Community policing in Manchester, Connecticut: A case study

Date of Completion

January 1997


Anthropology, Cultural|Political Science, Public Administration|Sociology, Criminology and Penology




Developments in technology and changes in the judiciary, the workforce, and the field of public administration have resulted in a paradigmatic shift in the nature of the American police from the professional era (a militaristic centralized service with quantitative evaluations of effectiveness), to the community era (a decentralized service delivery system relying upon qualitative measures of effectiveness). This case study examines the community policing program in the West Side neighborhood of Manchester, Connecticut, in light of common assertions in the literature that community policing reduces the fear of crime, improves the quality of life in neighborhoods, and motivates personnel. The methodology is qualitative, and includes surveys of randomly selected residents of a neighborhood receiving community policing and a neighborhood receiving traditional policing, separate surveys of traditional and community police officers; on-site neighborhood and station observations; and critiques of relevant documents. The thick description achieved yields findings generalizable to similar sites. The triangulation of methods provides for a high degree of internal validity. ^