What is it about?

There has long been a separation between police administration and the rank and file officers on the street. This study documented the use of the disciplinary process as a mechanism by which rank and file officers can experience abuses by administrative officers. Discussion points to the observation that these events appear to happen most frequently when administrative officers have complete authority and control over their departments without engaged, and effective, civilian oversight. This study was undertaken as a grounded theory inquiry, and therefore rises from the voices of the participants who were rank and file officers.

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Why is it important?

Policing is experiencing a number of significant challenges. Policing is a dangerous and highly stressful occupation. Still, pay is often low and hours are often less than reasonable. Fewer applicants seek a career in law enforcement and fewer new officers stay for an entire career. No doubt public perception may be responsible for lower numbers of new young people entering police work. However, can that justify the shortage of officers throughout the country? New officers anticipate some negativity from society at large –but not from within their own organizations. Until the issues within law enforcement organizations can be identified and corrected, there is little hope of improving the law enforcement position facing these challenges.

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This page is a summary of: Police Administration and Ineffective Civilian Oversight: A Grounded Theory, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, June 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0022167819854605.
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