Police officers’ role orientations: Endorsement of community policing, order maintenance, and traditional law enforcement
Policing: An International Journal
Article publication date: 27 September 2019
Issue publication date: 2 October 2019
The purpose of this paper is to examine police officers’ attitudes toward community policing and order maintenance, as well as the facets of the work environment that impact those attitudes.
Survey data come from a sample of officers in a mid-sized police department. Ordinary least squares regression modeling is used to examine community-policing, order-maintenance and law-enforcement role orientations.
Officers endorse community partnerships, but are less enthusiastic about order maintenance. They also display mid-level support for traditional law enforcement. Work–environment variables have inconsistent impacts across the three role orientations.
This was a survey of attitudes in one department. Future research should examine officers’ involvement in community-policing and order-maintenance activities and any impediments to such activities.
The findings have implications for police leaders seeking to implement community policing and ensure street-level officers are carrying out partnership and order-maintenance activities. In particular, top management must foster a positive work environment and personally model commitment to policing innovations.
This paper adds to the currently sparse body of literature on officer attitudes toward community policing and order maintenance, and incorporates traditional law-enforcement attitudes as a point of contrast. This paper advances the scholarly understanding of police officers’ role orientations.
This paper forms part of a special section on “Social Police Work and Police Social Work: 100 years after August Vollmer's speech”
Gau, J.M. and Paul, N.D. (2019), "Police officers’ role orientations: Endorsement of community policing, order maintenance, and traditional law enforcement", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 42 No. 5, pp. 944-959. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-04-2019-0044
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