Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Center on Police Practices and Community (COPPAC), of the Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research (ISBER), at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), focuses on interdisciplinary collaborations amongst academics from UCSB and other institutions worldwide, law enforcement, and the community to enhance knowledge and theory on Police -- Community issues. Through this work, COPPAC empowers the community, policy makers and law enforcement to develop laws, policies and practices based solidly in research.

  • COPPAC brings members of law enforcement and the community to scholars so that academic research can be more relevant to the needs of law enforcement and the communities it serves.
  • COPPAC shares its expertise and research findings with law enforcement and the community to empower each to develop research based improvements in addressing issues of concern.
  • COPPAC joins together a multidisciplinary group of academics from UCSB and around the globe who share a common interest in issues relating to law enforcement and community.
  • COPPAC introduces police and community representatives into the UCSB classroom to bring course concepts and theories to life and into police training classrooms to make research applicable to real life situations.
  • COPPAC develops courses for the local and campus communities and training for law enforcement on police – community issues.
  • COPPAC facilitates research by collaborating with law enforcement and the community, always maintaining its academic integrity through the independence of its work.
Cover page of Jail Tour Presentation

Jail Tour Presentation


Surveys (available separately on eRepository) were administered to 32 UC Santa Barbara students before and after touring the Santa Barbara County Jail. Respondents' perceptions of law enforcement (attitude toward police: ATP) increased significantly along five dimensions.

This study demonstrates not only the immediate benefit to law enforcement in exposing the public to the inside of jails, but the major role that communication plays in how the community perceives law enforcement.

Understanding the role of communication in police--community relations can open the door to police--community partnerships that improve the effectiveness and safety of both community members and law enforcement officers.