Mar 29, 2011 - Claremont, Calif. -
“We know from other research that community policing programs, such as Neighborhood Watch, effectively reduce crime and build community. Pomona has a great program, but participation is low. Our goal is to change that,” said Mashek. “To create this change, we will employ and test the effectiveness of tools drawn from social psychology.”
The Pomona Police Department uses fliers as its primary tool for communicating with potential Neighborhood Watch participants. Mashek’s study will test the relative effectiveness of a new flier, which will include language intended to appeal more directly to residents’ vested interests and sense of ability to effect positive change in their community. She will also gather information about residents’ perceptions of their neighborhoods and feelings of connection to the community. The ultimate goal of the project is to help the Police Department build community participation in Neighborhood Watch.
“We are looking forward to the results of this study to make better use of our time and efforts as we continuously strive to increase community participation,” said Pomona Police Department Cpl. Brian Hagerty. “The partnership with Ms. Mashek and Harvey Mudd College is a collaborative effort that benefits the community, our Crime Prevention Unit and the city as a whole. We feel fortunate to have such a prestigious organization and individuals working with us on this important project.”
The John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, founded in 1926, is the oldest private foundation in Los Angeles and a leading supporter of social science research. A prominent Philadelphia physician, John Randolph Haynes became a leading figure in the Progressive-era Los Angeles of the early twentieth century. His wife, Dora Haynes, was also active in reformist and suffragist circles, and was one of the founders of the Los Angeles and California chapters of the League of Women Voters. Debra Mashek’s award is part of the foundation’s Faculty Fellowship Program for faculty in the social sciences at colleges and universities in Southern California.
Media Contact: Judy Augsburger