Policing the College Town : Exploring the Relationship Between Police and Students in Kalamazoo, MI
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This study investigates the relationship between police and students in Kalamazoo, Michigan, focusing on the ways in which the decisions of the police are influenced by the schools that students attend, the spaces in which students are located, and how students are uniquely policed in comparison to non-student residents in Kalamazoo. The author utilized qualitative research methods, conducting interviews in order to understand how students perceive their relationship with the police, how police perceive students in terms of enforcing the law, and the ways in which students' locations make them more or less likely to interact with the police. The data suggests that students from Western Michigan University are more likely to interact with the police than Kalamazoo College students, and are more likely to have negative interactions as a result of their location and perceived class position, resulting in negative perceptions of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers. Ultimately, the relationship between the police and students from both colleges is complicated by the role college students play within the city, and how, if at all, student behavior that is considered deviant is perceived as detrimental by police.
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