Assessing Officer Perceptions and Support for Online Community Policing

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Security Journal




Community-oriented policing has shaped law enforcement over the past 30 years, providing innovative strategies to identify and combat crime problems through collaborative community partnerships. The success of community policing strategies in some contexts has led some scholars and police administrators to call for the adoption of these programs in virtual environments to combat cybercrimes. It is unclear how such a program may operate or what factors affect line officer support for their use in the field. Thus, this study examined how community policing support, computer proficiency, and perceptions of the Internet and cybercrime were related to support for online community policing in a sample of officers from two Southeastern cities. The study found that support for community policing in the real world and perceptions of cybercrime severity were the two most consistently significant predictors of support for online community policing. The significance of these findings for policing practice and theory are discussed.