Situational Policing in Rural Areas

The Town of Granville, which is located in Monongalia County, West Virginia, has approximately 1,700 residents and a large business area. As of May 2013, the Granville Police Department consists of eleven full-time sworn officers and two part-time sworn officers. In April of 2013, Chief Craig Corkrean of the Granville Police Department in Granville, West Virginia, in conjunction with Dr. James Nolan of West Virginia University, wanted to examine neighborhood safety in Granville. They created a mostly quantitative survey that was mailed to households in all residential areas of Granville. The residents were given one month to complete and submit the surveys. They mailed 332 total surveys, received 132 total completed surveys, and 47 were returned to sender. The overall goal of this survey was to confirm and identify neighborhood types based on Dr. Nolan’s Situational Policing Theory. The survey questions were based on situational policing theories about different neighborhood dynamics. According to Nolan, the three stages of neighborhood development are dependence, conflict, and interdependence. Dependence occurs when residents rely on the police to solve problems of public order. Conflict occurs when residents are in conflict with the police because they perceive them as being ineffective in maintaining public order. Interdependence occurs when residents rely on each other to ensure enforcement of community values, norms, and laws. These terms helped to identify the relationship the residents have with the police and help to predict the behavior of residents within these neighborhoods. These survey results helped to reinforce the theory of situational policing.