Survey Finds Police Chiefs Support After-School Care

Posted: November 8, 1999 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

A survey conducted by Scott Keeter, Public and International Affairs, and Stephen Mastrofski, Administration of Justice, for an advocacy group, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, reveals that 86 percent of police chiefs who participated in the survey believe the government could reduce youth crime by increasing after-school and child care programs.

“The results show tremendous support for child care and after-school educational programs to reduce youth crime and violence,” Mastrofski says. “We measured the chiefs’ attitudes a variety of different ways, and police in overwhelming numbers selected the child care and after-school programs over any other program.”

The survey, released last week at a meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Charlotte, N.C., received nationwide media coverage. The survey was conducted from Oct. 14 to 27, and encompassed 556 responses from the 855 randomly selected municipal police chiefs who received the written questionnaire. The margin of error was plus or minus five percentage points. Participants were guaranteed anonymity and did not know which organization had commissioned the study.

The chiefs were asked to rank the effectiveness of four juvenile crime-fighting strategies. The report shows that 69 percent gave the highest priority to providing more after-school programs and educational child care. Seventeen percent chose “prosecute more juveniles as adults” as their top strategy, 13 percent ranked “hire more police officers to investigate juvenile crime” as number one, and 1 percent said “install more metal detectors and surveillance cameras in school” was the top priority.

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