Thesis Series: Does Community Trust in the Police Affect Homeland Security?

Interview — video.
Patrick Walsh.

The policing profession has evolved since the formalization of police forces in the late 1820s. Much of the change revolves around the community taking an interest in how the police conduct themselves and how they interact with the public. As the public demands more from the police, the police need to strive to gain trust and remain legitimate. In this paper, trust and legitimacy between the community and the police is examined. The argument is made that the police need to have trust and legitimacy with the public they serve in order to be effective in fighting crime as well as terrorism. Three aspects are examined that have the potential to build trust: The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) civil rights investigation of law enforcement, the strategic production of press releases, and the creation and use of a mobile smart phone application as a means of connecting to the community.

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The full pdf of this thesis is available in the Homeland Security Digital Library at


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