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A qualitative analysis of officer peer retaliation: Preserving the police culture

Jeffrey Michael Cancino (Department of Criminal Justice, University of Texas, San Antonio, Texas, USA)
Roger Enriquez (Department of Criminal Justice, University of Texas, San Antonio, Texas, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 1 September 2004

Abstract

A survey of the literature shows that researchers have assessed the social processes of retaliation among adversarial crime prone populations. However, notably absent from this research is the study of peer retaliation among non‐adversarial and less crime prone populations, such as police officers. The underlying theoretical premise is that peer retaliation, defined here as a mechanism of social control, operates under prevailing police culture conditions.Using focus group interviews collected from one large Southwestern police department, content analysis is used to qualitatively examine the influence of peer retaliation on officer deviance (i.e. reporting incidents of illegal force). The results show that officers' rationalize peer retaliation according to morality and deterrence; while, types of retaliation sanctioned against peers include ostracism and no cover. The implications of these findings are considered.

Keywords

Citation

Cancino, J.M. and Enriquez, R. (2004), "A qualitative analysis of officer peer retaliation: Preserving the police culture", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 320-340. https://doi.org/10.1108/13639510410553095

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited