Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 November 2021
This chapter tests two intermediate links in the chain connecting police integration and citizens’ behavior. Interviews and focus groups reveal that citizens use cues like officers’ accents, names, and facial hair styles to determine their identities. Comparing survey responses with data on officer demographics suggests that citizens’ perceptions correlate closely with actual local integration. On the other hand, marginalized-group citizens appear not to translate their local-level observations of integration into perceptions that the institution overall is integrated. I demonstrate that citizens process observations of police demographics through their accumulated experiences with the police and the state. In the shadow of historical exclusion, citizens update perceptions of the institution incrementally.