For years, scholars and law enforcement agencies have been interested in examining the public’s perceptions of police legitimacy. However, previous studies have operationalized “police legitimacy” in a wide variety of ways. In an attempt to standardize this construct, Tankebe, Reisig, and Wang (2016) recently developed and validated the Police Legitimacy Scale using samples from the United States and Ghana. To determine the validity of this scale in a Canadian context, we had 2,962 Canadian community members complete a demographics survey as well as Tankebe et al.’s (2016) Police Legitimacy Scale. Descriptive statistics suggest the majority of responses to the scale do not differ across demographic factors, such as gender or race. Results from a confirmatory factor analysis indicate the previously proposed four-factor model of police legitimacy (lawfulness, procedural fairness, distributive fairness, and effectiveness) strongly fits participants’ responses.

, , , ,
Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Police Research Lab

Ewanation, L. (Logan), Bennell, C, Blaskovits, B. (Brittany), & Baldwin, S. (Simon). (2019). Validating the police legitimacy scale with a Canadian sample. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 61(4), 1–23. doi:10.3138/cjccj.2018-0036