The 2002 Beat Meeting Observation Study

Jason Bennis, Wesley G. Skogan and Lynn Steiner

This paper documents a 2002 study of the effectiveness of Chicago's beat meetings. Beat meetings are one of the most distinctive features of the city's community policing program. They are monthly gatherings of small groups of residents and officers working in the area. In the city's plan, beat meetings are to be the principal mechanism for building and sustaining close relationships between police and the general public. The 2002 beat meeting study assessed the extent to which beat meetings are meeting their goals. Observers attended beat meetings to make note of what happened there and to survey residents and police who attended. A total of 291 observations were conducted in 130 sample beats, and 3,706 residents and 643 police officers were surveyed.

The paper includes all of the observation forms and survey questionnaires used in the study.

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