases in a major mid-western city in 1974 were not being prosecuted, indicating that harassment may have been the purpose of the arrests, rather than law enforcement (Smith et al., 1984). These earlier studies also found that racial bias was inversely related to offense severity, independent of both sex and age. Early studies by Wilson argued that police agencies differed in that in some agencies distributive justice occurs, while others apply the law more uniformly (Wilson, 1968). Douglas Smith focused on the organizational context of arrest decisions, anticipating that based on the type of police agency which handles the problem; certain encounter level characteristics may have different affects on arrest decisions (Smith, 1984). Smith identified four types of police agencies according to levels of bureaucracy and professionalism, looking at 21 individual departments in this study. He labeled nonprofessional agencies with low bureaucracies as fraternal and nonprofessional highly bureaucratic agencies as militaristic (Smith, 1984). The other two types of agencies were service agencies and legalistic agencies which were professional agencies that varied in levels of bureaucratization. Smith found that administrators of different departments do differ in their ideas about what the department should be doing. Smiths data show that professional, nonbureaucratic agencies are predominately concerned with service to the community, while bureaucratic, non-professional agencies emphasize law enforcement (Smith, 1984). Smith concluded from this data that different mixes of professionalism and levels of bureaucratization can be a major indicator of different operational styles utilized by a department (Smith, 1984). Ford and colleagues found that the more upper management

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13 was seen as committed to the community-policing philosophy, the more committed the officers were to the strategy. This apparent commitment by top management increased the likelihood the officers would behave in ways consistent to community policing goals (Ford et al., 2003). Smith analyzed whether or not similar or different criteria were used in arrest decisions by officers in departments which ascribed to different police role orientations (Smith, 1984). If officers in departments with different orientations do indeed base arrest decisions on different factors, then, Smith points out, no single model of arrest decisions is generalizable to arrest practices in all police departments and would imply that models of arrest decisions are conditional on the organizational context in which police-suspect encounters occur (Smith, 1984:27). The analysis did show differences between the four types of departments as Smith had classified them. He found that in legalistic departments, infractions of youth offenders are treated more formally, whereas similar infractions were handled without resorting to the legal system in other types of departments. In fraternal, service, and legalistic agencies, the probability of arrest increases with antagonistic suspects, while this type of suspect is not significantly more likely to be arrested in militaristic agencies. In fraternal and service oriented agencies, arrests are more likely to occur if complainants wanted an arrest made, but the complainants requests were not as likely to be followed if the request was to not arrest (Smith, 1984). The most important finding, according to Smith, was the discovery that arrest decisions in different types of police agencies are explained by different constellations of variables and that different styles of control reflect the collective attitudes of

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14 organizational members toward the administration of justice (Smith, 1984:33). Smith concluded that the way in which control was exercised by members of an agency reflects the dominant values within the police organization. In another study, Smith and colleagues used the idea of differing police agencies, now hypothesizing that structural characteristics of the organization (bureaucratization and professionalism) may indicate the operational philosophy which will guide the discretionary decision-making of the agency (Smith, Visher, and Davidson, 1984:237). They argue that increased bureaucratization should result in more even and equal application of the law toward all citizens. They further argued that most previous research had been conducted examining large urban police departments, which they presumed to be more bureaucratized than ones existing in small-town rural areas. This would mean that previous research actually underestimated the nation-wide amount of racial discrimination occurring in police discretionary encounters. They found in this study, however, that when poverty level of the neighborhood and bureaucratization of the police agency are included in analysis, the race effect is no longer significant. In this model, bureaucratization did not affect arrest decisions, and as the poverty level of the neighborhood increases, police are more likely to arrest (Smith et al., 1984).They concluded that different styles of policing are more related to the socio-economic contexts where the encounters occur. These findings were for encounters between officer and citizen, without a complainant. However, in encounters with both complainants and suspects, suspect race had no effect on the probability of arrest, but victim race was significant. Police were more likely to arrest the suspect when there was a white victim. These scholars concluded that the systematic denial of legal protection to black victims

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15 appears to be a more likely form of racially motivated police discrimination than more frequent arrests of black offenders (Smith et al., 1984:249). Further research by Smith and Klein examined once more neighborhood context and organizational characteristics of police agencies. Once again operating from the Wilson (1968) argument that officers in more professional, more bureaucratic police agencies take a legalistic view of their role and officers in a less professional, less bureaucratic agencies operate a more conciliatory posture toward the public, Smith and Klein hypothesized that the more bureaucratic and more professional a police department becomes, the greater the probability of arrest in individual police-citizen encounters (Smith and Klein, 1984). These researchers found that there was an interaction effect and that neither of these (professionalism nor bureaucratization) independently influenced the likelihood of arrest. They concluded that decisions to arrest were influenced by situational factors, poverty levels of the neighborhoods, and properties of police agencies. Style of Control Studies Smith has cautioned that the orientations police officers bring to encounters and disputes should not be overlooked and that the discretion officers exercise is in part structured by those officers beliefs and values. Smith and Klein argue that police officers enter situations with certain predispositions which influence their style of control in these encounters. The authors propose that officers perceive some citizens as more credible than others and regard certain types of encounters as best resolved by a particular style of control. In a later study on police response to violent disputes, Smith wrote that police response to many problems is not, nor can be, strictly mandated by law, but reflects the officers assessment of what the situation deserves and that in the minds of police some offenders deserve legal sanction, others do not (Smith, 1987: 768). Smith concluded that

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16 with regard to decisions to arrest, law alone is often a poor predictor of police behavior. Officers face conflicting demands to which they must be sensitive towards, such as the organizations to which they belong, the communities in which they operate, and the individuals which they encounter, and these demands influence the officers discretionary decision-making (Smith, 1987). In this study, Smith outlined three styles of response used by officers. Penal style includes arrest and is based on assessing legal blame, operating under the assumption that offenders deserve punishment. Conciliatory style sees conflicts as temporary problems in a social relationship and considers the relationship between the disputing parties, with the goal to reestablish harmony and to mediate the situation, rather than making an arrest. The third style, avoidance, is used when police simply separate the parties involved. This style utilizes the least involvement by police since they neither arrest nor mediate. Smith hypothesized that nonpenal response probability varies inversely with the seriousness of the problem the officer is facing, and that a penal response may be utilized more often against black citizens and those living in poor neighborhoods because these individuals may hold greater hostility toward the police, so will less likely be handled in a conciliatory style. He found police to be equally likely to utilize mediation in conflicts between whites and non-whites, but that the race of the suspect does influence the use of separation or arrest as strategies. If the two combatants are white, police are much more likely to arrest than in encounters where the combatants are nonwhite. Violence between nonwhite combatants is more likely to be handled by simply separating the disputants.

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17 Also influencing style decision was whether or not police have had previous contact with the combatants. Smith found that when officers have had previous contact with the citizens, the officer was half as likely to mediate the conflict and twice as likely to make an arrest as in encounters which no prior contact had been made (Smith, 1987). Smith thus concluded that police adopt a more conciliatory style when they have had no previous contact and a more penal style when they have had previous contact with the combatants. The relationship between the disputants did not influence decision-making in the encounters in this study. This study was an advance from previous work in that it looked at police encounters of violent disputes and included three styles of control (rather than arrest and non-arrest outcomes) and found that several extralegal variables do indeed influence officer decision-making in these types of encounters.

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CHAPTER 3 CURRENT FOCUS Past research has been limited in its focus on the attitudes and orientations of the individual officer (as opposed to the suspect) as well as limited in its focus on the influence of the orientation fostered by the police agency to which the officer belongs. Previous studies have been mixed on whether or not officer demeanor, attitudes, and orientation to policing have an influence on behavior or arrest patterns. One study, conducted by Friedrich (1980), is the only empirical test of the interaction of police attitudes as they interact with the race of the suspect. Past research has also differed on the issue of the community policing approach to law enforcement and its effects on officer decision to arrest. Some research, as stated above, has found that this orientation fosters alternative methods of control which lead to less arrests or formal sanctions. Other researchers feel as though a community policing approach will give more discretion to officers, leading to more arrests based on the officers attitudes, beliefs, and biases. Some scholars raise concern over the degree to which attitudes, values, and beliefs of individual officers structure their discretionary choices (Smith and Klein, 1984: 480). This study examines if individuals arrested by officers favoring one type of orientation (community policing) differ significantly (based on demographic characteristics) from individuals arrested by officers not favoring this approach. Demographic characteristics (such as apparent age, race, and apparent income level) are used because these factors are quickly observed and may prompt existing stereotypes held by individual officers. This data may help to show whether or not the added 18

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19 discretion afforded by the community policing approach leads to more arrests based on officers negative biases, or to less arrests by these officers giving alternative sanctions to the community members they supposedly have become more familiar with. Douglas Smith has stated that increasing bureaucratization of social control agencies results in greater distance between police and the policed and that this social separation may be most acute between the police and marginal groups (e.g., blacks and the poor), possibly introducing biases in the social control process toward minorities and the disadvantaged (Smith, 1984:34). Pelfrey argued for conducting research which contrasts community policing officers with motorized patrol officers in order to raise significant issues of organizational culture and job attachment as a function of the work environment (Pelfrey, 2003). Worden has concluded that expectations of superiors and of the work group place situational pressures on officers that may weaken attitude-behavior relationships (Worden, 1989). Worden further argued for the incorporation of organizational forces and their impact on officers decisions in any theory of police behavior. This study will further develop the extent to which officers individual attitudes and values do indeed affect the discretionary choices those officers make in police-citizen encounters. It will tap into the effect of the influence of the police agencys orientation on arrest patterns, examining whether or not results found by Smith and Pelfrey hold for this sample. This study will build on the previous research conducted by Smith and Mastrofski by illuminating any differences which may exist between groups of individuals that are being arrested more frequently from those who are not

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CHAPTER 4 HYPOTHESES Mastrofski has found that officers favoring a community policing approach arrest less often than those officers who do not ascribe to the orientation (Mastrofski et al., 1992). This study explores Mastrofskis finding with an added emphasis on both suspect gender and race. Mastrofskis finding that officers favoring community policing arrest less often will be expanded to look at whether or not all groups of individuals are afforded that luxury. Particular interest will be paid to minority citizens as well as an added emphasis on gender and age differences between suspects arrested by officers favoring the community policing orientation and suspects arrested by officers who do not. This research hypothesizes that those officers favoring a community policing approach arrest individuals with certain demographic characteristics (particularly minority suspects) less often than officers who have a negative view of the community policing orientation. It is expected that community policing advocates will not have as high a percentage of minority citizen arrests as other officers. It is believed that the community policing approach will enable officers to familiarize themselves with the community and therefore be less likely to give formal sanctions and be less likely to arrest minority members or citizens appearing to be of low socioeconomic status (SES). Community policing should foster a more mediating, conciliatory style of policing (if operating from Smiths 1987 three styles of control perspective) when compared to traditional officers. 20

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21 It is hypothesized that favoring: Community policing -> less likely to arrest Community policing -> less likely to arrest minority individuals Community policing -> less likely to arrest citizens appearing to be of low SES Community policing -> less likely to arrest juvenile citizens Community policing -> less likely to arrest female citizens All officers -> more likely to arrest serious offenses than non-serious

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CHAPTER 5 DATA SAMPLE The data were taken from the Impact of Community Policing at the Street Level: An Observational Study in Richmond Virginia conducted by Mastrofski et al. in 1992 (from ICPSR 2612 computer file released in 2002).The data were collected by a team of eight researchers observing police officers in the patrol division during the spring and summer of 1992 in Richmond Virginia. The police department was at that time in its third year of a five-year plan to officially implement a community policing orientation. The researchers observed a total of 120 officers during 125 observation sessions. All of the officers observed worked in the community policing environment implemented by the Richmond department; however, they differed in their support for that orientation. Part 1 of the collection is essential because it provides the primary officers and secondary officers sex, race, years of experience, hours of community policing training, and general orientation to community policing. The data of Part 3 of this collection, Encounter Data, describe 1,098 encounters with citizens during ridealongs. An encounter was officially defined as a communication between the officer and citizens over a minute long, involving more than three verbal exchanges, or involving significant physical contact between the officer and a citizen. Part 4, Citizen Data, provides demographic characteristics and other data relevant to each citizen engaged by the officers, including appearance of low income, or drug/alcohol abuse. This project will be using Mastrofskis Part 5, Arrest Data, which provides information on encounters that occurred in which a citizen was suspected of some crime 22

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23 (n= 451) and combines Parts 1, 3, and 4. Important variables from Part 5 include the extent to which each officer is in favor of the community policing orientation as well as suspect race, gender, and age. Other variables include whether or not other officers or bystanders where present, if the officer filed/intended to file a report, if the officer engaged in problem solving, and factors that influenced the officers actions. Variables in Part 5 record the officers orientation toward community policing; if the suspect was arrested or cited; if the offense was serious or drug-related; amount of evidence; if the victim requested that the suspect be arrested as well as demographic characteristics of the victim and the suspect, and whether or not the officer knew the suspect adversarially (ICPSR 2612).

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CHAPTER 6 VARIABLES This project will examine how officer orientation toward community policing (cporient), suspect race (susrace), suspect gender (susgender), seriousness of the offense (serious), apparent age of the suspect (juvenile), and apparent income level of the suspect (suspoor) predict the dependent variable of whether or not the officer arrests the suspect (arrest). Frequencies of these variables are shown in Table 1. Independent Variables: The first independent variable measures officer regard for community policing. This variable is measured on a scale ranging from 1 (very negative) to 5 (very positive) with 3 indicating a neutral stance and 2 and 4 indicating somewhat negative and somewhat positive. It is hypothesized that the more positive an officer is toward the community policing orientation, the less likely that officer will make an arrest. The second independent variable is race of suspect. It is measured as 0 (white) and 1 (minority). Officers who favor community policing are hypothesized to arrest minorities with a lower frequency than officers favoring a traditional approach. Thirdly, suspect gender is coded as 0 (male) and 1 (female). It is expected that being female will also decrease arrest probability. The fourth independent variable measures the seriousness of the offense in question. It is coded as 0 (no) and 1 (yes), with the prediction that more serious offenses will more likely lead to arrest. In order to stay consistent with the Richmond study by Mastrofski, offenses will be classified as serious if they involve violence against persons or various forms of theft, such as burglary and car theft. Next, the age of the suspect is examined using a variable indicating whether or not the suspect 24

PAGE 31

25 is a juvenile or not. It is coded as 0 (no) and 1 (yes). This study predicts that this variable will decrease arrest, with juvenile suspects (defined by Mastrofski as being under 19) being arrested less often. The last independent variable indicates the officers assessment of the suspects apparent income. This variable is coded as 0 (no), indicating that the officer believes the suspect is not of low income, and 1 (yes), indicating that the officer perceives the suspect to be poor. It is expected that this variable will increase arrest for officers favoring a traditional approach, meaning that apparently poor suspects will more likely be arrested. Officers favoring community policing are expected to be less likely to arrest apparently poor suspects. Table 6-1 Descriptive Statistics N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation Did Officer Arrest Suspect 451 0 1 .10 .303 Officer Orientation Toward Community Policing 451 1 5 3.50 1.248 Race of Suspect 451 0 1 .82 .382 Suspect Gender 451 0 1 .25 .435 Seriousness of Offense 451 0 1 .21 .405 Is Suspect Juvenile 451 0 1 .18 .388 Is Suspect Apparently Low Income 451 0 1 .55 .498 Valid N (listwise) 451

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CHAPTER 7 ANALYSIS This study will utilize logistic regression to examine the effects of the independent variables on the dependent variable of arrest. This method will be used because of the dichotomous nature of the dependent variable. It will also serve to illustrate the relative effect each variable has on the dependent variable, as well as direction and strength of each effect. Logistic regression will show the directional effect of each independent variable, indicating whether or not each one increases or decreases arrest. First a full sample model will show the predictive power of each independent variable on the dependent variable of arrest. Interaction effects will then be analyzed by splitting the full sample into two groups. One group will consist of officers who favor community policing, and the other group will be constructed of officers who do not. The new orientation variable includes officers who were classified as somewhat positive and very positive toward community policing in the favor community policing category. Officers who were classified as very negative, somewhat negative, and neutral are grouped into the negative towards community policing category. The split results in 192 negative towards community policing (42.6%), and 259 positive toward this approach (57.4%). The effects of the other independent variables on the dependent for each of the split groups will then be analyzed. 26

PAGE 33

CHAPTER 8 RESULTS First, logistic regression was run on the full sample model. The results of the full sample model show the covariates of officer orientation to community policing, seriousness of the offense and apparent income level of the suspect are significant predictors (p<.05 level) of the dependent variable. Results for the full model can be seen in Table 2. Race, gender and apparent age of the suspect are not significant predictors in this model. This step in the analysis helps to confirm the hypothesis that officer preference for an orientation toward policing is a significant predictor of officer action to arrest, and thus warrants further attention. The analysis shows a negative relationship indicating that for officers who do not favor community policing, arrest is more likely. Consistent with much previous research, the seriousness of the offense is also significant with regard to decision to arrest. Also, consistent with previous suspect demeanor research (see Klinger, 1994; Lundman, 1994; Worden and Shepard, 1996) whether or not the suspect appears to be of low SES is significant (apparently poor more likely to be arrested). Next, the split model was analyzed. Crosstabs of the breakdown of officers into the two groups with the dependent arrest variable are shown in Table 3 (Chi-square is significant at .000). The breakdown shows that officers who have a negative attitude toward the community policing orientation do indeed arrest at a higher rate than officers who favor the approach, consistent with hypothesis 1. This finding warrants the further 27

PAGE 34

28 investigation into the differences between officers who favor one orientation from those who do not. Table 8-1 Dependent Variable=Arrest Variables in the Equation B S.E. Wald Df Sig. Exp (B) Orientation -.453 .129 12.321 1 .000 .636 Seriousness 1.734 .364 22.715 1 .000 5.662 Suspect gender -.641 .416 2.381 1 .123 .527 Suspect race -.576 .394 2.142 1 .143 .562 Suspect poor .854 .365 5.469 1 .019 2.348 Suspect juvenile .347 .429 .654 1 .419 1.415 constant -1.198 .570 4.427 1 .035 .302 a Variable(s) entered on step 1: CPORIENT, SERIOUS, SUSSEX, SUSRACE, SUSPOOR, JUVENILE. Table 8-2 Did officer arrest or cite suspect* officer favors community policing crosstabulation Count officer favors community policing negative positive Total No 159 246 405 DID OFFICER ARREST OR CITE SUSPECT Yes 33 13 46 Total 192 259 451 First the group of officers who favor the community orientation approach were analyzed. The independent variables of seriousness of the offense, suspect race, gender, apparent income level, and apparent age were included, once again, and were regressed on the dependent variable of arrest. The results of this analysis indicate that none of these predictors are significant at the p<.05 level. The finding that seriousness of the offense is not significant in this model goes against what the author would predict, as well as much of the previous literature in this area. Seriousness of offense is a legal factor which usually has been found to predict whether or not an arrest is made and was not

PAGE 35

29 hypothesized to be irrelevant for officers favoring community policing. These officers were predicted to differ from officers favoring a traditional approach according to extralegal factors. The regression results for this group can be seen in Table 4. Table 8-3:Variables in the Equation B S.E. Wald Df Sig. Exp (B) Seriousness .808 .667 1.464 1 .226 2.242 Suspect gender -1.484 1.066 1.941 1 .164 .227 Suspect race .143 .823 .030 1 .862 1.153 Suspect poor .175 .627 .078 1 .780 1.191 Suspect juvenile -.301 .809 .138 1 .710 .740 Constant -3.097 .839 13.636 1 .000 .045 a Variable(s) entered on step 1: SERIOUS, SUSSEX, SUSRACE, SUSPOOR, JUVENILE. The next step in the analysis was to examine the effects of the independent variables on arrest for the group of officers labeled as negative toward the community policing approach. The results of this step show that seriousness of the offense, suspect race, and apparent income level of the suspect are all significant at the p<.05 level. These results are shown in Table 5. Consistent with previous research, seriousness of the offense is a significant predictor of arrest, with more serious offenses being more likely to lead to an arrest being made. The extralegal factors of suspect race and apparent income level are significant in this model but were not in the model for officers favoring community policing. The analysis shows that suspects who appear to the officers to be of low socioeconomic status are more likely to be arrested by these officers. The initial hypothesis was that officers who favor community policing would be less likely to arrest apparently poor suspects. The result that arrests made by officers holding negative attitudes toward that approach can be predicted by apparently low SES yields partial support for the hypothesis. Contradictory to the hypotheses, the significance of the suspect race variable is in the opposite direction as predicted. The analysis shows that

PAGE 36

30 white suspects are more likely to be arrested than minority suspects by officers who do not hold positive attitudes toward community policing. The direction of this variable may in fact be due to collinearity issues with the apparent income level variable. Table 8-4:Variables in the Equation B S.E. Wald Df Sig. Exp(B) Seriousness 2.382 .502 22.517 1 .000 10.824 Suspect gender -.309 .493 .392 1 .531 .734 Suspect race -1.072 .523 4.205 1 .040 .342 Suspect poor 1.207 .487 6.138 1 .013 3.342 Suspect juvenile .568 .538 1.115 1 .291 1.765 constant -2.192 .588 13.884 1 .000 .112 a Variable(s) entered on step 1: SERIOUS, SUSSEX, SUSRACE, SUSPOOR, JUVENILE. Multicollinearity was checked utilizing a simple correlation analysis between the race of the suspect variable and the apparent income variable yielding a Pearson correlation of -.117, indicating that the two variables are not measuring the same concept. Therefore, the regression analysis does show that both variables are significant with white suspects and suspects of apparently low income being more likely to be arrested by officers who do not favor community policing

PAGE 37

CHAPTER 9 DISCUSSION This study attempted to shift the focus of research on arrest patterns from the demeanor of the suspect to the attitudes of the officers. All of the officers in this sample worked for a department that had instituted a community policing approach. Therefore, the goal of this study was not to compare traditional officers with community policing officers, but rather to look at the effects of variation in officer attitudes on arrest decisions. The intent was to investigate whether or not differences exist in the prediction of officer decision to arrest based on officer attitudes toward a specific policing orientation. The first significant result was that the attitude the officers in this sample had towards the community policing approach could indeed be used as a predictor of an arrest being made. Officers who favor community policing have different arrest patterns than officers who hold a negative view of that orientation, for this sample. Officers who do not have positive attitudes toward the community policing approach were found to arrest at a higher rate than officers favoring the approach. This goes against previous research conducted by Worden (1989) who found that officer attitudes were a weak predictor of behavior. This study also deviates from Wordens findings in the realm of organizational influences. The sample utilized in this research was constituted of officers all working for a department that had instituted a community policing approach. Therefore, the pressure from the top of the agency was to adopt and institute the policies of that orientation. The 31

PAGE 38

32 finding that the officers who did not have positive attitudes about the new approach do have different arrest patterns than those who favor it, goes against Wordens research that found organizational influences to eliminate or weaken the effect of officer attitudes. Smith (1984) also argued that the organizational philosophy of a police department influences the practices of the officers in that department. The dominant values of the department, Smith found, dictated the way in which control was exercised by the officers of that department. The results reported above in this current study, however, show that officers may still act according to their own beliefs toward an orientation regardless of the actual philosophy expressed and instituted by an organization. One limitation to this finding is that no measure was utilized to assess the strength of the desire for implementation of community policing for the Richmond police department, or the extent to which the upper-management of that agency promoted the goals or supposed effectiveness of the orientation. This limitation is expressed in regard to the finding of Ford et al. (2003) that the apparent commitment of top-management toward community policing enhances the behavior consistency of the officers toward the goals of that philosophy. The results of this study expand on those found by Smith (1986) regarding the importance of socioeconomic status. Smith found that the SES of the neighborhood was a significant predictor of officer decision to arrest. Smith hypothesized that this result may be due to the lower credibility of the suspects in those areas. The results reported in this study show that officers who do not favor community policing also take apparent income level into account when deciding to arrest. This study however includes SES at the

PAGE 39

33 individual level rather than at the neighborhood level, and the credibility hypothesis proposed by Smith seems to remain valid.

PAGE 40

CHAPTER 10 CONCLUSION The argument has been made that the community policing orientation may lead to the increasing use of extralegal factors with respect for arrest decisions made by officers espousing that philosophy. Scholars have expressed concern that officers negative biases will be a more instrumental aspect in those decisions to arrest. This study has attempted to show that the negative biases officers may have do not expose themselves as predictors of arrest for officers in this sample. In fact, for this group of officers, the arrest decisions of those officers who self-proclaim to not hold a positive attitude toward community policing have been shown to be significantly predicted by extralegal factors (namely suspect race and apparent income level of the suspect). Officers favoring community policing have been shown in this study to not be guided by extralegal considerations in their arrest decisions. This study does however have its limitations, which should not be overlooked. The sample utilized for this project is not necessarily representative of police officers today, nor can it be generalized to police officers operating in other agencies than the Richmond Police department. The analysis was also conducted using 451 encounters, only 46 of which culminated in an arrest being made. Furthermore, there may be a deployment effect in that the police chief could have known which officers favored community policing and sent those officers to areas with low crime and sent officers not partial to this approach to higher crime areas. Deployment strategies could be partially responsible for the effects observed in the split-sample regressions. 34

PAGE 41

35 Future research should attempt to replicate these findings using a larger sample composed of officers from various sized departments from a variety of geographic locations with a measure included to asses the level of commitment of each agency to the orientation which they promote. The findings of this project do however justify the continued research of the effect of officer attitudes on decision to arrest as well as the potential predictive differences in the outcome of arrest between officers favoring one orientation versus another

PAGE 42

LIST OF REFERENCES Bayley, David H. (1986). The tactical choices of police patrol officers. Journal of Criminal Justice, 14:329-48. Bayley, David H. (1989). Community policing: A report from the devils advocate. In Jack R. Greene and Stephen D. Mastrofski (eds.), Community Policing: Rhetoric or Reality. New York: Praeger. Bayley, David H., and Garofalo, James. (1989). The management of violence by police patrol officers. Criminology, 27:1-26. Black, Donald. (1980). The Manners and Customs of the Police. New York: Academic Press. Black, Donald. (1989). Sociological Justice. New York: Oxford University Press. Ford, Kevin J., Weissbein, Daniel A., and Plamondon, Kevin E. (2003). Distinguishing organizational from strategy commitment: Linking officers commitment to community policing to job behaviors and satisfaction. Justice Quarterly, 20 (1):159-185. Friedrich, Robert J. (1980). Police Use of Force: Individuals, Situations, and Organizations. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 452:82-97. Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department. (1991). Report of the Independent Commission. Los Angeles: Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department. Klinger, David. (1994). Demeanor or crime? An inquiry into why hostile citizens are more likely to be arrested. Criminology, 32:475-493. Lundman, Richard J. (1994). Demeanor or crime? The Midwest City Police-Citizens Encounters Study. Criminology, 32(4):631. Lurigio, Arthur J., and Rosenbaum, Dennis P. (1994). The impact of community policing on police personnel: A review of the literature. In Dennis P. Rosenbaum (ed.), The Challenge of Community Policing: Testing thePromises. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Lurigio, Arthur J., and Stalans, Loretta J. (1990). Thinking more about how criminal justice decision-makers think. Criminal Justice and Behavior,17:260-267. 36

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37 Manning, Peter K. (1988). Community policing as a drama of control. In Jack Greene and Stephen D. Mastrofski (eds.), Community Policing: Rhetoric or Reality. New York: Praeger. Mastrofski, Stephen D. (1988). Community policing as reform: precautionary tale. In Jack R. Greene and Stephen D. Mastrofski (eds.), Community Policing: Rhetoric or Reality. New York: Praeger. Mastrofski, Stephen D., Snipes, Jeffrey B., and Supina, Anne E. (1996). Compliance on demand: The publics response to specific police requests. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 33:269-305. Mastrofski, Stephen D., and Snipes, Jeffrey B. Impact of community policing at the street level: An observational study in Richmond, Virginia, 1992 (computer file). ICPSR version. Lansing, MI: Michigan State University (producer), 1998. Ann Arbor, MI: Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (distributor), 2002. Mastrofski, Stephen D., Willis, James J., and Snipes, Jeffrey B. 1994. Styles of patrol in a community policing context. Paper delivered at the 46 th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Miami, FL. Mastrofski, Stephen D., Worden, Robert E., and Snipes, Jeffrey B. (1995). Law enforcement in a time of community policing. Criminology, 33(4): 539-555. Moore, M. (1992). Problem solving and community policing. In M. Tonry and N. Morris (eds.), Crime and Justice (Vol.15, pp.99-158). Chicago: U of Chicago Press. Pelfrey, William V. (2003). The inchoate nature of community policing: Examining the differences between community policing and traditional patrol Officers. Unpublished paper. University of South Carolina. Riksheim, Eric, and Steven Chermak. (1993). Causes of police behavior revisited. Journal of Criminal Justice, 21:353-382. Rubenstein, Jonathan. (1973). City Police. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. Skolnick, Jerome H., and Fyfe, James J. (1993). Above the Law: Police and the Excessive Use of Force. New York: Free Press. Smith, Douglas A. (1984). The organizational context of legal control. Criminology, 22:19-38. Smith, Douglas A. (1986). The neighborhood context of police behavior. In A. J. Reiss Jr. and Michael Tonry (eds.). Communities and Crime. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Smith, Douglas A. (1987). Police response to interpersonal violence: Defining the parameters of legal control. Social Forces, 65 (3):767-782.

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38 Smith, Douglas A., and Klein, Jody R. (1984). Police control of interpersonal disputes. Social Problems, 31(4):468-481. Smith, Douglas A., Visher, Christy A., and Davidson, Laura A. (1984). Equity and discretionary justice: The influence of race on police arrest decisions.Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 75 (1):234-249. Snipes, Jeffrey B., and Stephen D. Mastrofski. (1990). An empirical test of Muirs typology of police officers. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 14:268-296. Sparrow, Malcolm K., Moore, Mark H., and Kennedy, David M. (1990). Beyond 911: A New Era for Policing. New York: Basic Books. Stalans, Loretta J., and Lurigio, Arthur J. (1990). Lay and professionals beliefs about crime and criminal sentencing: A need for theory, perhaps schema theory. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 17:333-349. Walker, Samuel. (1993). Taming the System: The Control of Discretion in Criminal Justice, 1950-1990. New York: Oxford University Press. Wilson, James Q. (1968). Varieties of Police Behavior: The Management of Law and Order in Eight Communities. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Worden, Robert E. (1989). Situational and attitudinal explanations of police behavior: A theoretical reappraisal and empirical assessment. Law and Society Review, 23:667-671. Worden, Robert E., and Steven G. Brandl. (1990). Protocol analysis of police decision-making: Toward a theory of police behavior. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 14:297-318. Worden, Robert E., and Robin L. Shepard. (1996). Demeanor, crime, and police behavior: A reexamination of the police services study data. Criminology, 34(1):83-106. Wycoff, Mary Ann, and Skogan, Wesley G. (1994). Community policing in Madison: An analysis of implementation and impact. In Dennis P. Rosenbaum (ed), The Challenge of Community Policing: Testing the Promises. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Michael Baglivio was born in Gainesville, Florida, in 1975. Michael graduated high school in Amelia Island, Florida, in 1993, after which he returned to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida. Michael received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology in 1999 from the University of Florida. In 2000 he received a Master of Health Science degree in rehabilitation counseling and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Michael is currently pursuing a PhD. in sociology, interested in crime and criminological theory 39


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Copyright Date: 2008

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This item has the following downloads:


Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Acknowledgement
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
    List of Tables
        Page v
    Abstract
        Page vi
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Literature review
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Current focus
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Hypotheses
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Data sample
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Variables
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Analysis
        Page 26
    Results
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Discussion
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Conclusion
        Page 34
        Page 35
    References
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Biographical sketch
        Page 39
Full Text












DIFFERENCES IN ARREST PATTERNS BASED ON OFFICER ORIENTATION
PREFERENCE
















By

MICHAEL BAGLIVIO


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2003

































Copyright 2003

by

Michael Baglivio















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank Dr. Alex Piquero for his patience and guidance during the

course of this project.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS



A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iii

L IST O F T A B L E S .............. ................................................... ................ .. ..v... ..v

ABSTRACT .................................................... ................. vi

CHAPTER

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N ................................................. .............................................. .

2 LITER A TU R E R EV IEW .................................................................... ...............3...

O orientation Studies .............................. .. ........... ..................................... ...3
Commitment Studies ................................... .............................7
C ontextual Studies ........................................................................................................8
Situational and A ttitudinal Studies ........................................................ ............... 10
O organizational Studies ... .................................................................. ... .......... .. 11
Style of Control Studies ..................................................................... .......... ... 15

3 C U R R E N T F O C U S .................................................................................................... 18

4 H Y P O T H E SE S ........................................................................................................... 2 0

5 D A T A SA M P L E .................................................. .............................................. 22

6 VARIABLES .......................................... ............... 24

7 A N A L Y SIS .......................................................................................... ............... 26

8 R E S U L T S .......................................................................................... ..................... 2 7

9 D ISCU SSION ............................................................................... . .................31

10 C O N C L U S IO N ...........................................................................................................3 4

L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S ... ........................................................................ ................ 36

BIO GR APH ICAL SK ETCH .................................................................... ................ 39



iv















LIST OF TABLES

Table page

6-1 D escriptive Statistics .. ...................................................................... ................ 25

8-1 D dependent V ariable=A rrest....................................... ....................... ................ 28

8-2 D id officer arrest or cite suspect ......................................................... ................ 28

8-3 V ariables in the E quation ......................................... ........................ ................ 29

8-4 V ariables in the E quation ......................................... ........................ ................ 30















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Arts

DIFFERENCES IN ARREST PATTERNS BASED ON OFFICER ORIENTATION
PREFERENCE

By

Michael Baglivio

December 2003

Chair: Dr. Alex Piquero
Major Department: Department: Sociology

This study attempts to shed light on the argument which exists in previous literature

questioning whether the community policing orientation leads officers to be guided more

by extralegal factors with regard to arrest decisions. Officers who hold positive attitudes

toward community policing were found to arrest citizens less frequently than officers not

favoring the approach. Furthermore, the arrest decisions of officers favoring community

policing were found to not be predicted using extralegal factors such as race, gender,

apparent age, or apparent socioeconomic status of the suspect. For officers holding

negative opinions toward community policing, race and apparent socioeconomic status of

the citizen were significant predictors of a decision to arrest. Limitations and implications

are discussed














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this project is to illustrate whether or not differences exist in the

arrest patterns of police officers who favor a "community policing" orientation from

those who do not. The focus of the research is on police officer demeanor and the unit of

study is officer arrests. The question at hand has to deal with predicting which type of

officer (officers who favor community policing vs. those who do not) is likely to have

more arrests in a given time, and then to look at whether or not certain citizen-level

characteristics are more prevalent among those individuals arrested by one type of officer

or the other. Since all officers in the sample work in a community policing environment,

this study will not compare traditional officers with community policing officers. It will,

however, look at the effects of officer attitudes and values on behavior, comparing those

officers who favor community policing with those who do not, even though all officers

work for the same department which, at the time of data collection, had implemented the

community policing approach.

This project is important because it may help to show if officers favoring

community policing are more, or less, likely to arrest certain types of individuals (based

on basic demographic characteristics). This research will not attempt to illustrate a

cause/effect relationship between officer orientation preference and arrest patterns, only

to show whether or not the two are related. If the relationship is shown to be strong, then

perhaps it would lead to policy consideration for re-evaluating the type of orientation

philosophy which police departments prescribe to.









This study will look at the demographic characteristics of those arrested and try to

determine if certain of those characteristics are more predictable in the arrests of one type

of officer orientation preference or the other. Demographic characteristics will include

factors such as age, gender, apparent socio-economic status (SES), and most importantly,

race. The study will attempt to show whether or not officers who favor a certain

orientation are more likely to arrest, and then whether or not certain types of individuals

(based on demographic characteristics) are the target of those arrests.

This research is designed to examine police officer arrest patterns at the local level.

The project will use data collected from the Richmond Study (collected by Mastrfoski et

al., 1995), and will continue to explore issues related to a police officer's decision to

arrest in an encounter. Much of the prior demeanor research (see Klinger, 1994;

Lundman, 1994; Worden and Shepard, 1996) has been focused on suspect demeanor

without taking into consideration the role of officer demeanor or the organizational

philosophy of the police department. This analysis will examine the extent to which

suspect race remains a significant predictor of arrest and whether this phenomena occurs

more often with respect to a certain officer orientation preference.

Most previous research has treated police officer behavior as the dependent

variable; this study will instead examine the influence of the police officers' values on

their behavior. The dependent variable will be whether or not an arrest was made.

Independent variables will include demographic characteristics of the suspect,

seriousness of the crime, as well as whether or not the officer favored a community

policing orientation or not.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Previous research with respect to attitudes and demeanor in the realm of police-

citizen encounters has focused primarily on the suspect. Other research has developed to

include the importance of considering the demeanor and status of the victim or

complainant in regard to arrest decisions. While research on the relationship between

suspect demeanor and arrest has been extensive, there has been limited research

conducted on the effect that police officer orientation has on arrest patterns. It has been

noted that the number of studies that stress individual officer characteristics has

decreased since the 1980's, and that the effects of officer gender, years of experience, and

officer attitudes remain unresolved (Riksheim and Chermak, 1993). Mastrofski and

colleagues point out that the accumulated evidence on the correlation between officers'

traits and their behavior is rather small (Mastrofski et al., 1996). These researchers further

state that "officers who have the will and skill to do community policing will behave

differently and will outperform those who do not, especially in matters requiring the

cooperation and compliance of the public" (Mastrofski et al., 1996:280). These

statements are supported by several other researchers as well (Independent Commission

on the Los Angeles Police Department, 1991; Lurigio and Rosenbaum, 1994; Skolnick

and Fyfe, 1993; Sparrow, Moore, and Kennedy, 1990; Wycoff and Skogan, 1994).

Orientation Studies

There are two main orientations that have been examined in previous research. The

first is the traditional officer orientation and the other is that of community policing.









Traditional policing is a strategic focus on the "control of crime and the suppression of

serious crimes or the zero tolerance perspective that focuses on reducing social disorder

to reduce crime" (Ford et al., 2003:160). According to Ford and colleagues, "community

policing is the delivery of police services through a customer-focused approach, using

partnerships to maximize community resources in a problem-solving format to prevent

crime, reduce the fear of crime, apprehend those involved in criminal activity" as well as

improve the quality of life in that community (Ford et al., 2003:160). William Pelfrey, Jr.

argued that community policing is more of a set of distinct initiatives and

implementations rather than a shift in philosophy (Pelfrey, 2003: 3; Moore, 1992).

Pelfrey has argued that the community policing orientation has been the first significant

role shift in the past 60 years for American policing. Community policing involves a

more proactive style of policing rather than the traditional reactive mode. He found that

community policing officers operate in many of the same situations as traditional officers

so the expansion of their role to include community policing functions has resulted in

some role conflict for these officers.

Pelfrey defined the major premise of community policing to be assigning officers

"to positions where they can exercise autonomy and creativity in resolving problems,

their job satisfaction increases, and performance increases occur" (Pelfrey, 2003:7). Ford

and colleagues state that "at the individual officer level, the move to community policing

has implications for officers' greater autonomy in decision making, increasing feedback

on community issues, and greater task identity" (Ford et al., 2003:160). These officers are

encouraged to engage in proactive approaches to problem solving and to foster

community relations. Community policing officers, in addition to answering calls, work









closer with the public to identify crime and public order problems, and to develop

specific initiatives to resolve those problems. This approach is intended to foster relations

between the public and the police.

Pelfrey examined whether or not differences in style, tactics, and performance

existed between officers in community policing roles and those in reactive traditional

policing assignments (Pelfrey, 2003). He found that higher levels of job satisfaction relate

to officers' engaging in a variety of task and endorsing innovative styles of policing. The

results showed that those officers assigned to community policing roles utilized more

problem solving and felt a greater positive impact on their beat and the community.

Motorized patrol officers were found to be more likely to engage in reactive patrol.

Pelfrey found that motorized traditional patrol officers endorsed community policing

concepts at significantly lower levels, which he argued suggested disapproval or

resistance rather than an ambivalent status (Pelfrey, 2003).

Pelfrey points out that "it now appears that a set of foundational beliefs exist

regarding traditional policing and are shared regardless of assignment", and that

community policing "simply adds a layer of beliefs, perceptions, and activities on top of

the officers' standard set of ideas and functions" (Pelfrey, 2003:29). Study results showed

that assignment to community policing roles was related to higher levels of job

satisfaction than those reported by traditional officers. Pelfrey concluded that officers

assigned to community policing positions are increasingly likely to be more satisfied,

motivated, and productive, and thus more efficient.

Community policing involves seeking alternatives to arrest and formal sanctions

when they are thought to be more effective in solving situations, which is believed to









create a more effective type of crime control (Mastrofski et al., 1996). Mastrofski and his

colleagues state that "officers embracing community policing are assumed to be more

familiar with the people they police, sensitive in diagnosing situations, and skillful in

selecting the best approach" (Mastrofski et al., 1996:280). In one study looking at

compliance of citizens to officer requests and demands, Mastrofski and his colleagues

found that the officer's favoring the community policing orientation would more likely

use a friendly, nonthreatening approach which was found significantly more likely to

elicit a compliant response. In an earlier study, Mastrofski argued that community

policing sets the stage for officers to become more selective in making arrests and that

arrest decisions will be influenced more by extralegal considerations and less by legal

ones (Mastrofski, Worden, and Snipes, 1995). The philosophy of community policing,

according to these researchers, stresses the building of the community, especially with

regard to strengthening the mutual trust and support between police and citizens, and the

officer following the preferences of the community in regard to how to handle situations.

Critics of this orientation have pointed out that officers paying more attention to

extralegal factors could create a situation where the officers' own biases will be more

evident in their behavior. The weakening of the influence of legal factors, coupled with

the increased attention to extralegal ones, may mean that officer discretion is governed

more by that officer's own particular values and beliefs, which may be manifested in

biases against those citizens in lower status groups (Mastrofski et al., 1995; Manning,

1988; Mastrofski, 1988). However, another extralegal consideration may be the officers'

attitude towards the philosophy of community policing and its objectives (Mastrofski et

al., 1995). In a jurisdiction where the police department favors a community building or









problem solving approach, officers should be less inclined to arrest than in a department

that favors an aggressive order where arrests indicate that all offenses be taken seriously

and treated formally (Mastrofski et al., 1995). This hypothesis was supported in a study

by Mastrofski and colleagues (1995) when they found that the more positive an officer

was to a community policing orientation, the less likely is an arrest. Another study

concluded that the morality of the situation, and the officers' desire to respond to that,

dictate the actions officers take when ending an encounter (Bayley, 1986). Prior research

has also found that police officers "show more attitude-behavior consistency in their

orientation to the use of force (passion) than philosophical perspective" (Snipes and

Mastrofski, 1990:289). This goes against earlier research that found police officer

attitudes to be a poor or weak predictor of behavior (Walker, 1993; Worden, 1989; Smith

and Klein, 1983).

Commitment Studies

Another study focused on the differences between being committed to the police

organization as a whole and being committed to a strategic approach to policing (using

community police as the approach). This study looked at the impact of these two various

types of commitment and the impact each had on job behaviors as well as job

satisfaction. The researchers argued that the attitudes and behaviors of the officers reflect

how committed the officers were to the police agency as a whole (Ford et al., 2003).They

sought to distinguish between level of commitment to the organization and level of

commitment to the new strategic approach of the agency (community policing). The

results of the study did show that the two types of commitment are indeed distinct. The

researchers found that "when job behavior was the dependent variable, strategy

commitment had a significant effect on behavior ... but organizational commitment did









not" and that "when satisfaction was regressed onto strategy commitment and

organizational commitment, strategy commitment had a nonsignificant effect on job

satisfaction ... while organizational commitment had a significant effect" (Ford et al.,

2003:173).

Therefore, it appears from this study that job satisfaction is more related to

commitment to the agency itself, while job behavior is related to commitment to the

approach being examined (community policing in this case). This study shows that an

officer's commitment to the organization does not necessarily equate to that officer

following the behaviors dictated by a new strategic approach, such as community

policing. In order for the behaviors of the officers to follow a new strategic approach,

they must also be committed to that approach, not just to the organization itself.

Contextual Studies

Douglas Smith (1986) conducted research on whether or not the context of the

encounter had an effect on officer decisions and behaviors. This study specifically looked

at the context of 60 neighborhoods and wanted to investigate if police responded

differently to similar situations in different types of neighborhoods, and to find if arrest

decisions are influenced by certain neighborhood factors after controlling for

characteristics of specific individual police-citizen encounters. Smith found that the racial

composition of the neighborhood did influence certain police actions. The bivariate

results indicate that "police are more apt to initiate investigative actions, such as

suspicious person stops, in racially heterogeneous neighborhoods and that police are

more likely to offer assistance to residents in neighborhoods with a larger share of elderly

residents" (Smith, 1986:324).









The results also suggested that the lower the socioeconomic status of a

neighborhood, the greater the probability of an encounter culminating in an arrest. The

results indicated that socioeconomic status of the community was the strongest factor

affecting the probability of arrest across the 60 neighborhoods. Smith found that as the

status of the neighborhood increases, the probability of arrest decreases, independent of

offense type, characteristics of the suspect, and demeanor of the complainants (Smith,

1986). Smith noted that this finding was difficult to interpret since it may be the case that

police act in a more legalistic fashion in lower-status neighborhoods, or that more

offenses that are likely to result in arrest occur in those neighborhoods. Smith reported

that no other neighborhood characteristic had a significant effect on arrest decisions in

the study.

Racial heterogeneity was found to influence the use of coercive authority by the

officers in that police use more force in higher-crime areas and in lower-status

neighborhoods (Smith, 1986). The same increased likelihood for the use or threat of force

was evidenced in primarily black or racially mixed neighborhoods. Contrary to other

existing research (see Rubenstein, 1973) that police act more aggressively toward blacks

encountered in white neighborhoods, Smith's analysis found that police are more likely

to exercise force toward black offenders in primarily black neighborhoods.

The probability that an officer filed an official report after an encounter did not

however correlate strongly at the neighborhood level with any of the measured

characteristics, according to Smith. The study concluded that police do act differently in

different neighborhoods, depending on certain characteristics of each context. Smith

noted that "police assessments of individual offenders may reflect the officer's









perceptions of the 'kind of people' who live in a particular neighborhood" (Smith,

1986:338).

Situational and Attitudinal Studies

Worden (1989) examined the extent to which both situational and attitudinal

variables impact police behavior. He stated that "attitudinal explanations hold that

officers develop distinctive 'styles' of performing their duties, and that the development

of their behavioral styles is shaped by their attitudes and values" (Worden, 1989:668).

The findings of this study indicated that attitudinal variables did not account for much of

the variation in officers' behavior, which Worden points out is consistent with a large

amount of social-psychological research on the relation of attitudes to behavior. Worden

explains the continued interest in attitudinal explanations arguing that attitudinal

explanations seem commonsensical even in the absence of strong empirical evidence, due

to the intuitive link between attitudes and behavior. Worden argues that the theoretical

problem lies in identifying officers' decision premises since different officers can

subscribe to different meanings of the same event. Worden stresses that each officer

"extracts some meaning" from a limited number of cues, "but the particular cues from

which officers focus and the meanings that they derive from them vary from officer to

officer with... little or no correspondence to their attitudes (except perhaps with respect to

the arrest decision)" (Worden, 1989:673-4).

Worden examined six attitudes that could be expected to influence the behavior of

an officer and found weak effects of most of the six, some having no effect at all, and

only two with significant effects which were small in magnitude (Worden, 1989).

Overall, Worden found that less than 10 percent of the variation in traffic stops can be

accounted for using situational and attitudinal variables. Worden also reported that









attitudes had little influence on aggressiveness, the number of suspicion stops made, end

result of the action made using license violations as a baseline, and little impact on officer

behavior in disputes. Worden concluded that even though "officers might individually

adopt distinctive styles of performing their jobs that manifest themselves in behavioral

patterns across similar sorts of situations, these styles bear little relationship to their

occupational attitudes," and that the "failure of attitudinal variables to account for a

significant proportion of the variation in officer' behavior is striking" (Worden,

1989:701-2).

One study (Friedrich, 1980) examining police attitudes and excessive force found

that job satisfaction had no influence on use of force, but the officers' racial attitudes did

have an effect. In addition, Friedrich found that the more prejudiced a white officer, the

more force that officer used against African Americans. A summary of the literature on

the effects of suspect demographic characteristics will not be undertaken here (see

Riksheim and Chermak, 1993 for review); the Friedrich study remains one of the only

tests of police attitudes as they interact with suspect race.

Organizational Studies

There has been another group of studies looking at the discretionary responses of

police officers with respect to citizen encounters. This research was conducted mainly by

Douglas Smith. Unlike other research examined, Smith found that police responsiveness

was more related to the victim of the crime rather than the offender (Smith, Visher and

Davidson, 1984). These scholars looked at several aspects not examined in detail before.

They argued that no consensus existed among scholars as to why blacks are more likely

to be arrested than whites (Smith et al., 1984). One variable added in this study was the

degree of bureaucratization of the police agencies themselves. This was included based









on earlier findings by Hepburn who argued that many cases in a major mid-western city

in 1974 were not being prosecuted, indicating that harassment may have been the purpose

of the arrests, rather than law enforcement (Smith et al., 1984). These earlier studies also

found that racial bias was inversely related to offense severity, independent of both sex

and age.

Early studies by Wilson argued that police agencies differed in that in some

agencies distributive justice occurs, while others apply the law more uniformly (Wilson,

1968). Douglas Smith focused on the organizational context of arrest decisions,

anticipating that based on the type of police agency which handles the problem; certain

encounter level characteristics may have different affects on arrest decisions (Smith,

1984). Smith identified four types of police agencies according to levels of bureaucracy

and professionalism, looking at 21 individual departments in this study. He labeled

nonprofessional agencies with low bureaucracies as fraternal and nonprofessional highly

bureaucratic agencies as militaristic (Smith, 1984). The other two types of agencies were

service agencies and legalistic agencies which were professional agencies that varied in

levels of bureaucratization.

Smith found that administrators of different departments do differ in their ideas

about what the department should be doing. Smith's data show that professional,

nonbureaucratic agencies are predominately concerned with service to the community,

while bureaucratic, non-professional agencies emphasize law enforcement (Smith, 1984).

Smith concluded from this data that different mixes of professionalism and levels of

bureaucratization can be a major indicator of different operational styles utilized by a

department (Smith, 1984). Ford and colleagues found that the more upper management









was seen as committed to the community-policing philosophy, the more committed the

officers were to the strategy. This apparent commitment by top management increased

the likelihood the officers would behave in ways consistent to community policing goals

(Ford et al., 2003).

Smith analyzed whether or not similar or different criteria were used in arrest

decisions by officers in departments which ascribed to different police role orientations

(Smith, 1984). If officers in departments with different orientations do indeed base arrest

decisions on different factors, then, Smith points out, "no single model of arrest decisions

is generalizable to arrest practices in all police departments" and "would imply that

models of arrest decisions are conditional on the organizational context in which police-

suspect encounters occur" (Smith, 1984:27).

The analysis did show differences between the four types of departments as Smith

had classified them. He found that in legalistic departments, infractions of youth

offenders are treated more formally, whereas similar infractions were handled without

resorting to the legal system in other types of departments. In fraternal, service, and

legalistic agencies, the probability of arrest increases with antagonistic suspects, while

this type of suspect is not significantly more likely to be arrested in militaristic agencies.

In fraternal and service oriented agencies, arrests are more likely to occur if complainants

wanted an arrest made, but the complainants' requests were not as likely to be followed if

the request was to not arrest (Smith, 1984).

The most important finding, according to Smith, was "the discovery that arrest

decisions in different types of police agencies are explained by different constellations of

variables" and that "different styles of control reflect the collective attitudes of









organizational members toward the administration of justice" (Smith, 1984:33). Smith

concluded that the way in which control was exercised by members of an agency reflects

the dominant values within the police organization.

In another study, Smith and colleagues used the idea of differing police agencies,

now hypothesizing that structural characteristics of the organization bureaucratizationn

and professionalism) may indicate the operational philosophy which will guide the

discretionary decision-making of the agency (Smith, Visher, and Davidson, 1984:237).

They argue that increased bureaucratization should result in more even and equal

application of the law toward all citizens. They further argued that most previous research

had been conducted examining large urban police departments, which they presumed to

be more bureaucratized than ones existing in small-town rural areas. This would mean

that previous research actually underestimated the nation-wide amount of racial

discrimination occurring in police discretionary encounters. They found in this study,

however, that when poverty level of the neighborhood and bureaucratization of the police

agency are included in analysis, the race effect is no longer significant. In this model,

bureaucratization did not affect arrest decisions, and as the poverty level of the

neighborhood increases, police are more likely to arrest (Smith et al., 1984).They

concluded that different styles of policing are more related to the socio-economic

contexts where the encounters occur. These findings were for encounters between officer

and citizen, without a complainant. However, in encounters with both complainants and

suspects, suspect race had no effect on the probability of arrest, but victim race was

significant. Police were more likely to arrest the suspect when there was a white victim.

These scholars concluded that "the systematic denial of legal protection to black victims









appears to be a more likely form of racially motivated police discrimination than more

frequent arrests of black offenders" (Smith et al., 1984:249).

Further research by Smith and Klein examined once more neighborhood context

and organizational characteristics of police agencies. Once again operating from the

Wilson (1968) argument that officers in more professional, more bureaucratic police

agencies take a legalistic view of their role and officers in a less professional, less

bureaucratic agencies operate a more "conciliatory posture" toward the public, Smith and

Klein hypothesized that the more bureaucratic and more professional a police department

becomes, the greater the probability of arrest in individual police-citizen encounters

(Smith and Klein, 1984). These researchers found that there was an interaction effect and

that neither of these (professionalism nor bureaucratization) independently influenced the

likelihood of arrest. They concluded that decisions to arrest were influenced by

situational factors, poverty levels of the neighborhoods, and properties of police agencies.

Style of Control Studies

Smith has cautioned that the orientations police officers bring to encounters and

disputes should not be overlooked and that the discretion officers exercise is in part

structured by those officers' beliefs and values. Smith and Klein argue that police officers

enter situations with certain predispositions which influence their style of control in these

encounters. The authors propose that officers perceive some citizens as more credible

than others and regard certain types of encounters as best resolved by a particular style of

control. In a later study on police response to violent disputes, Smith wrote that police

response to many problems "is not, nor can be, strictly mandated by law, but reflects the

officer's assessment of what the situation deserves" and that in the "minds of police some

offenders deserve legal sanction, others do not" (Smith, 1987: 768). Smith concluded that









with regard to decisions to arrest, law alone is often a poor predictor of police behavior.

Officers face conflicting demands to which they must be sensitive towards, such as the

organizations to which they belong, the communities in which they operate, and the

individuals which they encounter, and these demands influence the officers' discretionary

decision-making (Smith, 1987).

In this study, Smith outlined three styles of response used by officers. Penal style

includes arrest and is based on assessing legal blame, operating under the assumption that

offenders deserve punishment. Conciliatory style sees conflicts as temporary problems in

a social relationship and considers the relationship between the disputing parties, with the

goal to reestablish harmony and to mediate the situation, rather than making an arrest.

The third style, avoidance, is used when police simply separate the parties involved. This

style utilizes the least involvement by police since they neither arrest nor mediate. Smith

hypothesized that nonpenal response probability varies inversely with the seriousness of

the problem the officer is facing, and that a penal response may be utilized more often

against black citizens and those living in poor neighborhoods because these individuals

may hold greater hostility toward the police, so will less likely be handled in a

conciliatory style.

He found police to be equally likely to utilize mediation in conflicts between whites

and non-whites, but that the race of the suspect does influence the use of separation or

arrest as strategies. If the two combatants are white, police are much more likely to arrest

than in encounters where the combatants are nonwhite. Violence between nonwhite

combatants is more likely to be handled by simply separating the disputants.









Also influencing style decision was whether or not police have had previous

contact with the combatants. Smith found that when officers have had previous contact

with the citizens, the officer was half as likely to mediate the conflict and twice as likely

to make an arrest as in encounters which no prior contact had been made (Smith, 1987).

Smith thus concluded that police adopt a more conciliatory style when they have had no

previous contact and a more penal style when they have had previous contact with the

combatants. The relationship between the disputants did not influence decision-making in

the encounters in this study. This study was an advance from previous work in that it

looked at police encounters of violent disputes and included three styles of control (rather

than arrest and non-arrest outcomes) and found that several extralegal variables do indeed

influence officer decision-making in these types of encounters.














CHAPTER 3
CURRENT FOCUS

Past research has been limited in its focus on the attitudes and orientations of the

individual officer (as opposed to the suspect) as well as limited in its focus on the

influence of the orientation fostered by the police agency to which the officer belongs.

Previous studies have been mixed on whether or not officer demeanor, attitudes, and

orientation to policing have an influence on behavior or arrest patterns. One study,

conducted by Friedrich (1980), is the only empirical test of the interaction of police

attitudes as they interact with the race of the suspect. Past research has also differed on

the issue of the community policing approach to law enforcement and its effects on

officer decision to arrest. Some research, as stated above, has found that this orientation

fosters alternative methods of control which lead to less arrests or formal sanctions. Other

researchers feel as though a community policing approach will give more discretion to

officers, leading to more arrests based on the officers' attitudes, beliefs, and biases. Some

scholars raise concern over the "degree to which attitudes, values, and beliefs of

individual officers structure their discretionary choices" (Smith and Klein, 1984: 480).

This study examines if individuals arrested by officers favoring one type of

orientation (community policing) differ significantly (based on demographic

characteristics) from individuals arrested by officers not favoring this approach.

Demographic characteristics (such as apparent age, race, and apparent income level) are

used because these factors are quickly observed and may prompt existing stereotypes

held by individual officers. This data may help to show whether or not the added









discretion afforded by the community policing approach leads to more arrests based on

officers' negative biases, or to less arrests by these officers giving alternative sanctions to

the community members they supposedly have become more familiar with.

Douglas Smith has stated that "increasing bureaucratization of social control

agencies results in greater distance between police and the policed" and that "this social

separation may be most acute between the police and marginal groups (e.g., blacks and

the poor), possibly introducing biases in the social control process toward minorities and

the disadvantaged" (Smith, 1984:34). Pelfrey argued for conducting research which

contrasts community policing officers with motorized patrol officers in order to raise

significant issues of organizational culture and job attachment as a function of the work

environment (Pelfrey, 2003). Worden has concluded that expectations of superiors and of

the work group place situational pressures on officers that may weaken attitude-behavior

relationships (Worden, 1989). Worden further argued for the incorporation of

organizational forces and their impact on officers' decisions in any theory of police

behavior.

This study will further develop the extent to which officers' individual attitudes and

values do indeed affect the discretionary choices those officers make in police-citizen

encounters. It will tap into the effect of the influence of the police agency's orientation on

arrest patterns, examining whether or not results found by Smith and Pelfrey hold for this

sample. This study will build on the previous research conducted by Smith and

Mastrofski by illuminating any differences which may exist between groups of

individuals that are being arrested more frequently from those who are not














CHAPTER 4
HYPOTHESES

Mastrofski has found that officers favoring a community policing approach arrest

less often than those officers who do not ascribe to the orientation (Mastrofski et al.,

1992). This study explores Mastrofski's finding with an added emphasis on both suspect

gender and race. Mastrofski's finding that officers favoring community policing arrest

less often will be expanded to look at whether or not all groups of individuals are

afforded that luxury. Particular interest will be paid to minority citizens as well as an

added emphasis on gender and age differences between suspects arrested by officers

favoring the community policing orientation and suspects arrested by officers who do

not. This research hypothesizes that those officers favoring a community policing

approach arrest individuals with certain demographic characteristics (particularly

minority suspects) less often than officers who have a negative view of the community

policing orientation. It is expected that community policing advocates will not have as

high a percentage of minority citizen arrests as other officers. It is believed that the

community policing approach will enable officers to familiarize themselves with the

community and therefore be less likely to give formal sanctions and be less likely to

arrest minority members or citizens appearing to be of low socioeconomic status (SES).

Community policing should foster a more mediating, conciliatory style of policing (if

operating from Smith's 1987 three styles of control perspective) when compared to

traditional officers.






21


It is hypothesized that favoring:

* Community policing -> less likely to arrest
* Community policing -> less likely to arrest minority individuals
* Community policing -> less likely to arrest citizens appearing to be of low SES
* Community policing -> less likely to arrest juvenile citizens
* Community policing -> less likely to arrest female citizens
* All officers -> more likely to arrest serious offenses than non-serious














CHAPTER 5
DATA SAMPLE

The data were taken from the Impact of Community Policing at the Street Level:

An Observational Study in Richmond Virginia conducted by Mastrofski et al. in 1992

(from ICPSR 2612 computer file released in 2002).The data were collected by a team of

eight researchers observing police officers in the patrol division during the spring and

summer of 1992 in Richmond Virginia. The police department was at that time in its third

year of a five-year plan to officially implement a community policing orientation. The

researchers observed a total of 120 officers during 125 observation sessions. All of the

officers observed worked in the community policing environment implemented by the

Richmond department; however, they differed in their support for that orientation.

Part 1 of the collection is essential because it provides the primary officer's and

secondary officer's sex, race, years of experience, hours of community policing training,

and general orientation to community policing. The data of Part 3 of this collection,

Encounter Data, describe 1,098 encounters with citizens during ridealongs. An encounter

was officially defined as a communication between the officer and citizens over a minute

long, involving more than three verbal exchanges, or involving significant physical

contact between the officer and a citizen. Part 4, Citizen Data, provides demographic

characteristics and other data relevant to each citizen engaged by the officers, including

appearance of low income, or drug/alcohol abuse.

This project will be using Mastrofski's Part 5, Arrest Data, which provides

information on encounters that occurred in which a citizen was suspected of some crime









(n= 451) and combines Parts 1, 3, and 4. Important variables from Part 5 include the

extent to which each officer is in favor of the community policing orientation as well as

suspect race, gender, and age. Other variables include whether or not other officers or

bystanders where present, if the officer filed/intended to file a report, if the officer

engaged in problem solving, and factors that influenced the officer's actions. Variables in

Part 5 "record the officer's orientation toward community policing; if the suspect was

arrested or cited; if the offense was serious or drug-related; amount of evidence; if the

victim requested that the suspect be arrested" as well as demographic characteristics of

the victim and the suspect, and whether or not the officer knew the suspect

"adversarially" (ICPSR 2612).














CHAPTER 6
VARIABLES

This project will examine how officer orientation toward community policing

(cporient), suspect race (susrace), suspect gender (susgender), seriousness of the offense

(serious), apparent age of the suspect (juvenile), and apparent income level of the suspect

(suspoor) predict the dependent variable of whether or not the officer arrests the suspect

(arrest). Frequencies of these variables are shown in Table 1.

Independent Variables: The first independent variable measures officer regard for

community policing. This variable is measured on a scale ranging from 1 (very negative)

to 5 (very positive) with 3 indicating a neutral stance and 2 and 4 indicating somewhat

negative and somewhat positive. It is hypothesized that the more positive an officer is

toward the community policing orientation, the less likely that officer will make an arrest.

The second independent variable is race of suspect. It is measured as 0 (white) and 1

(minority). Officers who favor community policing are hypothesized to arrest minorities

with a lower frequency than officers favoring a traditional approach. Thirdly, suspect

gender is coded as 0 (male) and 1 (female). It is expected that being female will also

decrease arrest probability. The fourth independent variable measures the seriousness of

the offense in question. It is coded as 0 (no) and 1 (yes), with the prediction that more

serious offenses will more likely lead to arrest. In order to stay consistent with the

Richmond study by Mastrofski, offenses will be classified as serious if they involve

violence against persons or various forms of theft, such as burglary and car theft. Next,

the age of the suspect is examined using a variable indicating whether or not the suspect









is a juvenile or not. It is coded as 0 (no) and 1 (yes). This study predicts that this variable

will decrease arrest, with juvenile suspects (defined by Mastrofski as being under 19)

being arrested less often. The last independent variable indicates the officer's assessment

of the suspect's apparent income. This variable is coded as 0 (no), indicating that the

officer believes the suspect is not of low income, and 1 (yes), indicating that the officer

perceives the suspect to be poor. It is expected that this variable will increase arrest for

officers favoring a traditional approach, meaning that apparently poor suspects will more

likely be arrested. Officers favoring community policing are expected to be less likely to

arrest apparently poor suspects.

Table 6-1 Descriptive Statistics
N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation
Did Officer Arrest Suspect 451 0 1 .10 .303
Officer Orientation Toward 451 1 5 3.50 1.248
Community Policing
Race of Suspect 451 0 1 .82 .382
Suspect Gender 451 0 1 .25 .435
Seriousness of Offense 451 0 1 .21 .405
Is Suspect Juvenile 451 0 1 .18 .388
Is Suspect Apparently Low 451 0 1 .55 .498
Income
Valid N (listwise) 451














CHAPTER 7
ANALYSIS

This study will utilize logistic regression to examine the effects of the independent

variables on the dependent variable of arrest. This method will be used because of the

dichotomous nature of the dependent variable. It will also serve to illustrate the relative

effect each variable has on the dependent variable, as well as direction and strength of

each effect. Logistic regression will show the directional effect of each independent

variable, indicating whether or not each one increases or decreases arrest. First a full

sample model will show the predictive power of each independent variable on the

dependent variable of arrest.

Interaction effects will then be analyzed by splitting the full sample into two

groups. One group will consist of officers who favor community policing, and the other

group will be constructed of officers who do not. The new orientation variable includes

officers who were classified as somewhat positive and very positive toward community

policing in the "favor community policing" category. Officers who were classified as

very negative, somewhat negative, and neutral are grouped into the "negative towards

community policing category". The split results in 192 negative towards community

policing (42.6%), and 259 positive toward this approach (57.4%). The effects of the other

independent variables on the dependent for each of the split groups will then be analyzed.














CHAPTER 8
RESULTS

First, logistic regression was run on the full sample model. The results of the full

sample model show the covariates of officer orientation to community policing,

seriousness of the offense and apparent income level of the suspect are significant

predictors (p<.05 level) of the dependent variable. Results for the full model can be seen

in Table 2. Race, gender and apparent age of the suspect are not significant predictors in

this model. This step in the analysis helps to confirm the hypothesis that officer

preference for an orientation toward policing is a significant predictor of officer action to

arrest, and thus warrants further attention. The analysis shows a negative relationship

indicating that for officers who do not favor community policing, arrest is more likely.

Consistent with much previous research, the seriousness of the offense is also significant

with regard to decision to arrest. Also, consistent with previous suspect demeanor

research (see Klinger, 1994; Lundman, 1994; Worden and Shepard, 1996) whether or not

the suspect appears to be of low SES is significant (apparently poor more likely to be

arrested).

Next, the split model was analyzed. Crosstabs of the breakdown of officers into the

two groups with the dependent arrest variable are shown in Table 3 (Chi-square is

significant at .000). The breakdown shows that officers who have a negative attitude

toward the community policing orientation do indeed arrest at a higher rate than officers

who favor the approach, consistent with hypothesis 1. This finding warrants the further









investigation into the differences between officers who favor one orientation from those

who do not.

Table 8-1 Dependent Variable=Arrest
Variables in the Eq nation
B S.E. Wald Df Sig. Exp (B)
Orientation -.453 .129 12.321 1 .000 .636
Seriousness 1.734 .364 22.715 1 .000 5.662
Suspect gender -.641 .416 2.381 1 .123 .527
Suspect race -.576 .394 2.142 1 .143 .562
Suspect poor .854 .365 5.469 1 .019 2.348
Suspect juvenile .347 .429 .654 1 .419 1.415
constant -1.198 .570 4.427 1 .035 .302
a Variable(s) entered on step 1: CPORIENT, SERIOUS, SUSSEX, SUSRACE, SUSPOOR, JUVENILE.


Table 8-2 Did officer arrest or cite suspect* officer favors community policing
crosstabulation
Count
officer favors
community policing
negative positive Total
DID No 159 246 405
OFFICER Yes
ARREST
ARCT 33 13 46
OR CITE
SUSPECT
Total 192 259 451

First the group of officers who favor the community orientation approach were

analyzed. The independent variables of seriousness of the offense, suspect race, gender,

apparent income level, and apparent age were included, once again, and were regressed

on the dependent variable of arrest. The results of this analysis indicate that none of these

predictors are significant at the p<.05 level. The finding that seriousness of the offense is

not significant in this model goes against what the author would predict, as well as much

of the previous literature in this area. Seriousness of offense is a legal factor which

usually has been found to predict whether or not an arrest is made and was not









hypothesized to be irrelevant for officers favoring community policing. These officers

were predicted to differ from officers favoring a traditional approach according to

extralegal factors. The regression results for this group can be seen in Table 4.

Table 8-3:Variables in the Equation
B S.E. Wald Df Sig. Exp (B)
Seriousness .808 .667 1.464 1 .226 2.242
Suspect gender -1.484 1.066 1.941 1 .164 .227
Suspect race .143 .823 .030 1 .862 1.153
Suspect poor .175 .627 .078 1 .780 1.191
Suspect juvenile -.301 .809 .138 1 .710 .740
Constant -3.097 .839 13.636 1 .000 .045
a Variable(s) entered on step 1: SERIOUS, SUSSEX, SUSRACE, SUSPOOR,
JUVENILE.

The next step in the analysis was to examine the effects of the independent

variables on arrest for the group of officers labeled as negative toward the community

policing approach. The results of this step show that seriousness of the offense, suspect

race, and apparent income level of the suspect are all significant at the p<.05 level. These

results are shown in Table 5. Consistent with previous research, seriousness of the

offense is a significant predictor of arrest, with more serious offenses being more likely

to lead to an arrest being made. The extralegal factors of suspect race and apparent

income level are significant in this model but were not in the model for officers favoring

community policing. The analysis shows that suspects who appear to the officers to be of

low socioeconomic status are more likely to be arrested by these officers. The initial

hypothesis was that officers who favor community policing would be less likely to arrest

apparently poor suspects. The result that arrests made by officers holding negative

attitudes toward that approach can be predicted by apparently low SES yields partial

support for the hypothesis. Contradictory to the hypotheses, the significance of the

suspect race variable is in the opposite direction as predicted. The analysis shows that









white suspects are more likely to be arrested than minority suspects by officers who do

not hold positive attitudes toward community policing. The direction of this variable may

in fact be due to collinearity issues with the apparent income level variable.

Table 8-4:Variables in the Equation
B S.E. Wald Df Sig. Exp(B)
Seriousness 2.382 .502 22.517 1 .000 10.824
Suspect gender -.309 .493 .392 1 .531 .734
Suspect race -1.072 .523 4.205 1 .040 .342
Suspect poor 1.207 .487 6.138 1 .013 3.342
Suspect juvenile .568 .538 1.115 1 .291 1.765
constant -2.192 .588 13.884 1 .000 .112
a Variable(s) entered on step 1: SERIOUS, SUSSEX, SUSRACE, SUSPOOR,
JUVENILE.

Multicollinearity was checked utilizing a simple correlation analysis between the

race of the suspect variable and the apparent income variable yielding a Pearson

correlation of -.117, indicating that the two variables are not measuring the same concept.

Therefore, the regression analysis does show that both variables are significant with

white suspects and suspects of apparently low income being more likely to be arrested by

officers who do not favor community policing














CHAPTER 9
DISCUSSION

This study attempted to shift the focus of research on arrest patterns from the

demeanor of the suspect to the attitudes of the officers. All of the officers in this sample

worked for a department that had instituted a community policing approach. Therefore,

the goal of this study was not to compare traditional officers with community policing

officers, but rather to look at the effects of variation in officer attitudes on arrest

decisions. The intent was to investigate whether or not differences exist in the prediction

of officer decision to arrest based on officer attitudes toward a specific policing

orientation.

The first significant result was that the attitude the officers in this sample had

towards the community policing approach could indeed be used as a predictor of an arrest

being made. Officers who favor community policing have different arrest patterns than

officers who hold a negative view of that orientation, for this sample. Officers who do not

have positive attitudes toward the community policing approach were found to arrest at a

higher rate than officers favoring the approach. This goes against previous research

conducted by Worden (1989) who found that officer attitudes were a weak predictor of

behavior.

This study also deviates from Worden's findings in the realm of organizational

influences. The sample utilized in this research was constituted of officers all working for

a department that had instituted a community policing approach. Therefore, the pressure

from the top of the agency was to adopt and institute the policies of that orientation. The









finding that the officers who did not have positive attitudes about the new approach do

have different arrest patterns than those who favor it, goes against Worden's research that

found organizational influences to eliminate or weaken the effect of officer attitudes.

Smith (1984) also argued that the organizational philosophy of a police department

influences the practices of the officers in that department. The dominant values of the

department, Smith found, dictated the way in which control was exercised by the officers

of that department. The results reported above in this current study, however, show that

officers may still act according to their own beliefs toward an orientation regardless of

the actual philosophy expressed and instituted by an organization. One limitation to this

finding is that no measure was utilized to assess the strength of the desire for

implementation of community policing for the Richmond police department, or the extent

to which the upper-management of that agency promoted the goals or supposed

effectiveness of the orientation. This limitation is expressed in regard to the finding of

Ford et al. (2003) that the apparent commitment of top-management toward community

policing enhances the behavior consistency of the officers toward the goals of that

philosophy.

The results of this study expand on those found by Smith (1986) regarding the

importance of socioeconomic status. Smith found that the SES of the neighborhood was a

significant predictor of officer decision to arrest. Smith hypothesized that this result may

be due to the lower credibility of the suspects in those areas. The results reported in this

study show that officers who do not favor community policing also take apparent income

level into account when deciding to arrest. This study however includes SES at the









individual level rather than at the neighborhood level, and the credibility hypothesis

proposed by Smith seems to remain valid.














CHAPTER 10
CONCLUSION

The argument has been made that the community policing orientation may lead to

the increasing use of extralegal factors with respect for arrest decisions made by officers

espousing that philosophy. Scholars have expressed concern that officers' negative biases

will be a more instrumental aspect in those decisions to arrest. This study has attempted

to show that the negative biases officers may have do not expose themselves as predictors

of arrest for officers in this sample. In fact, for this group of officers, the arrest decisions

of those officers who self-proclaim to not hold a positive attitude toward community

policing have been shown to be significantly predicted by extralegal factors (namely

suspect race and apparent income level of the suspect). Officers favoring community

policing have been shown in this study to not be guided by extralegal considerations in

their arrest decisions.

This study does however have its limitations, which should not be overlooked. The

sample utilized for this project is not necessarily representative of police officers today,

nor can it be generalized to police officers operating in other agencies than the Richmond

Police department. The analysis was also conducted using 451 encounters, only 46 of

which culminated in an arrest being made. Furthermore, there may be a deployment

effect in that the police chief could have known which officers favored community

policing and sent those officers to areas with low crime and sent officers not partial to

this approach to higher crime areas. Deployment strategies could be partially responsible

for the effects observed in the split-sample regressions.






35


Future research should attempt to replicate these findings using a larger sample

composed of officers from various sized departments from a variety of geographic

locations with a measure included to asses the level of commitment of each agency to the

orientation which they promote. The findings of this project do however justify the

continued research of the effect of officer attitudes on decision to arrest as well as the

potential predictive differences in the outcome of arrest between officers favoring one

orientation versus another















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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Michael Baglivio was born in Gainesville, Florida, in 1975. Michael graduated

high school in Amelia Island, Florida, in 1993, after which he returned to Gainesville to

attend the University of Florida. Michael received a Bachelor of Science degree in

psychology in 1999 from the University of Florida. In 2000 he received a Master of

Health Science degree in rehabilitation counseling and is a Certified Rehabilitation

Counselor. Michael is currently pursuing a PhD. in sociology, interested in crime and

criminological theory