First Advisor

Don Gibbons

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Community policing -- Oregon -- Portland -- Case studies, Public housing -- Oregon -- Portland -- Case studies



Physical Description

3, vii, 294 leaves: ill. 28 cm.


This dissertation deals both with the theory and practice of community policing in the United States and elsewhere while focusing on a specific community policing project in Portland, Oregon. It discusses the history of police work in America, as well as that of the Portland Police Bureau. It also explicates the various meanings of "community policing," along with the problems and issues that have surfaced as the community policing movement has evolved. The research reported here was based on a project conducted by the Portland Police Bureau and numerous supporting agencies. The project was inaugurated in May 1990 with the following goals: improve quality of life of the residents, reduce the fear of crime, and reduce the levels of actual crime. Iris Court is a public housing complex owned and operated by the Housing Authority of Portland. It was recommended as a demonstration site for community policing because of past and ongoing problems of crime in and around it. The Portland City Council had mandated that community policing become the policing style in Portland, and the demonstration project was intended to test various community policing strategies. The tenants were surveyed prior to the implementation of the community policing strategies. The Metro-Life Enhancement Team was formed, an action plan was developed, most of the action plan items were implemented, and the tenants were resurveyed one year later. The evaluation of the project was conducted to assess whether community policing had a measurable effect on public safety. The dependent variables were quality of life, fear of crime, and actual crime. Various community policing strategies would be judged to have been successful if reported crime declined, the fear of crime was reduced, and the quality of life improved. The data show that the project was at least moderately successful. Reported crime declined, fear of crime was reduced, and there were indications that the quality of life was improved. The most striking finding was a 55% decrease in reported crime during the study period. This study suggests that community policing strategies of partnership, empowerment, problem solving, accountability, and service orientation can be successful.


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