Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (Ph.D.)


Criminal Justice


John DeCarlo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Myers, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christopher M. Sedelmaier, Ph.D.

LC Subject Headings

Community policing, Police-community relations, Police ethics, Due process of law, Procedure (Law)


Mainstream criminology historically has discounted the police role in ameliorating crime in fragile communities. The Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice (1967) famously endorsed the root causes model, which maintained that crime is the result of macro social-structural factors such as racism, poverty, and social injustice. The police role was further minimized by a series of studies in the 1970s—negating the police functions of random patrol (G. L. Kelling, Pate, Dieckman, & Brown, 1974), rapid response (Pate, Ferrara, Bowers, & Lorence, 1976), and criminal investigations (Greenwood, 1979). In the 1990s, an unprecedented crime decline in New York City revived support for the capacity of police to affect crime rates (Zimring, 2006). The drop bolstered support for order-maintenance policing (i.e., the redirection of police focus to quality-of-life issues). Initial support for order-maintenance policing dissolved under pressure from civil liberties groups highlighting the fact that it had a disparate impact on disadvantaged communities of color and encouraged discriminatory practices through stop, question, and frisk (Harcourt, 2009). Using secondary survey data from a municipal district, the present study evaluates whether foot patrol officers can affect collective efficacy, disorder, perceived risk of victimization, and police legitimacy in micro-places (i.e., no more than several street blocks) — specifically, when they engage in order-maintenance activities following the pillars of procedural justice (Tyler, 2003). Propensity score matching is employed with regression analysis. Results are limited to sample-level descriptives that generally trend hypotheses. This research has practical implications and offers a model for police proactivity that supports due process, citizen inclusion, and police legitimacy. Findings suggest that what the police were not doing during the intervention is of equal, if not greater, consequence.

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