Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Anthony J. Colella, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Barbara V. Strobert, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Christopher J. Hynes, D.Min.

Keywords

Law enforcement, Police, Patrol, Patrol tactics, Use of force, Police involved shootings

Abstract

Over the past few years a series of high profile events involving the use of deadly force by police against individuals of minority descent have sparked national reactions driven in some part by modern media coverage. These reactions have included backlash against law enforcement both within the cities directly involved and those not directly involved. This has led to speculation by some that patrol officers are changing their tactics in a less proactive manner.

The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences, motivation, and practices of an individual department not directly involved with one of the aforementioned nationally scrutinized events. A mixed methods design, focused specifically on patrol officers, was utilized to gain insight into the perceptions and actions of the men and women of an urban patrol division. Patrol officers were surveyed using elements of an instrument utilized in a national poll in order to produce comparable data. Patrol supervisors interviewed and asked open-ended questions selected to gauge their own experiences as well as their perceptions of their subordinates’ experiences.

The study found that a majority of patrol officers report changing their tactics and a majority of patrol supervisors report not having changed their tactics in reaction to recent national events. The study revealed similarities to trends reported in national polls, although in large not to the levels of the national polls.

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