Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Clarence Williamson


Community policing is an initiative that requires public cooperation and participation to be successful. Little is known, however, about police and citizens' perceptions of community policing and its impact on Richmond, Virginia neighborhoods. Using policy feedback theory as a lens, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore and gain a better understanding of RPD's and Richmond citizens' perceptions of community-oriented policing strategies in Richmond neighborhoods. Research questions focused on how officers and citizens perceive the impact of community policing strategies and the specific strategies they viewed as most successful in building public trust. Data were collected from a purposeful sample of 7 police officers and 4 residents who participated in unstructured telephone interviews. Data were inductively coded and subjected to thematic analysis. Key findings revealed that both police and citizen participants believe community policing strategies have increased visibility of police and improved community trust and public support associated with crime, safety, transparency, and accountability between officers and citizens. Findings further revealed that participants believe that community policing has achieved the goal of removing barriers to community collaboration with law enforcement. Finally, officers in this study proposed the development of an additional unit focusing on government-funded housing areas in the City of Richmond with high crime rates. The results of this study contribute to positive social change by offering practical strategies and policy suggestions for stakeholders in Richmond who want to foster collaborative relationships between police officers and community members.