THE ANALYSIS OF THE VARIATION IN PATROL OFFICER FELONY ARREST RATES (POLICE, NEW YORK CITY, SUBCULTURE)

WILLIAM FRANCIS WALSH, Fordham University

Abstract

This study examined the variation in patrol officer felony arrest rates as a function of the officer's attitudes toward his role, the patrol function, law and procedure, the criminal justice system, some characteristics within the arrest situation, police organization itself and finally his personal characteristics. At issue was whether the process of law enforcement as practiced by these officers was consistent with the expectations and ideals of a democratic society.^ Data were obtained by records review, self-administered questionnaire, unstructured interviews and participant observation during a two-year field presence in a New York City Police precinct. A sample of 102 patrol officers responded to the questionnaire. Examination of the quantitative data was conducted by a series of frequency distributions, crosstabulations, correlation and regression analysis. Content analysis was utilized to interpret the conversational data.^ The results of the quantitative analysis produced seven independent variables that explained 57% of the variation in felony arrest rates. The F test disclosed that these variables had a significant joint effect on felony arrest. The standardization of the major independent variables disclosed that officer motivation was the variable that had the maximum effect on felony arrest. This variable explained 33% of the variation in felony arrest rates when the other independent variables are controlled for.^ A comparison of the quantitative and qualitative data by patrol officer arrest rate categories led to conclusion that the patrol officers control their enforcement patterns through a process of subcultural role adaptations. The purpose of these role adaptations is to serve the individual needs of the officers as they mediate conflicting demands of community and police bureaucracy. ^

Subject Area

Criminology

Recommended Citation

WALSH, WILLIAM FRANCIS, "THE ANALYSIS OF THE VARIATION IN PATROL OFFICER FELONY ARREST RATES (POLICE, NEW YORK CITY, SUBCULTURE)" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8515897.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8515897

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