Citizen Satisfaction with Police Encounters

Wesley G. Skogan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

262 Scopus citations


This article examines the character and consequences of encounters between police and residents of the city of Chicago. It describes the frequency with which they contacted the police for assistance or support and how often they were stopped by them. Follow-up questions gathered information about the character of those contacts. The analysis contrasts the effects of experiential, on-scene factors with those of race, age, gender, and language on satisfaction with encounters. It demonstrates the great importance of the quality of routine police-citizen encounters, for things that officers did on the spot dominated in determining satisfaction. The personal characteristics of city residents played an important role in shaping who was treated in this way or that and affected satisfaction primarily through on-scene actions by police.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-321
Number of pages24
JournalPolice Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


  • citizen
  • contact
  • race
  • satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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