Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level



Sociology and Criminology


Song Yang

Committee Member

Grant Drawve

Second Committee Member

Shaun Thomas


Community Policing, Defund Police, Policing, Voluntary Contacts


Publicized police misconduct and brutality over the past decade have contributed to increased tensions between the police and community. Exposure to these encounters can result in negative perceptions of police and have serious policy implications for funding of police departments. Although prior research has focused on previous contacts with police, little is known about how voluntary contacts with police can shape an individual’s perceptions. Given the recent death of George Floyd and movement to “defund the police,” the current study aims to determine whether there are demographic differences in perceptions of police among those who have experienced prior voluntary contacts and if satisfaction is a mediating factor. Utilizing data from the 2018 Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS), results show that minorities and lower-income individuals are more likely to contact police in the future when compared to whites and higher income groups but that racial disparities are contingent on satisfaction level. These results add to the current literature, which focuses primarily on involuntary contacts with police, and demonstrates the need for future studies on voluntary contacts.