Title: Community policing against crime: violence and firearms

Citation: Shaw, James. Wilford. (1994). Dissertation: University of Maryland, College Park, Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International

Keywords: Community Policing Programs, Gun Control, Proactive Tactics

This dissertation explores community policing in law enforcement, despite the fact that the concept is ill-defined, lacks uniform meaning, and frequently lacks a substantive focus. Since the late 1980ís firearm, drug, and gang-related crime have soared in large urban cities. The dissertation examined a revised, community policing model with a specific substantive focus: firearm related crime. Recent research as shown a relationship between gun density and gun robberies and homicide, but not yet examined is whether the police might impact these crimes through illegal firearm recovery. According to the author police may recover firearms as a result of proactive tactics specifically focused on firearm recovery or as a reactive by-product of routine police activities, although virtually nothing in know about either strategy. A quasi-experimental nonequivalent control group design with before-after measurements of offense data and community attitudes was employed in this research. The research intended to determine whether community policing programs designed to improve the quality and quantity of information regarding illegal gun carrying could increase the number of recovered firearms and subsequently impact firearm and violent crime in a program area. These proactive tactics designs in this research did not increase information available to the police nor result in the increased recovery of firearms. These patrols also produced a significant reduction in violent and firearm related crime in the program area as compared to previous year offenses and to the control are. This community policing model was shown to positively affect community residentsí attitudes and their level of fear. Finally, an exploratory analysis was conducted examining the firearm recovery situation for all firearms recovered in the program and comparison area. By showing variation in productivity of different policing activities, this analysis suggests that police work with a firearm recovery focus can be an efficient use of police time in comparison to other routine police work.