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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…

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1352

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: 29 June 2018

Allegra Clare Schermuly

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of encounters on police legitimacy and levels of trust in the police in the Monash Local Government Area in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of encounters on police legitimacy and levels of trust in the police in the Monash Local Government Area in the state of Victoria, Australia. Monash was chosen as it had experienced declining results in the official National Survey of Community Satisfaction with Policing in relation to police legitimacy and trust.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study comprising 18 interviews and six focus groups with community representatives from Monash is employed in the paper.

Findings

When procedural justice approaches are applied during encounters between the police and the public, encounters contribute to securing legitimacy for the police. Contact between the police and the public in everyday situations also enhances trust in the police, depending on the way the police conduct themselves during such interactions.

Research limitations/implications

Findings from a qualitative case study are not able to be widely generalised but the conclusions are still useful for informing insights into processes impacting police legitimacy and trust.

Practical implications

Contributes to informing evidence-based police practice around the way police conduct themselves during community interactions; informs policy decisions around allocation of funding for law enforcement with more officers required to carry out community policing; emphasises the importance of prioritising partnerships with communities; demonstrates that positive police/community relations have wider social cohesion implications in a contemporary era of counter-terrorism priorities.

Originality/value

The majority of research in this field to date has been quantitative. A qualitative approach provides fresh insights into the mechanisms of police legitimacy, especially the role of encounters and procedural justice.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2019

Staci M. Zavattaro and Lori A. Brainard

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a framework for understanding how millennial social media use preferences can help public administrators change their delivery…

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1659

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a framework for understanding how millennial social media use preferences can help public administrators change their delivery ethos to foster meaningful micro-encounters in digital spaces to then create public value. Ideally, these micro-encounters encourage public values creation from both the user (government) and audience side. Traditional government social media use often is one-way push without much care for dialogue and discussion. This revised framework shifts that thinking from the social media creation phase, allowing public administrators to use the tools in a more creative way.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach to the paper is theoretical, meaning the theoretical framework brings together lines of scholarship that have previously run parallel: millennial social media use preferences, government social media, and public values creation.

Findings

The theoretical framework offers propositions for future inquiry. The framework shows how traditional public sector social media use fails when it comes to creating meaningful spaces for interaction, which ideally is the purpose of social media.

Practical implications

The framework offered herein can help practitioners change the way they set up and even currently use social media tools to engage with the public. Though the framework is based on millennial social media preferences, any generation can benefit from a more open, inclusive platform that strives to foster public values such as collaboration, dialogue and transparency.

Originality/value

The theoretical framework generated for this paper brings together usually separate literatures to create a more holistic picture of social media use for public administrators.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2016

João Pedro Nunes

This chapter investigates sidewalk sociability and neighborhood use, by focusing on the regular encounter of a group of retired men to play cards on their neighborhood’s…

Abstract

This chapter investigates sidewalk sociability and neighborhood use, by focusing on the regular encounter of a group of retired men to play cards on their neighborhood’s main street. Direct and ethnographic observations were used on one Lisbon suburban working and lower middle-classes residential district.

Sidewalk card-playing is understood as “focused gathering” (Goffman, 1971a) and this concept discloses the social organization of a public gaming held encounter and the specific rules created to regulate interactions between players and their audience. The sidewalk sociability effects produced by card-playing are interpreted as originating from “triangulation stimuli” (Lofland, 1998; Whyte, 2002) and “sociability pillar” construction (Charmés, 2006).

Card-playing encounters are discussed in detail as a practical and symbolical neighborhood-use (Blokland, 2003) enacted by an elder-men peer-group. Research underscores the relationship between the elderly peer-group members’ practices and the neighborhood’s public space appropriation, their public characters’ attributes (Jacobs, 1972) and behavior, and social construction of a sidewalk small social place. Among aged peer-group members, sidewalk card-playing accounts for an increase in social and psychological benefits, ranging from social contacts to memories self-expression, derived either from the gaming situation or from its pervasive sociability.

Details

Public Spaces: Times of Crisis and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-463-1

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2012

Brad A. Myrstol

The purpose of this paper is to detail the prevalence and nature of patrol officers' alcohol‐related workload.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to detail the prevalence and nature of patrol officers' alcohol‐related workload.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic social observation (SSO) methodology was used to collect data pertaining to the alcohol‐related activities and encounters of patrol officers. A fully randomized sampling procedure was used to select the days, times, and geographic areas of observation sessions. Observational data were obtained for 65 separate observations sessions ‐ totaling approximately 650 hours, 480 police‐citizen encounters, with 766 citizens, and 2,009 non‐encounter activities.

Findings

Approximately 26 percent of encounters and 10 percent of non‐encounter activities involved citizen alcohol use. Roughly 15 percent of patrol officer time is dedicated to alcohol‐related encounters and their associated activities. Alcohol‐related encounters were of a substantively different type than those in which there was no alcohol involvement. In sum, alcohol‐related encounters were more likely to involve a crime, occur in emotionally volatile situations, elicit a multiple‐officer response, and to take place out of the public sphere.

Practical implications

The paper demonstrates the utility of police‐researcher collaboration. The findings can make a direct contribution to academy and in‐service training.

Originality/value

Unlike previous SSO studies, this research used data obtained from a representative sample of police patrols. The use of a SSO protocol provides a level of detail about the nature of police‐citizen interactions within the context of alcohol‐related encounters not previously seen in the literature.

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: 21 August 2017

John D. McCluskey and Michael Reisig

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a series of hypotheses regarding the use of procedurally just policing during suspect encounters.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a series of hypotheses regarding the use of procedurally just policing during suspect encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

Systematic social observation data from police encounters with suspects are used (N=939). Ordinary least-squares regression models are estimated to evaluate the effects of four variable clusters (i.e. suspect self-presentation, situational factors, suspect social characteristics, and officer characteristics) on procedurally just policing practices.

Findings

Results from the regression models show that the most salient predictors of police officers exercising authority in a procedurally just manner include the level of self-control displayed by suspects, the number of citizen onlookers, whether the encounter involved a traffic problem, the race/ethnicity of suspects, and suspects’ social status.

Research limitations/implications

This study focused only on police-suspects encounters where compliance requests were made. While the size of the sample is relatively large, the results from this study do not generalize to all types of police encounters with members of the public.

Originality/value

This research adds to an emerging body of research focused on predicting procedurally just practices in police encounters. The findings support increased attention to theories that explain police-citizens interactions, and also indicate that further consideration to the measurement of police behavior is warranted.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Richard Tewksbury

Highlights Laud Humphreys as one of those thinkers and researchers who, having spawned a succession of scholars, is seldom recognized for such. Posits that Humphreys has…

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1531

Abstract

Highlights Laud Humphreys as one of those thinkers and researchers who, having spawned a succession of scholars, is seldom recognized for such. Posits that Humphreys has also indirectly contributed to social theory development. States that although various authors have tried to replicate Tearoom Trade while trying to modify data, all they have done is to validate Humphrey’s findings. Investigates the various contact areas for sexual acts, as discussed by various authors.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 24 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

John D. McCluskey and William Terrill

This paper seeks to examine a variety of measures of complaints and their relationship to police officers' use of coercion in encounters with suspects.

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1442

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to examine a variety of measures of complaints and their relationship to police officers' use of coercion in encounters with suspects.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from the Project on Policing Neighborhoods, involving the systematic social observation of police, were combined with complaint data from the St Petersburg Police Department to examine the influence of complaints on use of coercion in everyday encounters. Hierarchical models, which included theoretically relevant control variables, were used to test multiple measures of departmental and citizen complaints as predictors of officers' use of coercion.

Findings

The analyses indicate that, net of other important predictors, officer complaint rate for force and verbal discourtesy is associated with higher levels of coercion in encounters with suspects. The analyses also indicate that officers' verbal discourtesy complaint rate is associated with higher levels of coercion, but complaint rates for physical force are not related to higher levels of coercion.

Research limitations/implications

The current results do not necessarily generalize to all police departments, since the department, at that time, was a leader in community policing.

Practical implications

The influence of complaints for force and discourtesy on coercion suggests that police departments could benefit from greater attention toward officers who generate complaints for discourtesy from the public.

Originality/value

This paper examines the utility of official complaint data as a determinant of officers' coercive behavior in encounters with suspects. The research would be of interest to police executives concerned with creating “early warning systems” as well as police scholars concerned with the determinants of officer coercion.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Nathalie Vallet

The purpose of this paper is to examine the interaction between the local policy context and the strategic role of public libraries within urban networks or partnerships…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the interaction between the local policy context and the strategic role of public libraries within urban networks or partnerships aiming for the future development and innovation of cities.

Design/methodology/approach

An explorative case-study design in ten Flemish public libraries (i.e. Kortrijk, Sint-Niklaas, Turnhout, Geel, Maaseik, Dendermonde, Knokke-Heist, Hemiksem-Schelle, Balen and Boortmeerbeek-Haacht).

Findings

The findings are twofold. On the one hand the research results identify three categories of emerging “threats” and “opportunities” being first, the strategic dilemmas between local policy priorities, second, the trends in policy frameworks and third, the bottlenecks in needed methods and competences of local policy actors. On the other hand the research results also uncover three public library strategies to cope with these challenges, being first, the professionalization of their own strategic management profile, second, the exploration and mapping of “the others” and third, the initiatives taken to actively craft and design the strategic partnership themselves.

Practical implications

This paper provides unique and interesting insights on how the changing local policy context in Flanders prevents (“threats”) and stimulates (“opportunites”) the formation, development and acknowledgment of strategic partnerships of public libraries, and on how the public libraries involved encounter these challenges.

Originality/value

It is the only study in Flanders providing empirical information on the interaction between the changing local policy context and the strategic partnerships of public libraries.

Details

Library Management, vol. 36 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2016

William Terrill, Eugene A. Paoline and Jacinta M. Gau

This chapter seeks to illuminate the interconnectedness of procedural justice, use of force, and occupational culture in relation to police legitimacy.

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter seeks to illuminate the interconnectedness of procedural justice, use of force, and occupational culture in relation to police legitimacy.

Methodology/approach

The authors review the existing literature and offer an integrated methodological approach that would better assist researchers in their quest to enhance police legitimacy.

Findings

Using a systematic design that assesses police legitimacy from a variety of sources has the potential to help answer critical questions with regard to improving police practice.

Originality/value

This is a novel study approach, which has yet to be implemented but which may offer great insight with respect to improving police legitimacy.

Details

The Politics of Policing: Between Force and Legitimacy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-030-5

Keywords

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