posted on 2013-11-12, 00:00authored byLing Ren, Jihong "Solomon" Zhao, William P. McCarthy
The 1990s represented a unique decade in which to analyze the determinants of police strength in the United States. This decade was a time in which crime initially increased then substantially decreased. Further, this decade also was characterized by increases in the minority population throughout large American cities. Finally, the 1990s were characterized by increasing police budgets. These realities have direct implications for the competing theories of police growth. This research examines the determinants of police strength in large U.S. cities from 1990-2000. A fixed-effects panel analysis was used to assess the number of sworn police officers per 100,000 population. The findings support the resource dependency and social conflict perspectives. Additionally, no support was found for the rational public choice perspective.