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Justice Research and Policy




This paper examines the factors associated with the decision of local police departments in the United States to operate specialized drug units or to participate in multi-jurisdictional drug task forces. Combining data from the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) Survey, the 2000 Census, and the Uniform Crime Report, we use both bivariate and multivariate methods to conduct the analysis. The findings indicate that county-level agencies, those with other formalized drug control efforts, high levels of violent crime, high degrees of task specialization and formalization, and high proportions of the resident population accounted for by renters were more likely to operate drug units, participate in multi-agency drug task forces, and allocate more officers per capita to these efforts.


Author Posting © Justice Research and Statistics Association, Inc., 2009. This article is posted here by permission of Justice Research and Statistics Association, Inc. for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Justice Research and Policy, Volume 11, 2009,

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.