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Organizational commitment among sheriffs’ deputies during the shift to community-oriented policing

Nicholas Michael Perez (School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency Management, California State University, Long Beach, California, USA)
Max Bromley (University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA)
John Cochran (Department of Criminology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 15 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to suggest that the environment in which law enforcement officers operate is a main source of their job satisfaction, which is related to their overall work performance. In this line of research, a recent study by Johnson (2015) examined the organizational, job, and officer characteristics that may predict a police officer’s organizational commitment.


The current study replicates and extends the analyses performed in that study using an alternative data source to understand the influence of these measures on sheriff deputies’ organizational commitment during their organization’s shift to community-oriented policing.


Our results, while similar to those of Johnson (2015), revealed some unique findings. For example, in the current analyses, several organizational- and job- factors were significantly associated with deputies’ commitment to the sheriffs’ office. Specifically, deputies who report receiving higher supervisor feedback, higher peer cohesion, higher job variety and autonomy, and lower job-related stress were more highly committed to their law enforcement agency.

Practical implications

Key implications emerge for police administrators aspiring to influence employee organizational commitment during major agency shifts.


Overall, the present paper largely supports and progresses the findings of Johnson (2015) by extending them to sheriffs’ deputies, who are still largely underrepresented in policing research, and to an agency undergoing a dramatic organizational change. As such, the present study represents an important next step in understanding the factors that influence organizational commitment in law enforcement organizations.



Perez, N.M., Bromley, M. and Cochran, J. (2017), "Organizational commitment among sheriffs’ deputies during the shift to community-oriented policing", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 321-335.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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