Date of Conferral
Much research is based on the experience of participants in crime-related situations where they have contact with police. It is significant, however, that researchers have documented that 70 to 80% of calls requesting police service are not related to criminal activity. Despite this little is known about how police interaction with citizens in noncriminal and nonemergency situations impacts public perception of law enforcement. The aim of this phenomenological study was to explore the thoughts and perceptions of individuals who experienced a noncriminal police-citizen interaction as a result of receiving nonemergency assistance from the police. The conceptual framework for this study drew upon expectancy theory as well as confirmation bias and negativity bias/asymmetry theories applied to a constructivist model. The research question for this study examined how police are perceived by individuals living in a multicultural area of Los Angeles County who experienced a noncriminal police-citizen interaction as a result of receiving nonemergency assistance from the police. Data gathered during six telephonic interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and member checked for accuracy and were analyzed using Colaizzi’s 7-step method of phenomenological analysis to pinpoint repeating patterns and themes relevant to their experience. Findings suggested that parental influence, environment, media, life experiences and age contributed toward bias development. Knowledge from this study can help achieve positive social change by enhancing law enforcement’s understanding of the public perception of citizen-police interactions, which could mitigate incidents involving force.
Griego, Raymond, "Social Influences on Citizens' Attitudes Toward the Police in a Public Assistance Role" (2021). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 10496.