"In 2008, an estimated 16.9% of U.S. residents age 16 or older had face-to-face contact with police. This was a decline from the 19.1% of U.S. residents who reported having contact with police in 2005 and a decrease from the 21% who experienced contact with police in 1999 and 2002. Between 2002 and 2008, about 5.3 million fewer residents had face-to-face contact with police, down to an estimated 40.0 million from 45.3 million. Among persons who had a face-to-face contact with police in 2008, about 1 out of 4 had more than one contact during the year. The public most commonly came into contact with police when driving a vehicle that was pulled over in a traffic stop. Other frequent reasons for contact with police included reporting a crime to police or being involved in a traffic accident. The findings described in this report are based on the Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS) that the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) periodically uses to interview all persons age 16 or older in a nationally representative sample of households about their contacts with police during the previous 12 months. The PPCS is a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey. This report summarizes data from the 2008 PPCS and compares findings to the 2002 and 2005 surveys."
BJS Special Report No. NCJ 234599
Office of Justice Programs: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/