Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis explores the institutional response of a mid-sized, Midwestern police department, to a perceived growing problem with youth gang activity. More specifically, this thesis analyzes both individual and organizational level variables which provide justification for the creation and existence of a Gang Suppression Unit. The evolution of the Gang Suppression Unit is traced from both formal and informal constructions of a gang problem, from the perspective of the police.
Data collection consisted of 250 hours of participant observation with both uniformed patrol officers and members of the Gang Suppression Unit, from the Cedar Springs Police Department, as well as official memos, records and newspaper articles, to illustrate an historical overview of how the Gang Suppression Unit emerged.
Erickson, Carol A., "Anatomy of a Gang Suppression Unit: The Social Construction of an Organizational Response to Gang Problems" (1997). Theses and Dissertations. 2978.