Kuhns, J.B., Maguire, E.R., and Cox, S.M. (2007). “Public Safety Concerns Among Law Enforcement Agencies in Suburban and Rural America.” Police Quarterly, 10(4): 429-454.


Contingency theory argues that the performance of an organization is contingent on how well it fits the context within which it is embedded. This study explores the public safety concerns of nearly 6,000 law enforcement agencies serving populations less than 50,000. Property offenses, domestic violence, and drugs were the most frequently reported concerns, whereas gangs and violent crimes were often ranked lower. Rankings of public-safety concerns varied across agencies and were affected by population density, violent and property crime, type of agency, department size, and region. Findings suggest that the context in which police organizations are located plays a role in shaping public-safety concerns, which is an important step in broadening our knowledge about the priorities, goals, and behaviors of police organizations.

Year: 2007
Language: English
Type: Journal article
Topic: Policing, Organization theory, Measurement
Methodologies: Other