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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2018

Kevin Walby, Alex Luscombe and Randy K. Lippert

Most existing literature on K9 units has focused on the relationship between police handler and canine, or questions about use of force. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Most existing literature on K9 units has focused on the relationship between police handler and canine, or questions about use of force. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between private donations to public police departments, an increasingly accepted institutional practice in the policing world, and K9 units. Specifically, the authors examine rationales for sponsoring and financially supporting K9 units in Canada and the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors focus on four main themes that emerged in analysis of media articles, interview transcripts, and the results of freedom of information requests.

Findings

These four rationales or repertoires of discourse are: police dogs as heroes; dogs as crime fighters; cute K9s; and police dogs as uncontroversial donation recipients.

Originality/value

After drawing attention to the expanding role of police foundations in these funding endeavors, the authors reflect on what these findings mean for understanding private sponsorship of public police as well as K9 units in North America and elsewhere. The authors draw attention to the possibility of perceived and actual corruption when private, corporate monies become the main channel through which K9 and other police units are funded.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2020

Kevin Walby and Crystal Gumieny

Police services, police associations and police foundations now engage in philanthropy and these efforts are communicated using social media. This paper examines social…

Abstract

Purpose

Police services, police associations and police foundations now engage in philanthropy and these efforts are communicated using social media. This paper examines social media framing of the philanthropic and charitable work of police in Canada.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing from discourse and semiotic analyses, the authors examined the ways that police communications frame contributions to charity and community’s well-being. Tweets were analyzed for themes, hashtags and images that conveyed the philanthropic work of police services, police associations as well as police foundations.

Findings

The authors discovered four main forms of framing in these social media communications, focusing on community, diversity, youth and crime prevention. The authors argue that police used these communications as mechanisms to flaunt social capital and to boost perceptions of legitimacy and benevolence.

Research limitations/implications

More analyses are needed to examine such representations over time and in multiple jurisdictions.

Practical implications

Examining police communications about philanthropy not only reveals insights about the politics of giving but also the political use of social media by police.

Originality/value

Social media is used by organizations to position themselves in social networks. The increased use of social media by police, for promoting philanthropic work, is political in the sense that it aims to bolster a sense of legitimacy.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2018

Carol Cox and Stuart Kirby

There is considerable evidence to illustrate police occupational culture can negatively influence service delivery and organizational reform. To counteract this, and to…

Abstract

Purpose

There is considerable evidence to illustrate police occupational culture can negatively influence service delivery and organizational reform. To counteract this, and to improve professionalism, the police services of England and Wales will become a graduate profession from 2020, although little empirical evidence exists as to what impact this will have. The purpose of this paper is to examine the implications of a police degree course on its students.

Design/methodology/approach

Initially, a survey was conducted with 383 university students studying for criminal justice-related undergraduate degrees in a UK university. This indicated Police Foundation degree students (n=84), identified themselves as being different, and behaving differently, to other university students. To explore the reasons for this, four focus groups were conducted with this cohort, during their two-year degree programme.

Findings

The study found that the Police Foundation degree students quickly assimilated a police identity, which affected their attitudes and behavior. The process led to a strengthening of ties within their own student group, at the expense of wider student socialization.

Originality/value

The study provides new findings in relation to undergraduate students who undertake a university-based degree programme, tailored to a future police career. The results have implications for both police policy makers and those in higher education as it highlights the strength of police occupational culture and the implications for the design of future police-related degree programmes.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 18 February 2019

Bob Harrison

The education of police executives has been a priority of criminal justice agencies for more than 40 years to address the need to professionalize law enforcement in…

Abstract

Purpose

The education of police executives has been a priority of criminal justice agencies for more than 40 years to address the need to professionalize law enforcement in America. Since the 1980s, programs for this purpose have existed, one of which is the California POST Command College. Command College is an academically oriented executive development program intended to “invest in the future” as its students – mid-career police managers – acquire the tools and skills necessary to be promoted to executive positions. This paper aims to answer the question, “Does the Command College achieve its intended goals?”

Design/methodology/approach

A survey instrument was used to obtain perspectives of recent graduates and of those who had graduated from the program more than four years before the survey. An assessment of the frequency of promotions to command and executive roles was completed, and an external academic assessment of the program’s curriculum was completed by a university.

Findings

Support for the program by graduates increased over time, graduates were promoted at a rate of three times higher than baseline averages for police managers and the program’s curriculum was vetted as being equivalent to graduate-level courses at the university level.

Research limitations/implications

As its value is validated through this assessment, others can learn how they might better prepare their police executives for the future. No similar law enforcement program has been similarly assessed, so others may also learn ways to ensure they are achieving their intended outcomes from this example. Given the differences in other law enforcement leadership programs in terms of student selection and specific goals, direct comparisons would be limited, both by the program differences and the research design used by others as they work to validate their success in meeting their goals.

Originality/value

Although law enforcement executive education has existed since 1935, and leadership training programs for the police since 1982, no research has been conducted to validate the outcomes and impact of such programs on the graduates of such programs and their agencies.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2007

Barrie Irving

Problem solving has been used within policing for almost 30 years but progress in developing problem solving has been slow and the outcomes mixed. In this article, Barrie…

Abstract

Problem solving has been used within policing for almost 30 years but progress in developing problem solving has been slow and the outcomes mixed. In this article, Barrie Irving provides an overview of the debate on problem solving and argues that there has been too much emphasis on techniques and processes and not enough on the management of their implementation. He argues that the police operational culture and training seem to create a hostile environment for the development of problem solving. His recommendations for moving forward include trying to make the methodology fit the police culture it often operates in, rather than trying to make the culture fit the methodology. He also emphasises the need for more efficient human resource management.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 March 2012

J.W. Carter

Abstract

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1996

Samuel Walker and Betsy Wright Kreisel

Citizen review of complaints against police officers is an important new aspect of policing which takes many different forms. Explains the reasons leading to the usage of…

Abstract

Citizen review of complaints against police officers is an important new aspect of policing which takes many different forms. Explains the reasons leading to the usage of this term in preference to similar terms. Analyzes official documents related to the 65 citizen review (CR) procedures currently in force in the USA. Highlights the problematic relationship between the goals of CR and administrative features. Finds that existing procedures do not always guarantee an independent review of complaints. Suggests additional research on procedures, more critical assessment of the assumptions underlying CR, and rigorous comparative evaluations of complaint review systems, also of the relationship between CR and other innovations such as community policing.

Details

American Journal of Police, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0735-8547

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

William R. King

This paper investigates conceptual and empirical issues in the study of police organizational innovation. In particular, previous studies of police innovation have rarely…

Abstract

This paper investigates conceptual and empirical issues in the study of police organizational innovation. In particular, previous studies of police innovation have rarely created measures of innovation that are in accord with established methods and theory employed in innovation studies of other organization types. To mitigate this oversight, this paper first describes four relevant issues in organizational innovation, and applies these issues to create a fivefold measure of police innovation with data on the 431 largest municipal US police departments. Second, the components of this fivefold typology of police innovation are factor analyzed, to assess their unidimensionality. The results of these analyses indicate that three of the five innovation types are, in themselves, multi‐dimensional. Overall, police innovations do not adhere to the five innovation types suggested by theories of organizational innovation. Instead, the multi‐dimensionality of police organizational innovation is demonstrated here.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Bryan Vila, Stephen James and Lois James

The purpose of this paper is to develop and describe the implementation of a novel method for creating interval-level metrics for objectively assessing police officer…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and describe the implementation of a novel method for creating interval-level metrics for objectively assessing police officer behaviors during an encounter with the public. These behaviors constitute officer performance and affect the probability of desirable encounter outcomes. The metrics measure concrete, micro-level performance in the common types of complex, dynamic, and low-information police-public encounters that often require immediate action using “naturalistic” decision making. Difficulty metrics also were developed to control for situational variability. The utility of measuring what officers do vs probabilistic outcomes is explored with regard to informing policymaking, field practice, and training.

Design/methodology/approach

Metric sets were developed separately for three types of police-public encounters: deadly force judgment and decision making, cross-cultural tactical social interaction, and crisis intervention. In each, “reverse concept mapping” was used with a different diverse focus group of “true experts” to authoritatively deconstruct implicit concepts and derive important variables. Variables then were scaled with Thurstone’s method using 198 diverse expert trainers to create interval-level metrics for performance and situational difficulty. Metric utility was explored during two experimental laboratory studies and in response to a problematic police encounter.

Findings

Objective, interval-level metric sets were developed for measuring micro-level police performance and encounter difficulty. Validation and further refinement are required.

Research limitations/implications

This novel method provides a practical way to rapidly develop metrics that measure micro-level performance during police-public encounters much more precisely than was previously possible.

Originality/value

The metrics developed provide a foundation for measuring officers’ performance as they exercise discretion, engage people, and affect perceptions of police legitimacy.

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2011

Garth den Heyer

The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of new public management (NPM) as a major strategy for democratic police reform in transitioning, developing and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of new public management (NPM) as a major strategy for democratic police reform in transitioning, developing and post‐conflict nations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the literature and history of the use of NPM in the public sector and policing in Western nations and considers its use in programs of police reform.

Findings

The review identifies that NPM can be used as a strategy in police reform and is able to be used in conjunction with policing approaches such as community‐oriented policing. However, the adoption of NPM must be culturally specific and implemented within local capability constraints.

Practical implications

Police reform, transparency and accountability are an important concern for all post‐conflict and transitioning police agencies; therefore, the findings of this research are useful for implementation or planning of police reform and restructuring programs.

Originality/value

With its focus on police management accountability in post‐conflict or transitioning nations, this article expands research on strategies of democratic police reform and capacity development.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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