Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Joshua B. Hill

Advisor Department

Criminal Justice


Reports of police killings of unarmed African-American men have been commonly featured on the news in recent months. Protests in response to those incidents have occasionally turned into riots, and the tension between the minority community and police remains unchanged. There is always a racial variable implicit whenever the African-American community policing debate arises. Researchers have conducted studies on this challenge and have examined differences in perceptions of police officers between African Americans and other racial groups. Studies have been conducted that examine why there might be less satisfaction with police among African Americans but have not considered how these opinions can be changed. Community policing remains one of the most popular and common ways police departments try to build relationships and solve problems in their jurisdictions. This study provides a framework for understanding and explaining the African-American perception problem of the police in terms of community policing. It further identifies differences in perceptions between racial communities regarding specific community oriented policing practices.