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COPS Evaluation Brief No.3: Creating a Culture of Integrity

NCJ Number
Jack McDevitt; Amy Farrell; Russell Wolff
Date Published
August 2008
110 pages
This paper reports on the methodology and findings of an evaluation of the Creating a Culture of Integrity (CCI) initiative, a grant program initiated by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) in order to assist 59 law enforcement agencies throughout the country in fostering organizational cultures of integrity.
The evaluation found that the participating law enforcement agencies initiated a wide variety of approaches to creating cultures of integrity in their agencies. The initiatives funded under the CCI programs assisted the participating agencies in improving their organizational integrity through the strengthening of relationships in three fundamental areas: inside the agency, between the agency and the community, and in developing linkages with the larger profession of law enforcement. This report describes the various types of integrity initiatives and their strengths and challenges. Among the strategies pursued were ensuring accountability to the community, the development of early intervention systems, recruiting quality candidates from local communities, command staff training on ethics and integrity issues, use-of-force policy and training, strengthening the operations of internal affairs divisions, and self-assessment techniques for internal monitoring. For these and other strategies implemented by the participating agencies, the activities pursued under each strategy are listed. This report also offers recommendations that agencies may find constructive when planning for and conducting initiatives intended to increase organizational integrity. Among the recommendations are to establish clear and measurable objectives for integrity, identify ways to involve the community, and publicize integrity initiatives. Among the recommendations for future research are to develop a clearer definition of police integrity, to study agencies’ integrity needs within their individual contexts, and to enhance understanding of the role of midlevel managers. The evaluation measured each agency by scoring it on six integrity components. 6 case studies, 30 references, and appended CCI grantee assessment components and scoring options, along with a grantee integrity components matrix