Smallest Geographic Unit:
Date of Collection:
- 2009--2011 (Organizational Surveys)
- 2010--2011 (Public Satisfaction Survey)
- 2009-12-04--2011-12-31 (Longitudinal Survey of Recruits)
- 2009-06-01--2011-12-31 (Longitudinal Survey of Supervisors)
- 2010--2011 (Senior Executive Survey)
Unit of Observation:
The universe for the Organizational Surveys was all sworn and civilian employees of municipal police agencies, county police, county sheriffs or tribal agency in the United States in 2010 and 2011. The universe for the Public Satisfaction Survey was all people living in Oak Park, Illinois, River Forest, Illinois, and two police districts in Boston, Massachusetts between December 2009 and December 2011. The universe for the Longitudinal Survey of Recruits was all new police recruits in the United States in 2009. The universe for the Longitudinal Survey of Supervisors was all new first line police supervisors in the United States in 2009. The universe for the Senior Executive Survey was all chiefs of police in the United States in 2010 and 2011.
Data Collection Notes:
These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they there received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except of the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompany readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collections and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.
Users of this data are encouraged to see the final technical report associated with this study for more information on the data collection methods, sampling and response rates.
Phase II of the National Police Research Platform project is available as ICPSR 34697 (http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36497.v1).
The National Police Research Platform was designed to a) strengthen the science of policing by generating timely, in-depth, longitudinal information about policing organizations, personnel and practices and, b) move policing in the direction of evidence-based "learning organizations" by providing translational feedback to police agencies and policy makers.
Organizational surveys were conducted using the internet. The 29 participating agencies included municipal police departments, county police, county sheriff's and one tribal agency. Administration of the surveys was coordinated with agency representatives, and the e-mail invitations to participate were sent to all employees by the departments' senior leaders. The initial email, and subsequent reminder messages, included a link to the survey site. The home page for each survey described the project's potential risks and benefits; respondents who chose to participate were next presented the questions. Each survey took an average of about ten minutes to complete. Separate questions were presented to sworn and civilian respondents, based on their answers to an early question about their job status.
The project involved eleven topical modules:
- Accountability (Accountability Data, n=2,146)
- Communication and Innovation (Communication and Innovation Data, n=1,508)
- Culture (Culture Data, n=1,363)
- Fairness (Fairness Data, n=778)
- Health and Stress (Stress and Health Satisfaction Data, n=2,594)
- Leadership and Supervision (Leadership Data, n=1,859)
- Police and Community (Police and Community Data, n=1,785)
- Structure, Unions and Priorities (Priorities Data, n=2,499)
- Technology (Technology Data, n=1,769)
- Training (Training Data, n=1,346); and
- Omnibus (Omnibus A Data, n=1,139 and Omnibus B Data, n=1,705)
In all but the largest agencies, everyone in an agency received the same questionnaire, and those agencies were surveyed two to four times during the course of a year on different topics. In agencies with more than 1,500 sworn members, different surveys were sent to randomly selected subsets of employees. Not all agencies were surveyed on all topics and no survey has respondents from all 29 agencies.
The Public Satisfaction Survey (Public Satisfaction Survey Data, n=1,290) was developed to provide a key set of external indicators of organizational performance. The survey was field tested for 10 months in three cities, Oak Park, Illinois, River Forest, Illinois, and Boston, Massachusetts. Each week, agency employees searched departmental records and extracted the names and addresses of persons who had a recent contact with a police officer because of a reported crime incident, a reported traffic accident or traffic stop. These individuals were then sent a letter from the chief of police encouraging them to complete a short survey evaluating the encounter. Respondents were offered the option to reply to the survey either through an automated telephone survey or by going online and taking a web survey.
Researchers developed and implemented a longitudinal study of the life course of new officers, beginning during their first week at the training academy (Longitudinal Study of Recruits Data, n=1,072). The study followed more than 1,000 recruits in Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and multiple smaller agencies in Kentucky. Several data collection strategies were used to gather information on new officers. For all officers, these included paper and pencil surveys and online surveys. For some classes, data were supplemented by one-on-one interviews, focus groups, and videotaped role playing. Online surveys were offered via email invitation while officers were in the training academy and after they had graduated. Contact emails were sent on the first of each month and reminder emails were sent each week to individuals who had not yet taken each survey. There were a total of seven in-academy online surveys and a total of ten post-academy online surveys. Because the post-academy online survey response rates were low, two classes were administered in-person questionnaires when they were brought back to the training academy for in-service training after 30 and 60 days in the field.
Five police agencies, four large and one small, participated in a longitudinal study of first-line supervisors, along with one statewide training center. The study tracked newly designated first-line supervisors, starting at the beginning of the basic supervisory training (Longitudinal Study of Supervisors Data, n=463). Individuals who agreed to participate took two surveys during the early part of their training and a third soon after their training was completed. Participants were then sent short monthly surveys. Survey administration varied by study site.
Researchers completed in-depth interviews with police chiefs from 24 local police agencies (Senior Executive Survey Data, n=24), most in person and a few by telephone. The interviews varied in length from an hour to more than two hours. Several respondents provided researchers with copies of their resumes and other written material. Interviewers took handwritten notes and transcribed them soon after completion of the interview. After all of the interview transcripts were completed, they were reviewed by the author, and some of the responses were coded into categories.
The Organizational surveys used convenient sample from law enforcement agencies of different sizes from different geographic regions. Three departments were small (20 to 30 sworn officers); four departments were in the medium range (150 to 400 sworn officers), and two departments were considered large (over 10,000 sworn officers).
The Public Satisfaction survey (Public Satisfaction Survey Data, n=1,290) was field tested for 10 months in three cities, Oak Park, Illinois, River Forest, Illinois, and Boston, Massachusetts. Each week, agency employees searched departmental records and extracted the names and addresses of persons who had a recent contact with a police officer because of a reported crime incident, a reported traffic accident or traffic stop. These individuals were then sent a letter from the chief of police encouraging them to complete a short survey evaluating the encounter.
Data for the survey of police recruits (Longitudinal Study of Recruits Data) were collected from 1,072 new officers drawn from four large departments in four states and many smaller departments in a fifth state. These locations make up a total of 32 separate recruit classes.
Data for the survey of supervisors (Longitudinal Study of Supervisors Data, n=463) were collected from agencies in six different states throughout the United States. There were 27 local police agencies participating in the project. Research staff completed in-depth interviews with 24 of these. Nine of the interviews were with chiefs of small departments (16-29 sworn); 12 were chiefs of medium-sized departments (103-622 sworn); and three were with chiefs of large departments (2,000 to 13,000 sworn).
Mode of Data Collection:
paper and pencil interview (PAPI),
Description of Variables:
The Organizational surveys involved eleven topical modules:
- Accountability (Accountability Data, 118 variables, n=2,146) includes demographic variables (age, gender, race, and level of education) for sworn and civilian employees, variables about engagement in the work place, how employees treat each other and the public, and how the disciplinary process works.
- Communication and Innovation (Communication and Innovation Data, 58 variables, n=1,508) includes demographic variables (age, gender, race, and level of education) for sworn and civilian employees, other variables ask about the types of programs used by the department, such as community policing, problem-oriented policing, hot spots policing, and the use of technology by the department, such as the use of Compstat, in-car cameras, early warning systems, and crime analysis units. Additional variables ask if the departments reward creativity and innovation, and if employee input is considered during the problem solving process.
- Culture (Culture Data, 89 variables, n=1,363) includes demographic variables (age, gender, race, and level of education) for sworn and civilian employees. Variables ask about overall job satisfaction, if employees are treated the same regardless of gender, race, or status as sworn or civilian, there is open and honest dialogue, if personal experiences or opinions are dismissed by other officers, if officers socializes across racial and gender groups, if there are negative or sexualized jokes made about female or minority officers, and if discrimination programs are needed.
- Fairness (Fairness Data, 88 variables, n=778) includes demographic variables (age, gender, race, and level of education) for sworn and civilian employees. Variables ask about satisfaction with pay and benefits, work assignments, coworkers, supervisors and senior administrators. Other variables ask about job burn out and frustration, treatment of employees, rewards for doing a good job, input in decision making, and interactions with supervisors.
- Health and Stress (Stress and Health Satisfaction Data, 58 variables, n=2,594) includes demographic variables (age, gender, race, and level of education) and whether respondent is a sworn or civilian employee. Variables ask about job burn out, feeling emotionally drained from work, and experience of physical symptoms such as upset stomach, backache, headache and trouble sleeping. Other variables ask about how often the respondent had exercised, had sufficient sleep, relaxed outside of the job and had leisure time with friends or family in the past month. Additional variables ask about job satisfaction, safety concerns, and feelings of support and trust.
- Leadership and Supervision (Leadership Data, 85 variables, n=1,859) includes demographic variables (age, gender, race, and level of education) for sworn and civilian employees. Respondents were asked about their supervisors on several issues, including: treats employees with respect; gives honest feedback; trusts employees to make decisions; makes clear what is expected of employees; recognizes when employees are having a hard time; maintains high standards for the unit; and is supportive of employees when things get tough.
- Police and Community (Police and Community Data, 107 variables, n=1,785) includes demographic variables (age, gender, race, and level of education) for sworn and civilian employees. Variables ask about department effectiveness in working with civilian groups, involvement in the community and educating the community on the role of the police. Additional variables on community involvement include officers working on relationships within the community, making informal contact with residents where they work, spending time answering questions, explaining what is happening when dealing with citizen concerns, and helping to solve non-crime problems on their beat. Respondents are asked about the relationship between the police and the community, trust and cooperation.
- Structure, Unions and Priorities (Priorities Data, 103 variables, n=2,499) includes demographic variables (age, gender, race, and level of education) for sworn and civilian employees. Variables identify department priorities such as ensuring fair and equal treatment of all citizens, reducing the sale of illegal drugs, reducing gun violence, increasing public satisfaction with police services, reducing violent crime, reducing property crime, improving officers skills by in-service training, and helping citizens obtain services from other agencies. Other variables ask about the role of police unions, interactions between unions and upper management and restrictions placed on officers by department rules and procedures.
- Technology (Technology Data, 97 variables, n=1,769) includes demographic variables (age, gender, race, and level of education) for sworn and civilian employees. Variables ask if the department keeps computer data on crime incidents, the use of in-car cameras and crime maps. Respondents are asked how often for what purpose the computer data, in-car cameras and crime maps are utilized. Respondents are asked how helpful they find the following: computerized databases, gang databases, crime mapping, in-car cameras, tasers, the internet, surveillance cameras on the streets, blackberries or smart cell phones, and e-ticket devices.
- Training (Training Data, 90 variables, n=1,346) includes demographic variables (age, gender, race, and level of education) for sworn and civilian employees. Variables ask respondents to rate training in several areas including officer safety and survival, firearms, physical wellbeing, use of force and type of weapon to use, driving skills, uses of tasers and other non-firearms weapons, verbal communication and de-escalation skills, disciplinary policies, pursuit policies, preparing for court, working in multicultural communities, working with the mental ill, handling victims of domestic assaults, sexual assault and general crime, handling incident involving juvenile offenders, working with other government agencies and community groups.; and
- Omnibus (Omnibus A Data, 124 variables, n=1,139 and Omnibus B Data, 128 variables, n=1,705) include demographic variables (age, gender, race, and level of education) for sworn and civilian employees. Variables pull from the topics covered by the other Organizational surveys including job satisfactions, department priorities, health and wellbeing, support from supervisors, training and procedures, and interactions with the community.
The Public Satisfaction Survey (Public Satisfaction Survey Data, 53 variables, n=1,290) includes demographic variables (age, race, gender, and homeownership), variables asking about the recent contact the respondent had with the police including type of incident, the respondent's role in the incident, the relationship between the respondent and the victim, and if an arrest was made. Respondents were asked about the demographics (age and gender) of the officer who responded to the incident. Additional variables asked if the respondent felt the officer was polite, fair, objective, if the officer seemed concerned about the respondent's feeling during the incident, if the officer answered any questions the respondent had or explained what would happen next, and if the respondent felt the officer acted professionally. Finally, respondents were asked about their opinions on the police department in general, including whether they thought the police were doing a good job, treat people fairly, could be relied on and if the respondent would be willing to help the police find people who commit crime in their neighborhood.
The survey of police recruits (Longitudinal Study of Recruits Data, 1,955 variables, n=1,072) includes variables across the following domains
- Decision to Become a Police Officer
- Learning about Police
- Being a Police Officer
- Goals of Policing
- Expectations about the Police Role
- Opinions about Community and Police
- Opinions about Life
- Interactions with the Public
- Opinions about the Use of Force
- Police Training
- Assessment of Your Job
- Satisfaction with Job
- Police Integrity
- Health and Fitness
- Satisfaction with Life
- Viewpoint on People and Society
- Family History, Family Dynamics and Parenting
- Exposure to Violence and Aggressive Actions
- Communication Style and Communication Skills
- About You - Demographics and Self Perceptions
- Coping; and
- Responses to hypothetical situations.
The survey of supervisors (Longitudinal Study of Supervisors Data, 681 variables, n=463) includes variables across the following domains:
- Views of Supervision
- Dealing with Problem Officers
- Department Policies, Practices and Culture
- View of the Agency
- View of the Community and Outside Agencies
- Career Goals
- Demographic Information
- Health and Stress
- Unforeseen Challenges of being a Supervisor
- Coaching and Managing Subordinates
- Views of Good Supervision
The survey of police chiefs (Senior Executive Survey Data, 61 variables, n=24) includes variables about the public's most frequent concern and steps the chief can take to address those concerns, if the chief has influence on selecting upper management, supervisor and police officers, the chief's ability to change working conditions and organizational structure, the greatest impediment to the chief making important organizational changes, number of years with the department and number of years as chief.
Response rates varied by study and site. Details about the response rates can be found in the final technical report associated with this study.
Presence of Common Scales: