Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Susan Caringella-MacDonald

Second Advisor

Dr. Ron Kramer

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Crawford

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Dennis Simpson


Traditional and community policing differ in their approach to crime and other social concerns. Traditional policing emphasizes reactive response and enforcement while community policing emphasizes proactive response and community partnership. Often, these two types of departments select officers with specific characteristics which fit well with the philosophy of the department. Characteristics such as age, education, years of military experience, rank, years of police experience, type of department, and family members in the military and the police are examined in this study to determine perceptual differences among officers regarding the community policing philosophy and the role of women in policing. A survey instrument containing 25 Lickert-scaled statements were distributed to two Midwestern police departments one operating under a traditional philosophy, the other under a community policing philosophy. A total of 148 officers responded. Thirteen statements were grouped together to form the dependent variable community policing and twelve statements were grouped to form the dependent variable gender. High scores on each category indicated negative perceptions and low scores indicated positive perceptions of community policing and women in policing. Chi-square, Cramer's V, and stepwise multiple regression. Perceptions differed among the two departments. Community police officers consistently scored lower than the traditional officers on each category indicating that they perceived community policing and women in policing more positively than the traditional officers. Rank, sex, department type, and years of military experience were found to be significant independent variables in the regression analysis. The findings suggest that as years of military experience increase, perceptions of community policing and women in policing become more negative; as the rank of the officer increases perceptions become more positive; female officer perceptions are more positive than male officers; and community police officers perceptions are more positive than traditional police officers. The results of this study suggest that traditional views and sexist attitudes still exist within policing. In order to address these issues, it may be necessary to re-examine philosophical foundations from which policing is based and identify areas of concern which need to be addressed particularly in traditional police departments. Recruitment and selection of appropriate personnel and the identification of training needs are two issues which may be significantly influenced by this study.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access