This installment of From the Archive
is a 1991 report comparing the "Big Six" U.S. police departments. The Big Six cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Detroit) differed in size, age, and personality; however, they shared the same problems of crime, drugs, and urban decay. Although the police departments in each of these cities faced similar challenges, they knew little about each other’s department. The Police Foundation sought to address this gap by creating a questionnaire for each department that would obtain a large amount of comparative information about policies and operations of the six agencies.
A representative from each agency came to the Police Foundation to create a common vocabulary around policing and to discuss differing views on conditions and practices in police organizations.
This study found that these six cities differed greatly on many fronts, including number of arrests for violent crimes, selection and entry requirements, and police vehicle accidents.
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