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Effects of College Education on Professional Attitudes Among Police

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Education Volume: 3 Issue: 1 Dated: (Spring 1992) Pages: 71-92
S K Shernock
Date Published
22 pages
A survey of 177 patrol officers in 11 police departments in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont gathered information on the effects of college education on the officers' views regarding attitudinal attributes identified in the literature on police professionalism.
The literature indicates that increased education should be associated with greater support for the service ideal, tendency to take informal action in cases involving the maintenance of order, opposition to externally imposed limitations on police discretion, value on the importance of ethical conduct, support for lateral entry, and value on efficiency. Results revealed that educational level was not related to the service ideal or greater emphasis in exercising discretion. In addition, educational level was related to placing greater value on the importance of ethical conduct, but it was not related to intolerance toward the misconduct of fellow officers. Education is also related to less insularity, because it increased support for lateral entry and decreases support for maintaining organizational secrets. Footnotes, tables, appended questionnaire items, and 63 references