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Wyoming, Department of Criminal Justice

Police Quarterly
13(4) 347–366
© 2010 SAGE Publications
Reprints and permission: http://www.
DOI: 10.1177/1098611110384083
384083 PQX13410.1177/109
8611110384083LeePolice Quarterly
© 2010 SAGE Publications
Reprints and permission: http://www.
University of Wyoming
Corresponding Author:
Jason Vaughn Lee, University of Wyoming, Department of Criminal Justice, Dept. 3197, 1000 East
University Avenue, Laramie, WY 82071.
E-mail: [email protected]
Policing After 9/11:
Community Policing in an
Age of Homeland Security
Jason Vaughn Lee1
This article examines the relevance of community oriented policing (COP) in an age
of increased prioritization of homeland security planning among U.S. police departments. The current study utilizes 2003 multi-wave survey data drawn from a random
sample of 281 municipal police departments serving populations of 25,000+ in 47
states. Ordered logistic regression revealed police departments that give higher prioritization to homeland security planning (e.g. hazard mitigation) are associated with
less officers devoted solely to community policing and smaller or static departmental
budgets. Homeland security planning was also positively associated with community
policing programs and activities. Research and policy implications are discussed.
community policing, homeland security, police, police organization.
Throughout the 1990s, community policing was often trumpeted as a panacea for police
departments that had lost legitimacy among the communities they served. Prior to community policing, police departments were often criticized as being overly concerned
with criminal law enforcement at the expense of local community needs. Community
policing sought to change that through its broadened focus on such activities as crime
prevention, public outreach, building collaborative partnerships, and providing a broad
range of services in addition to crime control. By the end of the decade, police departments nationwide reported overall increases in both community policing implantation and in the numbers of officers assigned solely to COP activities (Maguire, 2002;
Trojanowicz & Bucqueroux, 1998).
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348 Police Quarterly 13(4)
A major reason for the intense popularity of community policing was the vigorous
support it received from the federal government (He, Zhao, & Lovrich, 2005). Under the
Clinton Administration, community policing became the federal government’s primary
law enforcement priority. In 1994, under the aegis of the Crime Control Act, the Office of
Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) was created to advance community policing nationwide. Through such initiatives as the hiring of an additional 100,000 community
police officers and several grants to local law enforcement agencies to implement specific
community-oriented policing (COP) programs, community policing was the recipient
of a nearly unprecedented level of financial support from the federal government.
As the United States entered the 21st century, federal support of community policing
appeared to evaporate. Anecdotal reports suggest that recent historical events, such as the
9/11 terrorist attacks, and a presidential administration skeptical of community policing
prompted the federal government to shift its funding priorities away from community
policing toward homeland security (Wells, 2003). These developments lead one to wonder
whether police departments will abandon community policing and simply revert back to
their old traditional ways of conducting police work. If community policing is as transformative as many of its advocates claim, then it should be utilized with the new federal
goal of homeland security. This begs an important empirical question: In the aftermath
of 9/11, did U.S. police departments utilize community policing when performing their
new homeland security mission? If so, what are the internal and external predictors that
affect homeland security planning and prioritization among U.S. police departments?
The current study is a preliminary investigation into the effects of homeland security
on U.S. law enforcement. The analysis uses 2003 multiwave survey data drawn from
a random sample of 281 municipal police departments in 47 states. Survey data such
as these are particularly useful for understanding just how widespread the effects of
homeland security are upon municipal police departments nationwide. Most significant,
it allows for quantitative analysis. A major discrepancy in the literature is the relative
lack of true quantitative research on this subject, as the majority of work done is either
in the form of qualitative research (Marks & Sun, 2007; Ortiz, Hendricks, & Sugie, 2007)
or case studies (Raymond, Hickman, Miller, & Wong, 2005; Thatcher, 2005). In order
to best understand the context of the homeland security mission upon local law
enforcement, it would be instructive to consider the historical role of organizational
goals on traditional law enforcement functions.
Theoretical Framework
Organizational Goals and Municipal Police Departments
As Herbert Simon (1997) observed, “Administration is often referred to as the art of
‘getting things done’” (p. 1). A key aspect of “getting things done” is the achievement
of organizational goals. Public administration scholars have long noted that organizations
are created with one singular purpose—the achievement of goals (Lawrence & Lorsch,
1969; Parsons, 1956; Selznick, 1948; Simon, 1964, 1997; Thompson, 1967; Zhao, He,
& Lovrich, 2003). Organizations are typically defined as being nothing more than the
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Lee 349
arrangement of employees for accomplishing an agreed upon goal. Thompson contends
that goals serve to justify the existence of an organization and structure the work of line
level employees. The goals of an organization are typically shaped by a series of core
functions and constraints. Simon (1997) argued that organizational goals consist of
“courses of action that satisfy a whole set of constraints” (p. 163). Organizations then
perform a number of actions, or functions, in support of their goals.
Police agencies have historically had three core functions—crime control, order
maintenance, and service provision (Kelling & Moore, 1988; Trojanowicz & Bucqueroux,
1990; Walker, 1977; Wilson, 1968). The pioneering work of James Q. Wilson provided
the first empirical test of police functions. In his study of eight municipalities, Wilson
found that police work can be grouped into three general functions: crime control, order
maintenance, and service provision. Scholars have recently found that police reforms
are really nothing more than reorganizations of these core functions (Kelling & Moore,
1988; Trojanowicz & Buqueroux, 1990; Zhao et al., 2003).
Legalistic Models of Policing
Legalistic models of policing would include the traditional or professional model of
policing that has long dominated law enforcement in the United States. The traditional
model of policing was an attempt to reform what was seen as an increasingly corrupt
and lawless police force (Fogelson, 1977; Walker, 1977). Reformers such as August
Vollmer and O. W. Wilson sought to strip U.S. police agencies of all vestiges of social
service provision. In its stead was an (over)reliance on crime control through law enforcement as the sole function of the police. Police received their authorization not from the
communities they served or from local political leaders but instead from the criminal
law. The police professionalism movement, as it came to be known, was marked by an
increasing use of technology (i.e., patrol cars, the telephone), a concerted attempt to
distance police from local communities and a strict paramilitary organization based on
classical principles of organization (such as hierarchy and strict lines of authority).
Although these reforms (arguably) did much to reign in police corruption they also had
the unintended effect of distancing police from citizens. The professional model was ill
equipped to handle the social and political tinderbox that was the 1960s. Cities across the
United States exploded as a wave of social upheaval, fueled by the civil rights and antiwar
movements, spread across the country. The traditional model of policing soon found itself
at loggerheads with the very people they were sworn to protect. Goldstein (1977) argued
that the professional model of policing was at odds with the core democratic values of
American society. These events coupled with the findings of the 1967 Presidents Commission on Law Enforcement (McIntyre, 1967) found many police departments eager to improve
police–citizen relationships and bolstering their legitimacy in the eyes of the public.
The Community-Oriented Model
Steadily rising crime rates and a dawning realization that the professional model was
not working led to the most recent attempt to reform the police: community policing
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350 Police Quarterly 13(4)
(Trojanowicz & Bucqueroux, 1990). Community policing ultimately emerged in the
1970s as scholars, police chiefs, and the general public took a more critical look at what
the proper goals of the police should be (Zhao, Lovrich, & Thurman, 1999). Community
policing advocates argued that what was needed was a reprioritization of police functions
in which police address the “root causes” of crime, such as social disorder and inequality,
rather than merely react to solitary criminal incidents (Capowich & Roehl, 1994; Eck
& Rosenbaum, 1994; Eck & Spelman, 1987; Goldstein, 1990). Similarly, Wilson and
Kelling (1982) argued that order maintenance rather than crime control should be the
primary function of the police. Social disorder it was argued sows the seeds of crime
and produces a climate favorable to its development in blighted urban neighborhoods,
a claim with some empirical evidence to support it (Kelling and Coles, 1997; Skogan,
1990, 2006). This has led to a standard criticism of community policing—it ignores
crime control in favor of crime prevention and order maintenance. More nuanced advocates of community policing contend that is not the case—rather it is a broadening of the
police function in which order maintenance is just as important as crime control.
Police departments under the professional model were not only charged with being
isolated from the general public but also from other government agencies that seek to
solve “wicked” problems such as crime and disorder. Community policing sought to
remedy that through the idea of partnership building. Ross, Roehl, and Johnson found
community policing partnerships fall into two broad categories: problem solving partnerships and community partnerships. Problem-solving partnerships are formed between
the police organization and other service providers and allow the police to work together
with others to “identify, analyze, and solve problems, often using collective resources”
(Ross et al., 2004, p. 9). By contrast, community partnerships are formed between police
and neighborhood residents, community groups, and local businesses. This type of
partnership involves information sharing, coordination, and collaboration. COP, therefore,
tends to focus on crime prevention, citizen engagement, and problem solving as opposed
to the largely reactive approach of arresting individual perpetrators (Ortiz et al., 2007).
A department with a strong community policing orientation would then be less likely
to favor a strict crime-control approach and would place an equal premium on service
provision and order maintenance. The ultimate goal of this approach is that by emphasizing proactive citizen engagement and addressing community concerns police departments
would be more effective and viewed as more legitimate in the eyes of the public (Sherman
& Eck, 2002; Skogan, 2006; Skogan & Hartnett, 1997). The increasing popularity, and
consistent federal funding, of COP during the 1990s appeared to represent a threat to
the traditional police department with police agencies nationwide reporting increases in
both general community policing implementation and in the number of officers assigned
to community policing functions (Maguire, 2002; Trojanowicz & Bucqueroux, 1998).
The Rise of Homeland Security—Toward a New Paradigm?
During the 1990s community policing was the darling of the federal government, receiving much federal funding and often touted as being the solution to combating a growing
disconnect between police departments and the communities they serve. As the United
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Lee 351
States entered the 21st century, community policing found itself no longer in favor with
the federal government. As noted at the beginning of this study, recent historical developments such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks and overseas military engagements have led
to a shift in federal funding priority—away from community policing and toward homeland security (Wells, 2003). De Guzman observed that these events have led to a “fortification” of America that is incompatible with the tenets of community policing. He
argues that policing became more visible and (arguably) more aggressive in the immediate
aftermath of the terrorist attacks. This has led some scholars to argue that policing has
undergone a fundamental paradigm shift away from COP toward homeland security
policing (de Guzman, 2002; Oliver, 2006; Pastor, 2005).
A review of the literature suggests that homeland security policing eschews public
satisfaction and a broad service function in favor of crime control and security. A recent
case study of the Long Beach, California, police department conducted by the RAND
corporation found that post-9/11 the department became more focused on tactical concerns
such as patrol and counter terrorism while abandoning their community policing activities
such as foot patrol, DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), and their community
relations division (Raymond, Hickman, Miller, & Wong, 2005). Maguire and King (2004)
find that police departments are now tasked with such activities as counterterrorism,
intelligence gathering, and hazard mitigation. They argue that U.S. police agencies:
are developing new areas of investigative expertise, cooperating much more with
federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, working more closely with
the military, increasing their levels of surveillance over their communities, [and]
paying more attention to the safety and security of critical infrastructure. (p. 21)
Brandhl (2003) sees these new functions as supplanting community policing. In his
assessment, police will find themselves increasingly reliant and beholden to using new
technology for homeland security purposes and that the lines between the military and
law enforcement will become increasingly blurred. Similarly, Pastor (2005) argues that
a shift toward homeland security will focus primarily on “tactical methods, technology,
and alternative service providers, such as security personnel” and that it “will replace
community policing” (p. 4). Oliver (2006), though more cautious in his assessment than
Pastor and Brandhl, contends that policing in the United States has entered a fourth
era—the era of homeland security policing. He argues that police agencies will shift their
focus from service provision and order maintenance (as under community policing) toward
crime-control and intelligence-gathering capabilities depending on local levels of risk.
In a case study involving the police department of Dearborn, Michigan, Thatcher
(2005) argued that homeland security can be broken down into two categories: offender
search and community protection. Offender search refers to a focus on crime control
and intelligence gathering. Thatcher (2005) found that this is the approach favored by
the federal government. He contends that this would only serve to alienate and antagonize
local communities (particularly ones with large Arab American concentrations, such as
Dearborn). This approach would also lend itself quite easily to accusations of ethnic
profiling. Instead, Thatcher believes a more suitable approach is that favored by the
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352 Police Quarterly 13(4)
Dearborn police department—community protection. Community protection is a community policing approach toward homeland security with an emphasis on disaster prevention and target hardening. Numerous scholars echo Thatcher’s argument and contend that
community policing still has much to offer in this era of homeland security due to its
emphasis on fostering positive relationships between law enforcement and local communities (Clarke & Newman, 2007; Lehrer, 2002; Lyons, 2002; Murray, 2005).
At present, little empirical research has looked at this possible paradigm change in
a systematic way. One of the more comprehensive studies to date was conducted by
Ortiz et al. (2007). Ortiz et al. examined 38 police departments in cities with large Arab
American concentrations. They found that police departments implemented homeland
security to varying degrees with few establishing formal counterterrorism units and
none establishing new intelligence gathering operations. Departments not only reported
increased interagency cooperation with the federal government, particularly the FBI, but
also reported that this communication was predominantly one way—nearly two third of
the sample felt that the federal government withheld information and that the local-federal
working relationship could be vastly improved. In terms of community policing functions, departments utilized COP more as a tool for intelligence gathering and community
surveillance. The researchers concluded that the majority of police departments studied
simply reverted to their traditional ways of conducting business.
A recent content analysis by Marks and Sun (2007) provides a possible answer to why
some departments implement homeland security and others do not. Although they found
increased interaction between law enforcement agencies, they also found a lack of any
true organizational change on the part of local law enforcement. According to Marks and
Sun the reason lies in funding incentives. They found that only departments that received
adequate financial support were able to change their organizational structure in any meaningful way. The majority of police departments simply did not have the financial incentive
to change their methods of policing to a homeland security model and were unable to
make any significant changes. This echoes He, Zhao, and Lovrich’s (2005) finding that
whether or not a department received federal funding for community policing was a
significant predictor of successful community policing implementation.
The literature suggests homeland security appears to represent a potential threat to
community-oriented models of policing. Critics of homeland security argue that it
focuses too narrowly on crime control and neglects community concerns (such as order
maintenance and service provision). To date, little empirical research has been conducted
on this possible paradigm shift from community to homeland security policing. The
majority of research that has been conducted has either been in the form of qualitative
work (Marks & Sun, 2007; Ortiz et al., 2007) or case studies (Raymond, Hickman,
Miller, & Wong, 2005; Thatcher, 2005). The quantitative research that has been done
has focused solely on the attitudinal characteristics of police chiefs in one U.S. state
(Chappell & Gibson, 2009). The present study is an attempt to remedy that discrepancy
in the literature. It seeks to provide a better understanding of the relationship between
homeland security and community policing. Unlike previous studies it attempts to do
so through quantitative analysis of a national sample of police agencies. The current
research seeks to answer two questions: (1) What are the primary police functions
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Lee 353
associated with homeland security? and (2) Does an increase in homeland security
priorities lead to a corresponding decrease in community policing?
The data used in the current analysis are derived from a longitudinal study of 281 municipal
police departments conducted by Washington State University’s Division of Governmental
Studies and Services (DGSS). DGSS has conducted the mail surveys every 3 years since
1978. The cities in the sample are drawn from a nationwide survey of municipalities
with a population of 25,000 or higher initially conducted by the International City Management Association in 1969. This study utilizes data from the 2003 survey. Nearly 60%
of the sample came from Western and Mid-Western states. Only 18% of the sample came
from Northeastern states, whereas the remaining 22% of the sample was comprised of
Southern states. It has been suggested in prior studies that community policing enjoys
greater success in Western states compared to their Eastern counterparts. If community
policing is to work well with homeland security, it should be reflected in this sample. The
vast majority of departments have (76%) have less than 500 full-time sworn officers. Of
the original 281 municipalities, a total of 208 police departments (74%) completed and
returned the mail questionnaire. Additional data were obtained from the 2000 census.
Measurement and Variables of Interest
The dependent variable included in the analysis reflects the extent of homeland security
implementation present among municipal police departments. As the literature suggests,
police departments tend to implement homeland security to varying degrees (Ortiz et al.,
2007). In the 2003 survey, police departments were asked what level of priority they
gave to homeland security planning (e.g. hazard mitigation).1
This variable was measured
on a 4-point scale ranging from 1 = very low priority to 4 = high priority. This allows
the current study to examine the relationship between homeland security planning and
community policing based on changing levels of priority.
A total of five independent variables were used to test the effect of traditional police
functions and community policing on homeland security implementation. The first three
variables of interest are composite measures that represent the core functions of policing
identified by Wilson (1968): crime control, order maintenance, and service provision.
All three variables were measured on a 4-point scale ranging from 1 = very low priority
to 4 = high priority. Crime control (α = .703) reflects the level of priority assigned to
stranger assault, rape, robbery, and burglary. Order maintenance (α = .742) examines
the prioritization given to neighborhood and family problems, open-air drug dealing,
property damage, vandalism, public drunkenness, stray animals, and vagrancy. Service
orientation (α = .749) measures the priority assigned to such activities responding to
power outages, fires, or downed trees, providing emergency services in cases of accidents
or illness, and searching for lost persons or property. As Pastor (2005) and Oliver (2006)
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354 Police Quarterly 13(4)
suggest, police departments that place a high priority toward homeland security tend to
focus more on crime control rather than functions such as service provision and order
maintenance. That proposition leads to the following two hypotheses:
Hypothesis 1: Crime control priority will be positively associated with homeland
security planning.
Hypothesis 2: Service provision and order maintenance priorities will have no
effect on homeland security planning.
The second set of independent variables examine the extent of community policing
program implementation. Community policing is not only a set of identifiable programs
and activities but is also an overriding philosophy that should inform how police agencies conduct their day-to-day business. The following measures serve as indicators of
the presence of COP programs in the departments of interest. The fourth variable of
interest is a composite measure that measures the extent that police departments have
adopted community policing programs and activities.2
In the 2003 survey, police chiefs
were asked to identify which community policing elements they have implemented out
of 20 specific community policing programs. If homeland security leads departments
to cut their community policing programs, then it is reasonable to expect that lower
levels of community policing implementation should be associated with an increased
prioritization in homeland security planning. The third hypothesis is
Hypothesis 3: Community policing programs will be negatively associated with
a department’s prioritization of homeland security planning.
The final variable of interest is the percent of officers devoted solely to COP. The
literature suggests that police departments are shifting their priorities away from COP
toward homeland security. If that is the case, then officers previously assigned to COP
would find themselves tasked with new homeland security–oriented duties. Police
departments that give greater import to homeland security would then be less likely to
have high numbers of officers devoted solely to community policing activities. The
fourth hypothesis is
Hypothesis 4: Police departments that have fewer officers devoted solely to
community policing are more likely to assign high priority toward homeland
security planning activities.
The first control variable is city size as reported by the 2000 Census. City size has long
been associated with variation in policing functions (Crank & Wells, 1991; Flanagan,
1985; Meagher, 1985; Weisheit, Wells, & Falcone, 1994). A similar effect should be present in homeland security prioritization. For example, larger cities would be more likely
to face the threat of terrorist attack than would a smaller or moderate-size city. Police
departments in more populous urban centers would then be more likely than their smaller
counterparts to place a greater premium on homeland security. The fifth hypothesis is
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Lee 355
Hypothesis 5: Cities with larger populations will give greater priority to homeland security.
The final control variable measures whether a department has seen a recent decrease
in their budget. The 2003 survey asked police departments about the state of their budgets
in the last 3 years. This variable is dummy coded and reflects whether a police department’s budget has decreased or not in the past three years (1 = Yes and 0 = No). Prior
research has shown that funding is one of the more consistent predictors of programmatic
implementation (He et al., 2005; Wilson, 2006; Worrall & Zhao, 2003). These findings,
coupled with the previously mentioned content analysis by Marks and Sun (2007), suggest that departments that have seen recent increases in their budgets are better equipped
to implement homeland security as part of their mission. The sixth hypothesis is
Hypothesis 6: Police departments that have received a recent increase in their
budget are more likely to assign a high priority toward homeland security.
Descriptive statistics for all variables included in the analysis can be found in Table 1.
Analytical Strategy
The present study seeks to understand the effects of the increased prioritization of homeland security in U.S. police departments. Likelihood ratio (chi-square) tests were performed to test both overall model goodness of fit and whether the effects of the independent
variables were zero (Long, 1997). A Brant test was also conducted to determine whether
the model violated the parallel-lines assumption. Likelihood and Brant tests indicated
that the parallel lines assumption had not been violated. Results of these tests can be
found at the bottom of Table 2. Once these basic relationships were determined, ordered
logistic regression was used to model homeland security prioritization among municipal
police departments.
Table 1. Descriptive Statistics
Departmental Prioritization to
Homeland security planning
3.33 0.784 0.055 205
Crime control 14.69 1.51 0.11 199
Order maintenance 21.37 3.47 0.25 199
Service provision 7.5 2.05 0.14 200
Community police index 14.54 3.31 .24 191
Percent of COP (communityoriented policing) officers
13.62 25.21 1.86 184
Municipal population (z score) 0.0 1.00 0.07 193
Budgetary increase 0.37 0.49 0.03 207
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Table 2. Ordered Logistic Regression Model Predicting the Prioritization of Homeland Security Planning Among Municipal Police Departments
Variables β Exp (B) SE P > z
Percent change in odds
for one unit increase in X
Crime control 0.16 1.17 0.12 0.178 17.6 %
Order maintenance 0.17** 1.19 0.06 0.008 18.9%
Service provision 0.16 1.17 0.10 0.135 17%
Community police index 0.13* 1.14 0.05 0.017 13.6%
Percent of COP (communityoriented policing) officers
−0.02* 0.98 0.01 0.019
Budgetary decrease (1
= Yes)
−1.07** 0.34 0.36 0.003
Municipal population (z score)
−0.06 0.94 0.17 0.714
/cut1 4.54/1.95
/cut2 6.22/1.94
/cut3 8.38/2.01
Goodness of fit chi-square (df
= 7) 39.58, p = 0.0000
Pseudo R2 (McFadden/Cox and Snell) 0.13/0.23
Brant test 8.23, p = 0.877
Likelihood ratio test (df
= 14) 9.33, p = 0.8093
Note: Number of municipal police departments whose data are presented in the table, n = 147.
*p < .05. **p < .01.
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Lee 357
When presented with a nominal or ordinal dependent variable, social scientists often
find themselves presented with the problem of choosing the proper analytic technique.
Two common approaches used are simply dummy coding the variable and running a
binary logistic regression or treating the dependent variable as interval and conducting
an ordinary least squares analysis. In terms of the present analysis, neither of these
approaches suffices. Both of these approaches make the tacit assumption that the intervals
between the categories are equal. Also, the work of McKelvey and Zavoina (1975) and
Winship and Mare (1984) provide numerous examples where regression of an ordinal or
nominal outcome provides misleading results. Ordinal logistic regression was the preferred
analytic technique because it explicitly takes into account the ordered nature of the dependent variable and would, therefore, take advantage of all information available in the
outcome (Hosmer & Lemeshow, 2000; Long, 1997). For these reasons, it was determined
that it was more appropriate to apply a regression technique specific to ordinal dependent
variables. This analysis, therefore, utilized ordered logistic regression.
The current study seeks to gain a clearer understanding of the relationship between community policing and homeland security. As discussed earlier, due to the nature of the
dependent variable, it was determined that an ordered logistic regression would be the
most appropriate form of analysis. Results can be found in Table 2. As noted earlier and
at the bottom of the table, likelihood ratio goodness-of-fit test statistics and pseudo R2
indicated that the model fits better than a native or constants-only model.
The ordered logistic regression resulted in a total subpopulation of 147 police agencies. As Table 2 indicates, there were a number of surprising results in the analysis.
The most surprising result was that the regression revealed little support for the view
that community policing and homeland security are fundamentally incompatible. As was
suspected, the percent of COP officers in a police department was negatively associated
with homeland security planning (Hypothesis 4). However, the index of community
policing programs was found to be statistically significant (p < .05) and moved in a
positive rather than negative direction. The results then failed to support the fourth
hypothesis that community policing programs will be negatively associated with homeland security planning. Increases in community policing programs were associated with
increases in the odds of increased homeland security planning (OR = 1.14, p = .017).
The percent change in odds of homeland security prioritization for every one-unit increase
in community policing programs was 13.6%. This suggests that community policing
programs and activities are not fundamentally at loggerheads with homeland security
planning. However, future studies will need to refine this further and look at a much
wider array of homeland security activities than just planning activities such as hazard
mitigation (e.g., guarding critical areas).
The results also failed to support the view that homeland security planning would be
associated with a crime-control orientation (Hypothesis 1). Indeed, only one of Wilson’s
(1968) variables (order maintenance, service provision, or crime control) achieved any
conventional level of statistical significance—order maintenance did achieve statistical
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358 Police Quarterly 13(4)
significance at the p < .01 level. For every one-unit increase in order maintenance
(OR = .17, p = .008), there was an 18.9% increase in the odds of homeland security planning and prioritization. These results were initially quite surprising; however, after further
reflection there could be two equally plausible explanations for these results: (1) It could
be because of the three goal orientations—order maintenance is the goal most associated
with COP that was found to enjoy a statistically significant relationship with homeland
security orientation. (2) It could simply be that these variables are just not particularly
effective measures of police goals. They could just be measuring what a police agency
determines is the politically expedient thing to say rather than a true measurement of what
they are actually doing. For example, many police departments would admit to giving a
high priority toward violent crimes. A police department that admitted to not placing a
high premium on issues of interpersonal violence would more likely than not be facing
a significant public outcry. The same can be said for the service provision and order
maintenance variables—even if a department isn’t overly concerned with neighborhood
problems of public order the department’s chief representative might be inclined to
admit they are. Future studies should use more effective measures to tap into these goals
(such as the inclusion of actual activities for indicators).
The analysis also revealed that environmental factors, such as budgetary decreases,
are directly related to a department’s willingness to engage in homeland security planning (Hypothesis 6). Of all the variables included in the analysis, the budgetary decrease
variable enjoyed the strongest relationship (OR = .34, p = .003) with the dependent
variable. Indeed, for every one-unit increase there was a corresponding 65.8% decrease
in the odds of homeland security planning and prioritization among the police departments studied. If a police agencies budget has decreased or remained the same, the
analysis suggests that departments will tend to place less priority on engaging in homeland
security planning. This finding strongly suggests that it is funding above all else that
determines whether or not a police agency will include homeland security as part of its
ongoing public safety mission.
Discussion and Conclusions
A common critique against homeland security is that it focuses too narrowly on criminal
law enforcement. Critics argue that the influence of homeland security represents nothing more than a 21st century repackaging of the professional model of policing advocated
long ago by August Vollmer and O. W. Wilson. The present analysis found evidence to
dispute those claims.
Homeland security can effectively fit within COP. Indeed, Chappell and Gibson (2009)
found that Virginia police chiefs who utilized community policing approaches in their
departments were less likely to see its influence waning in the wake of homeland security
and instead saw the two missions as complementary to one another. Although many critics
focus solely on the terrorism prevention aspects of homeland security, it can also include
such activities as antifear campaigns, disaster prevention through Community Emergency
Response Teams, and hazard mitigation. These duties would best be served by a community policing approach with its focus on collaborative problem solving rather than the
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more legalistic professional model. There does appear to be a strong relationship between
the lack of community policing officers and homeland security planning. However, the
results from the present analysis suggest that police agencies are still utilizing community
policing programs and activities with the emerging field of homeland security.
The most significant predictors of homeland security prioritization could very well
be those external to the organization. Numerous scholars have noted that external factors,
such as funding incentives or community characteristics, are perhaps more influential
in explaining police agency organizational change (Crank, 2003; Crank & Langworthy,
1992; Wilson, 2006; Zhao, Lovrich, & Robinson, 2001). The present study appears to
confirm this view to an extent. Whereas municipal population does not appear to have
much power, budgetary increases do. This would be consistent with findings in the community policing literature that suggest that funding increases were highly significant
predictors of program implementation (He et al., 2005; Wilson, 2006; Worrall & Zhao,
2003). Findings such as this suggest that police agencies may simply implement change
only because they receive the financial incentive to do so.
Research Implications
Community policing was heralded throughout the 1990s as a curative tonic to the ills
of the traditional style of policing. The traditional model was criticized as being overly
concerned with criminal law enforcement, rapid response times, and the latest crimefighting technology at the expense of maintaining relationships with local communities.
Community policing sought to change that through its focus on providing a broad
spectrum of services and viewing citizens less as potential adversaries or future victims
but as partners while still maintaining a strong crime-control mission.
However, some fear that the promise of community policing is undergoing a crisis
with the recent emergence of homeland security. This study began by asking the question: Did U.S. police departments utilize community policing in fulfilling their homeland
security mission in the aftermath of 9/11? The answer would appear to be a qualified
“yes.” Future research needs to take a more detailed look at this issue. The data set
utilized in this study was created to examine changes in American styles of policing,
in particular the influence of COP on U.S. police agencies. More data need to be gathered
on specific homeland security activities and programs. In particular, do police agencies
engage in a more legalistic or enforcement oriented approach (e.g., tracking terrorist
cells, guarding critical areas) or do they take a more community-oriented approach
(e.g., engaging in public antifear campaigns, sponsoring Community Emergency
Response Teams)? A more detailed list of homeland security programs similar to the
community police index utilized in the current study would be a highly useful addition
to future research studies.
Future research should also develop more specific indicators of police department
goals. Although the current research did not find evidence of a crime-control orientation being associated with homeland security, this could be more due to the quality
of the variables included in the analysis. It would be valuable to determine in a more
conclusive manner whether legalistic and enforcement-oriented approaches to policing
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360 Police Quarterly 13(4)
are associated with homeland security or whether the results from this study can be
A legalistic style of policing, with its overreliance on crime control, could bring
forward some troubling implications. Under a traditional model of policing, citizens are
seen less as partners but more as potential threats that need to be controlled (Chevingy,
1995; Skolnick, 1968). Local citizens could become seen as little more than a useful tool
or resource to be used at the agencies discretion. Community residents face the distinct
possibility of being reduced to being little more than the “eyes and ears” of the local police
force, rather than being seen as active partners in securing their communities safety. As
a result, the gains made by community policing in increased public satisfaction with police
services and police legitimacy may be eroded.
A more aggressive approach to homeland security could also make police departments
more susceptible to accusations of racial and ethnic profiling. As Thatcher (2005) noted
in his case study of the Dearborn, Michigan, police department, the more enforcementoriented tactics favored by the federal government led many Arab-American citizens
to feel that they were being unfairly targeted as potential terror suspects. In Dearborn’s
case, a community protection model that emphasized citizen input proved to be a far
more salient and effective method of accomplishing the department’s homeland security
goals. The department in Thatcher’s study recognized that true homeland security encompasses both natural and man-made disasters. Homeland security encompasses both
preparedness and enforcement. A focus on homeland security that places the emphasis
primarily on crime control runs the risk of neglecting other vital aspects of this new mission as well as alienating local communities. The current studies results then are tentatively
encouraging for those who hope to continue the promise of COP.
Indeed, one of the more troubling aspects of a legalistic approach to homeland security
is the potential for increased militarization on the part of U.S. police departments. Kraska
(2001) defines militarization as the application of military technology and tactics to
traditional law enforcement. Kraska argued that the United States is afflicted by a
“National Security Syndrome” that transforms areas that were once primarily the province
of criminal law enforcement (i.e., drugs, illegal immigration) into national security
threats. In a prescient aside, he notes that this trend is likely to continue unabated as the
specter of terrorism increases. The ultimate result becomes a willingness on the part
of the general public and policy makers to favor a more militaristic approach to law
enforcement. There is some empirical evidence for this trend. In a study of police agencies serving populations between 25,000 and 50,000 citizens, Kraska and Cubellis (1997)
found a rapid increase in the number of Police Paramilitary Units (PPUs) between 1985
and 1995 (the authors reported an increase of 157%). The authors found that ever-increasing
numbers of smaller localities are creating PPUs to combat such threats as acts of terrorism, hostage taking, and high-risk searches and arrests, threats that smaller towns would
rarely, if ever, face. The current study only hinted at militaristic tendencies. Variables
such as the increase of PPUs over time and, more importantly, how they are used were
not part of this analysis. Future research should examine this trend in greater detail and
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Lee 361
seek to understand whether it has indeed accelerated in recent years in concert with the
development of homeland security policing.
Since one of the more powerful indicators was the budgetary increase variable, future
studies need to compile data on the extent of funding among local police agencies. One of
the problems encountered in the current study was the difficulty in finding how homeland
security grant money was allocated to local agencies. The majority of funding for homeland
security came in the form of statewide block grants in which the money was then allocated
by the state to various agencies. Unfortunately, it became well beyond the scope of the
current study to disentangle all the strands of homeland security grant disbursements to
various agencies. Future research should try and investigate this issue further with the
purpose of putting together a data set of homeland security funding to local agencies.
Although this study is an important first step in understanding the burgeoning relationship between homeland security and community policing at the national level, it is
still just that—a first step. The current study is cross-sectional in nature and only examines one point in time—the 2-year period immediately after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Future longitudinal studies need to be conducted to see whether these results are consistent across time, particularly with the recent increase in funding for COPS in the
recent economic stimulus package. Research in homeland security also needs to move
beyond case studies of solitary departments. Although much can be learned by focusing
upon a single agency, there is a definite lack of generalizibility inherent in the case
study method. The chief advantage of the case study approach is that it does provide
richness to the data that are sorely lacking in a nationwide survey. Future research in
this area would greatly benefit from utilizing a mixed-methods approach that combines
quantitative and qualitative analysis.
In conclusion, the current study found that in the 2-year period after the 9/11 terrorist
attacks U.S. police agencies were still utilizing COP with their new homeland security
mission. Not only was there a strong association between the lack of community police
officers and homeland security planning, there was an equally strong relationship
between community policing programs and activities with homeland security. This does
suggest that even though police agencies were not funding COP specifically, they were
still practicing many of their principles. It would also appear that those factors external
to the organization tend to be just as or more important than internal ones. True internal
change, in this case homeland security implementation, is possible only in departments
that have the financial resources available to carry out this new mission.
The concept of homeland security has been around less than a decade. True organizational change takes time, and in the case of police agencies it can be something akin
to “bending granite” (Guyot, 1991). It took community policing nearly two decades
before it became recognized as the dominant model of policing. Even then there are
disputes in the literature about whether community policing can ever be truly evaluated
(Bayley, 1994) or whether it’s nothing more than empty rhetoric. At this point in time,
it is still too early to tell whether homeland security is truly here to stay or whether it’s
nothing more than a passing fancy.
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362 Police Quarterly 13(4)
Appendix A
Original Survey Item of COP Programs and Activities from 2003
National Survey of Municipal Police Departments
COP can be viewed as a set of innovative police practices aimed at channeling
some police activities toward crime prevention and community outreach. Please
indicate whether your department is using any of the following COP practices.
Q-9 For each of the following (A through U) please indicate by checking YES or NO if you
have made use of this practice in the past three years (2000-2003).
A) Departmental sponsorship of community crime ¨ ¨
prevention newsletter
B) Maintained officers on foot, bicycle or horse patrol ¨ ¨
C) Use of storefronts for crime prevention ¨ ¨
D) Use of task force units for solving special problems in a targeted area ¨ ¨
E) Victim contact program (follow-up to victimization) ¨ ¨
F) Crime prevention education of the general public ¨ ¨
G) Fixed assignment of officers to neighborhoods and/or ¨ ¨
schools for extended periods
H) Permanent reassignment of some sworn personnel from ¨ ¨
traditional patrol to crime prevention
I) Taking some officers off of 911 response ¨ ¨
J) Use of citizen survey to keep informed about local problems ¨ ¨
K) Neighborhood watch or block watch ¨ ¨
L) Business watch ¨ ¨
M) Neighborhood meetings between agency staff and ¨ ¨
community participants
N) Increased hiring of civilians for non-law enforcement tasks ¨ ¨
O) Community Service Officers (uniformed citizens ¨ ¨
who perform support and community liaison activities)
P) Unpaid civilian volunteers who perform support and ¨ ¨
community liaison activities
Q) Reassigning some management positions from sworn ¨ ¨
to civilian personnel
R) Adding the position of “Master Police Officer” ¨ ¨
to increase rewards for line officers
S) Quality circles (problem-solving among small groups ¨ ¨
of line personnel)
T) Citizens Academy ¨ ¨
U) School Resource Officers ¨ ¨
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Lee 363
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or
publication of this article.
The author(s) received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this
1. A composite variable measuring a larger number of homeland security activities and programs
would be preferable for analytical purposes. However, the 2003 National Police Chief Survey
does not have any more measures of homeland security activities. LEMAS (Law Enforcement
Management and Administrative Statistics) data from the same time period did have a wider
selection of homeland security indicators. However, merging the two samples resulted in a
relatively low number of observations (n = 96). Ordinary least squares analysis conducted with
this merged sample resulted in an abysmally low R2
of .05. Therefore, it was decided to continue analysis with the current dependent variable.
2. For a complete list of programs see Appendix A.
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Jason Vaughn Lee is currently an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of
Wyoming. His research interests include procedural justice, citizen satisfaction with law enforcement, community policing, and police management strategies.
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