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Top-Down Management and Patrol Officers' Attitudes About the Importance of Public Order Maintenance: A Research Note

NCJ Number
239163
Journal
Police Quarterly Volume: 15 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2012 Pages: 45-61
Author(s)
Jacinta M. Gau; D. Cody Gaines
Date Published
March 2012
Length
17 pages
Annotation
This study compared attitudes about order maintenance policing across rank in an urban police department.
Abstract
Police organizations are inherently top down in their managerial style, and order maintenance policingbeing a strategy adopted by top management and implemented by lower ranking personnelmay hit a roadblock that is typical in top-down organizations: Lower ranking personnel may not embrace the mission of order maintenance to the same extent that their superiors do. The present study compares attitudes about order maintenance policing across rank in an urban police department. The results indicate that patrol officers express significantly less support for public order maintenance relative to personnel of higher ranks; however, educational attainment and attachment to supervisors emerged as meaningful influences on attitude as well, which suggests that police managers and supervisors can improve lower ranking officers' endorsement of top-down strategies like order maintenance through their supervisory and hiring practices. (Published Abstract)