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Union Influence and Police Expenditures

NCJ Number
Laurence J. Putchinski
Date Published
269 pages
This study examined the extent of police union influence on the budget decision process and to what extent that influence affected local government decisions regarding operating expenses and capital outlays.
Study results suggest that unions do influence police expenditures and influence these expenditures to a substantial degree. It is suggested that certain collective bargaining provisions may be responsible for union increased police expenditures. In focusing on four research questions, major study findings include: (1) unionization is a formidable influence that affects total police expenditures; by virtue of presence, unions can influence police expenditures regardless of union density and subsequent support of the membership; (2) the relative effect of unionization on personal services expenditures is greater than in any other category of expenditures; (3) unionized departments incur additional expenditures beyond the standardized expenses required to outfit employees for law enforcement services; and (4) the issue of capital outlays was not resolved by the multivariate regression with set policies potentially dampening the effect unions have on these types of expenditures. A future longitudinal study is recommended that would yield more reliable information regarding possible union influence on capital outlays. A longitudinal study would also provide more reliable evidence that unions affect expenditures over long periods of time. In addition, more research is needed to determine exactly why unions increase police expenditures in a more populous State and a comprehensive study of labor contracts from unionized police departments would produce more information as to the types of equipment, supplies, and services likely to be found in collective bargaining agreements that would tend to increase police expenditures. The focus of the study was to examine whether or not unions increased police expenditures, and if there was such an impact, to determine the extent of the impact on each of the expenditure categories. Regression analysis of police expenditures for 257 Florida cities provides evidence that unions do influence police expenditures and influence these expenditures to a substantial degree. Tables, references and index


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