Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 93, Supplement 1, pp 154–167 | Cite as

Policing, Community Fragmentation, and Public Health: Observations from Baltimore

  • Marisela B. GomezEmail author


Studies show that policing, when violent, and community fragmentation have a negative impact on health outcomes. This current study investigates the connection of policing and community fragmentation and public health. Using an embedded case study analysis, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 African-American female and male residents, ages 21–64 years of various neighborhoods of high arrest rates and health and socioeconomic depravation in Baltimore City, MD. Baltimore residents’ perceptions of policing, stress, community fragmentation, and solutions are presented. Analysis of the perceptions of these factors suggests that violent policing increases community fragmentation and is a public health threat. Approaches to address this public health threat are discussed.


Policing Police violence Community fragmentation Stress Racism Public health Racial profiling Baltimore 



The author would like to thank the residents who candidly offered their insight in regard to policing and Cheryl Knott at BNIA for her help with secondary data.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Health Concepts and PracticeBaltimoreUSA

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