Professor of Criminal Justice, Jacksonville State University
- The levels of community violence and police violence are positively correlated.
In the article, “Public Violence as a Function of Community Characteristics,” Kania and his co-author examine the relationship between characteristics in the community and their effect on police officers. The researchers examined data from over a ten-year period from a Vital Statistics of the United States that characterized almost 3,000 police homicide cases to determine if society contributed to police brutality. The data was converted into rates and ranked by state and then compared to socioeconomics (SECs), the measure used quantify community violence. The results showed that states with a high level of community violence, quantified as a low SES, also had a high level of police-caused homicides. One criticism the authors raised was the correlational aspect of relationship meaning that either variable could cause the other or that there could be a third variable that causes both.