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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2021

Jeffrey Nowacki, Joseph Schafer and Julie Hibdon

The article first examines whether police hiring decisions represent a zero-sum game where hires from one under-represented group (e.g. White women) reduce the number of…

Abstract

Purpose

The article first examines whether police hiring decisions represent a zero-sum game where hires from one under-represented group (e.g. White women) reduce the number of hires made from other under-represented groups (non-White men and/or non-White women). Second, we explore whether agencies that hire more members of underrepresented groups achieve more diverse applicant pools in future hiring cycles. Negative binomial regression techniques are used in both analyses.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this study come from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEAs) from 2011 to 2016. These data are divided into two periods: Period A (2011–2013) and Period B (2014–2016). The two periods are combined to assess a zero-sum effect. Then, Period A data on hiring decisions is used to estimate the diversity in applicant pools in Period B.

Findings

Results from this study provided little evidence of a zero-sum effect. It does not seem that agencies that hire from one under-represented group are less likely to hire from others. Instead, agencies that have shown a commitment to diversification are more likely to make additional hires from under-represented groups. We also found evidence of a relationship between Period A hires and Period B applicant pools for Hispanic women, but not for other groups. Broadly, we found that agencies where a larger share of officers are women were more likely to hire more women applicants.

Originality/value

Previous research examining zero-sum effects in hiring rely on officer rosters rather than specific applicant and hiring data. The data used in this study allows for a more precise examination of hiring decisions, and allows us to link hiring decisions to future applicant pool composition.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Joseph Gustafson

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the institutional and external factors associated with African-American and Latino representation in policing at the line…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the institutional and external factors associated with African-American and Latino representation in policing at the line and managerial ranks. Line representation analyses utilize new data sources and a full range of theoretically informed covariates. Managerial representation analyses provide the first comprehensive attempt to understand the dynamics behind minority promotion.

Design/methodology/approach

Portions of the 2000 US Census of Population and Housing Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Tabulation, Division of Governmental Studies, and Services (DGSS) survey and Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey were combined to produce a sample of 180 cities/municipal departments for analysis.

Findings

Results indicate that the representation of minorities in political office and their presence in police leadership positions are among the most influential predictors of line officer diversity. Proportions of minorities in administrative police roles are greater in larger departments paying higher salaries. There is also evidence that the career advancement of minorities can be limited when multiple minority groups compete for the same promotional opportunities.

Originality/value

This study provides a thorough examination of minority officer line representation and the first multivariate examination of minority representation in managerial positions using a national sample.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Lisa Kay Decker and Robert G. Huckabee

Police departments are slowly but steadily moving to increase the educational requirements for sworn officers. Additionally, some departments are beginning to consider…

Abstract

Police departments are slowly but steadily moving to increase the educational requirements for sworn officers. Additionally, some departments are beginning to consider raising the age requirements. This study examines the impact which raising the age and/or educational requirements could have on the selection of women and minority officers through a case study of the Indianapolis Police Department (IPD). Findings from an analysis of hiring practices in the IPD over a five year period are discussed, and the effects that raising the age and/or educational requirements would have on the traditional pool of successful applicants are described, with particular attention to the possible exclusionary effect on women and minorities.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Megan Alderden and Wesley G. Skogan

The purpose of this paper is to examine the correlates of job satisfaction among civilian employees of law enforcement agencies, to assess how features of the policing

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the correlates of job satisfaction among civilian employees of law enforcement agencies, to assess how features of the policing workplace influence employee morale.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for this study were drawn from surveys conducted as part of the National Police Research Platform. In total, 472 civilians from 19 police agencies completed the survey.

Findings

The findings indicate that contentment with pay and benefits, lower levels of work-related stress, equality in the workplace, and feelings of acceptance were associated with civilian employee satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The analyses presented here focusses on factors more unique to policing and did not include all of factors correlated with job satisfaction in past literature. Future research should address this as well as control for the effect of organizational-level factors.

Practical implications

The research identifies key factors in each of those categories that inhibit the effective incorporation of civilians into the workforce. It indicates that reaping the full advantages of civilianization is complex and requires attention to fundamental aspects of police organizations. How administrators deal with this reality will impact the efficiency and effectiveness of their organizations in important ways.

Originality/value

To date, much of what has been written about the place of civilians in policing consists of descriptions of their numeric representation and discussions of the presumed advantages of hiring them in larger numbers. Less is known about how well civilians have been integrated into the policing workforce.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

John L. Worrall and Jihong Zhao

This paper explores the relationship between community‐policing and grants provided by the Office of Community‐Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) in the US Justice…

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between community‐policing and grants provided by the Office of Community‐Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) in the US Justice Department. Community policing data were gathered via a survey of 700 municipal and county law enforcement agencies employing more than 100 full‐time sworn officers/deputies. Grant data were gathered on the same agencies via a Freedom of Information Act request filed with the COPS Office. Census data were used for control purposes. General findings suggest that COPS funding is strongly associated with community‐policing. Specific findings are: first, hiring grants were more associated with community‐policing than grants designed to promote innovative programs and second, agencies with several COPS grants were more likely to report community‐policing programs than agencies with fewer COPS grants.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2012

Jeremy M. Wilson

This work aims to summarize literature on police recruitment and retention and how changing conditions may affect these. It uses a bucket metaphor to conceptualize and…

Abstract

Purpose

This work aims to summarize literature on police recruitment and retention and how changing conditions may affect these. It uses a bucket metaphor to conceptualize and present visually how these can interact with each other and create a dynamic police staffing challenge.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature review includes more than 150 works on police recruitment and retention, organized into discussions on the demand for police, the supply of police, and how systemic and episodic changes affect each.

Findings

Existing research suggests police agencies face a threefold challenge in meeting the demand for officers: attrition is likely to increase, sources of new recruits might be decreasing, and police responsibilities are expanding. Attrition might increase because of baby‐boom generation retirements, military call‐ups, changing generational expectations of careers, budget crises, and organizational characteristics. Sources of new recruits might be decreasing because of a decrease in the qualified applicant pool, changing generational preferences in selecting careers, increased competition for persons who might qualify as police officers, expanded skill requirements for police officers, uncompetitive benefits, and many of the organizational characteristics causing attrition. Policing responsibilities are expanding because of new roles in community policing, homeland security, and emerging crimes.

Originality/value

This work summarizes, as no other has previously, the extant research on police recruitment and retention. Many holes remain in the literature, but identifying the extant literature can help identify these and possible means to fill them. Reviewing the extant literature can also help agencies identify the proper lessons to face their own recruitment and retention challenges.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2020

Tammy Rinehart Kochel

Drawing from representative bureaucracy theory, hiring minority police officers has been a perpetual reform recommendation for improving tense police-community…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing from representative bureaucracy theory, hiring minority police officers has been a perpetual reform recommendation for improving tense police-community relationships with minority communities since the 1960s. The expectation is that minority officers will provide active/symbolic representation, but little is known about minority officers' experiences during racially tense situations. This paper examines whether black officers experienced double marginality in the context of prolonged protests against police in Ferguson, MO in 2014 and compares black vs. nonblack officers' self-assessments about their preparedness to handle the crisis, procedural justice during the crisis and mental and emotional effects on officers following protest policing.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews with 45 police personnel who policed the Ferguson protests provide a rich description of the context and experiences through the lens of police officers. Surveys of 218 officers who conducted protest policing in Ferguson are used to compare the impact on black vs. non-black officers.

Findings

The results provide a detailed portrayal of the double marginality experienced by black officers while policing the Ferguson protests, but also demonstrate that black officers were resilient to the effects of that experience, showing significantly more favorable outcomes than their nonblack peers.

Originality/value

This is the only study to utilize a mixed methods approach with police officers who conducted protest policing to understand officers' experiences in the midst of a racially inflamed context. The findings provide support for policymakers interested in advocating and supporting hiring more minorities in policing.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

Arrick Jackson and Alynna Lyon

Images of “blue‐helmets” and multilateral peacekeeping missions are pervasive in today’s world. The goal of intervening parties is often to re‐establish order; one way to…

Abstract

Images of “blue‐helmets” and multilateral peacekeeping missions are pervasive in today’s world. The goal of intervening parties is often to re‐establish order; one way to accomplish this is to rebuild political institutions. Rehabilitating policing agencies within failed states is an essential component to establishing a peaceful and productive society. Discusses four issues that are important to policing after ethnic conflict: police culture, democratic participation, the political environment the police operate within, and the perceptions of the population about law enforcement. Applies current perspectives on policing in stable states to some of the challenges facing creating law enforcement structures in unstable and often ethnically charged states. Argues that until we understand the impact each of these components play, intervening parties will continue to lead failed governments and their policing agencies into the cycle of violence.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Arrick Jackson and Alynna Lyon

Images of “blue helmets” and multilateral peace‐keeping missions are pervasive in today’s world. The goal of intervening parties is often to re‐establish order, one way to…

Abstract

Images of “blue helmets” and multilateral peace‐keeping missions are pervasive in today’s world. The goal of intervening parties is often to re‐establish order, one way to accomplish this is to rebuild political institutions. Rehabilitating policing agencies within failed states is an essential component to establishing a peaceful and productive society. Discusses four issues that are important to policing after ethnic conflict – police culture, democratic participation, the political environment the police operate within, and the perceptions of the population about law enforcement. Applies current perspectives on policing in stable states to some of the challenges facing creating law enforcement structures in unstable and often ethnically charged states. Argues that until we understand the impact each of these components play intervening parties will continue to lead failed governments and their policing agencies into the cycle of violence.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 19 March 2021

Christopher M. Donner, Jon Maskály, Wesley G. Jennings and Cynthia Guzman

The purpose of this paper is to review the extant published literature using traditional criminological theories in an effort to explain police misconduct.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the extant published literature using traditional criminological theories in an effort to explain police misconduct.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reflects a narrative meta-review of through a search of several academic databases (e.g. Criminal Justice Abstracts, Criminology: A SAGE Full Text Collection, EBSCO Host and PsychInfo). Twenty-nine studies, across six theoretical perspectives, were identified and reviewed.

Findings

The extant research generally suggests that traditional criminological theory is useful in explaining misconduct.

Practical implications

The findings call on agencies to continually strengthen their recruiting and hiring processes to select recruits with suitable characteristics, and to improve their early warning systems to detect officers with patterns of problematic behavior. Also, the findings call for multiple avenues of future scholarship, namely, in theory development/integration and in refining the measurement of police misconduct.

Originality/value

This paper will be useful for researchers who wish to further explore the etiology of misconduct, and for police administrators who wish to reduce the prevalence of such behavior.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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