How police agency diversity, policies, and outcomes shape citizen trust and willingness to engage

Katelyn E. Stauffer, Miyeon Song, Kelsey Shoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

While widespread agreement that policing in the United States needs to be reformed arose in the summer of 2020, little consensus about specific reforms was reached. A common theme that arose, however, is a general lack of trust in the police. One response has been to increase agency diversity in terms of both officer race and officer gender. However, important questions exist about when – and what type(s) of – diversity shape citizen trust in and willingness to cooperate with the police – especially when considered in conjunction with agency performance and policies. To answer these questions, we use two conjoint experiments to evaluate whether citizens consider diversity when evaluating police agencies. We find that while both racial and gender diversity can influence public evaluations sometimes, these effects tend to emerge in the context of only the most (least) diverse institutions and are muted compared to the effects of agency policies and performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-950
Number of pages22
JournalPolicy Studies Journal
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Keywords

  • descriptive representation
  • policing
  • representative bureaucracy
  • symbolic representation

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