Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Paul C. Friday

Second Advisor

Dr. Subhash R. Sonnad

Third Advisor

Dr. Ronald C. Kramer

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The ability of the police to better assess their role in the community lies in understanding, or-accurately perceiving, the public's attitudes toward various police behaviors. Although numerous studies have examined general attitudes toward the police, few have examined citizen attitudes toward specific police behaviors within a broad socio-historical framework and attempted to make practical recommendations to the police based on such findings. This is the intent of this study.

The findings of this study are based on a random sample of households in Kalamazoo, Michigan, during 1978 and employs both bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques. Generally, it was found that there is considerable variation in citizen perceptions across a range of police behaviors indicating that attitudes toward the police are item specific and reflect group needs and expectations. Furthermore, when specific police behaviors representing various dimensions (radar, illegal acts, discrimination, and sensitivity) were examined these were generally found to be significantly related to overall evaluations of the police.

Included in

Criminology Commons