Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminology and Criminal Justice


Community oriented policing (COP) has been adopted by a number of police departments throughout the country as a new policing philosophy. Some of the departments have implemented it in high crime areas and others have used it city-wide. The Omaha, Nebraska Police Department is currently in the process of implementing COP in the entire city. This has occurred gradually since 1989 when 15 officers were assigned to work in Omaha’s low-income housing developments. In 1990 these officers formed the Selective Patrol Unit and started practicing community oriented policing. A bicycle patrol was added in 1992 and COP expanded to other parts of Omaha with the Weed and Seed program. The city-wide implementation started in December 1993. This paper is a preliminary analysis of COP in Omaha. Crime data and Omaha Conditions Surveys (OCS) from 1990 to 1994 were evaluated to determine if COP produced a change over time in crime and citizens’ answers to questions about crime and the police. The Omaha sample for the survey questions came from the Metropolitan portion of the OCS. The North Omaha portion of the OCS was used to select residents who lived in and around the Omaha Housing Authority’s (O.H.A.) low-income housing developments where the Selective Patrol Unit worked. The surveys didn’t indicate if respondents lived in or around the housing developments. So the O.H.A. sample contained individuals in the same zip codes as the housing developments with incomes below $10,000 per year. Because this sample may not represent the O.H.A. area, the findings may not reflect what is actually occurring there. Some of the data in the North Omaha portion of the OCS did not go beyond 1991 or the questions were not asked. Because of this I also looked for changes between whites and nonwhites or between the income categories. Four hypotheses were tested: (1) Crime would decrease over time in Omaha as COP was implemented. UCR crime date and victimization surveys were evaluated for changes over time. The Omaha data didn’t support the hypothesis. In the O.H.A. area the crime data did support the hypothesis, but the decrease in victimization rates was not statistically significant. Nonwhites support the hypothesis and whites do not. For income it was mixed. (2) Citizens will perceive crime as less of a problem as COP is implemented. Citizens’ perceptions of the crime situation and the priority of crime problems were evaluated. There was no support for the hypothesis in Omaha and the race data. However, there was support in the O.H.A. area and the lowest income category. (3) A decline in the fear of crime will occur. No support was found in Omaha, but support was found in the O.H.A. area, with nonwhites, and the $0-9,999 income category. (4) Citizens’ quality of interaction with the OPD officers would improve as measured by their attitudes, perceptions, and satisfaction with the OPD. There was no support in Omaha and a conclusion was hard to draw in the O.H.A. area. For nonwhites and the $0-9,999 income category there were some improvement not reflected in Omaha.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Criminal Justice and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts in Criminal Justice University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Brad D. Cleeton July, 1997

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