Exploring Census Tract Characteristics and Police Misconduct Investigations

Document Type


Publication Date



Criminology and Criminal Justice


Police misconduct in America is one problem that negatively influences both the public and police departments. One of the main accountability mechanisms for the police includes internal investigations of complaints of police misconduct. Complaints alleging officer misconduct can take the form of both internal and external complaints. Using regression analyses, this study examines how neighborhood characteristics, characteristics of patrol officers and complaint cases influences the disposition and discipline of internal affairs investigations. This analysis consists of two parts. The first examines how neighborhood characteristics influence the type of police misconduct, which, in turn, influences the type of complaint that citizens raise. The second, evaluates the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and how the complaint is resolved while controlling for other relevant predictors. Data are collected from a Midwestern municipal police agency for all formal complaints filed against patrol officers from 2006-2017.

First Advisor

Thomas Mrozla

Research Area

Criminal Justice

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