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One for All?: Philippine Police Officers' Perceptions of Civilian Review

NCJ Number
Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management Volume: 27 Issue: 3 Dated: 2004 Pages: 358-379
Melchor C. de Guzman
Lawrence F. Travis III
Date Published
22 pages
This study examined the degree to which the prevailing perceptions about police officers’ views of civilian reviews in the Philippines reflect reality.
Civilian review has been a contentious issue for police officers with previous research indicating that police have animosity towards civilian review. Utilizing perceptions of police officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) about a civilian review board known as the People’s Law Enforcement (PLEB) in a metropolitan jurisdiction in the Philippines, this study tested the assumptions about the existence of a universal police sentiment against civilian review and determined if experiences and specific aspects of the civilian review processes had significant influences over these perceptions. In gathering data, two sets of questionnaires were administered to officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP). One questionnaire was for police officers who had received complaints before the People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB), and the other was for police officers who had never received complaints. Respondents were asked about their perceptions of the board’s legitimacy and integrity at the different stages of the complaint process. The findings indicated that the two police groups had significantly different perceptions about the PLEB. The findings support the alternative view that police officers do not have a one-dimensional attitude towards civilian reviews, and the “us versus them” police mentality that dominates the police literature appears to be inconclusive at this point in time. In addition, the findings support the contention that experience may shape or alter one’s perceptions about civilian review. Tables, notes, references, appendix