Police Human Resource Planning: National Surveys, 2011-2013 [United States and Canada] (ICPSR 34885)

Principal Investigator(s): Cordner, Gary, Kutztown University; Cordner, Annmarie, Kutztown University

Summary:

This study utilized: a national survey of law enforcement officials; a national survey of criminal justice faculty; a survey of criminal justice students at Arizona State University, Kutztown University, Michigan State University, and Sam Houston State University; four separate surveys of a small expert panel; and mini-case studies to investigate issues associated with police human resource management and planning, such as recruitment, selection, training, and promotion.

Access Notes

  • These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

Dataset(s)

Dataset
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Study Description

Citation

Cordner, Gary, and Annmarie Cordner. Police Human Resource Planning: National Surveys, 2011-2013 [United States and Canada]. ICPSR34885-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-09-13. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34885.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34885.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2009-SC-B9-0022)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    educational assessment, educational needs, hiring practices, human resources, personnel policy, police cadets, police officers, police recruits, police training, student attitudes, work attitudes

Smallest Geographic Unit:    Region

Geographic Coverage:    Canada, United States

Time Period:   

  • 2011--2013

Date of Collection:   

  • 2013-01--2013-02 (Survey of Law Enforcement Officials and HR Professionals dataset)
  • 2013-01--2013-02 (Criminal Justice Faculty Survey dataset)
  • 2011-09--2011-11 (Criminal Justice Student Survey dataset)
  • 2012-07--2012-11 (Expert Panel Surveys)

Unit of Observation:    Individual

Universe:   

Law enforcement professionals, criminal justice faculty, and human resource professionals in the United States and Canada.

Criminal justice students at Arizona State University, Kutztown University, Michigan State University, and Sam Houston State University.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

The mini-case studies data are not available at this time.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   

The purpose of this study was to update the understanding of the practice of human resource (HR) planning in policing by administering surveys to a small expert panel and to a much larger number of law enforcement officials, human resource professionals, academic criminal justice faculty, and university criminal justice students. The surveys sought information about current human resource practices, current challenges, career orientations of students (potential employees), and perspectives on what is working well, what is not, and what interested parties think should be changed. Also, mini-case studies on current HR issues and practices were collected from individuals with direct knowledge.

Study Design:   

The study carried out five data collection efforts:

  1. Mini-surveys on police human resources (HR) topics, recruitment, selection, training, and promotion completed by a small expert panel: This was used as a guide in developing the national survey of law enforcement agencies and also provide views on contemporary HR issues in law enforcement.
  2. Compilation of mini-case studies on current HR issues and practices of particular interest from individuals with direct knowledge of these practices: Topics for the case studies were gathered from the literature review and the expert panel surveys.
  3. Survey of Law Enforcement Officials and HR Professionals: The survey items primarily sought the respondents' views and opinions on the effectiveness of current HR practices, the desirability of alternative practices, and the significance of various constraints that might affect police HR management.
  4. Criminal Justice Faculty Survey: The survey asked questions on their assessment of criminal justice education in general and as preparation for law enforcement, and their self-assessment as scholars, educators, intellectuals, and criminal justice professionals.
  5. Criminal Justice Student Survey: The survey asked questions on the student's interest in law enforcement as a career, reasons for choosing criminal justice, attractiveness of various job incentives, and their preparations for a career in law enforcement.

Sample:   

Survey of Law Enforcement Officials and HR Professionals dataset.

The following mailing lists were used to send out links to an on-line survey in late 2012 and early 2013. Three reminders were sent to non-respondents from the IACP Big Ideas and Discover policing lists, spaced five to seven days apart, followed by a final reminder. Only one reminder was sent to the Major City-County Chiefs Association

  • Discover Policing web site (1,904 members): This list contained a mixture of individuals primarily identified as police officials, human resource officials, or local government officials. The list included at least 250 chiefs/sheriffs or their immediate assistants, another 150+ police commanders, 76 sergeants, about 500 members with HR, personnel, or recruitment in their position titles, plus a large number of city/county managers and their aides.
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Big Ideas subscribers (1,107 members): Most of the members represented law enforcement agencies, including 581 with the title chief/assistant chief/deputy chief, 19 with the title sheriff/chief deputy/undersheriff, 12 majors, 63 captains, 73 lieutenants, 86 sergeants, a number of retired high-ranking officials, and a mixture of other respondents.
  • Major City-County Chiefs Association (70 members): This list comprised of chiefs/sheriffs of the 63 largest United States law enforcement agencies along with seven Canadian agencies.

Criminal Justice Faculty Survey dataset.

A list of 1,531 academy members was obtained from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Members without email address and non-United States residents were removed for a total of 1,406 members. A starting point on the list was randomly chosen and then every third name was selected until a sample of 500 was reached. Subsequent discovery of inaccurate email address and retired members reduced the sample to 494. The survey was administered on-line using the Instant Survey software platform. For survey recipients who did not respond, three reminder emails were sent spaced five to seven days apart, followed by a final reminder email.

Criminal Justice Student Survey dataset

An online survey was administered to all undergraduate criminal justice majors at four universities that have substantial enrollments of students majoring in criminal justice (500+ majors at each university). The four universities were Arizona State University, Kutztown University, Michigan State University, and Sam Houston State University.

Expert Panel Surveys

A small number of police and human resource (HR) professionals were invited to serve on an expert panel to help guide the development of the national survey of law enforcement agencies and also provide their views on contemporary HR issues in law enforcement. The 15 members were selected based on their expertise and experience, as well as for representation of different types of agencies and regions of the country. The expert panel consisted of former Chiefs of Police, administrators, academics and human resource experts. They were ask to respond to four short online surveys.

Time Method:    Cross-sectional

Mode of Data Collection:    web-based survey

Description of Variables:   

Survey of Law Enforcement Officials and Human Resource (HR) Professionals dataset (n=717) contains 87 variables and recodes of these variables on respondent views on the following subjects:

  • HR objectives: recruitment, quality and training of applicants, and promotion, retention and termination of employees.
  • HR issues: level of satisfaction on recruitment/retention of college graduates, women, and minorities, views on officer recruits with college degrees such as if they were preferred, should have had basic police training, educational focus on communication skills and problem solving skills, and overall level of satisfaction on the quality of recruits and retention.
  • HR factors: economic conditions, equal employment opportunity, unions, market competition of recruits, and own agency's recruiting initiatives, salary levels, fringe benefits, and pension/retirement benefits.
  • Demographics: size of agency, type of agency, geographical region, and position in agency.

Criminal Justice Faculty Survey dataset (n=263) contains 27 variables on the respondent's opinion of their role as a scholar, an educator, an intellectual and a criminal justice professional, how they rate their quality and quantity of research, teaching, and type of research, assessment of criminal justice education such as educational focus and what should be taught, and demographics such as highest degree earned, work experience in the field of criminal justice, academic position, and highest level of criminal justice degree offered by their institution.

Criminal Justice Student Survey dataset (n=1004) contains 194 variables and recodes of these variables on the respondent's views on the following subjects:

  • Reasons for choosing criminal justice major, level of interest in various criminal justice careers, plans after graduation, reasons for choosing a career in criminal justice such as career prospects and community service, influences of family/friends on choosing criminal justice, and opinions on disadvantages of a career in criminal justice such as salary level, health impact, and negative view of the career from others.
  • Incentives that would help make a decision on taking a specific job such as salary level, financial incentives for home purchase, job commute, and gym membership, child care during employment and academy, and work scheduling and choice in duty assignments.
  • Preparation for a career in law enforcement other than course work such as internships, volunteering, and networking, enrolled criminal justice program satisfaction level, and opinions on skills such as critical thinking, observational, communication, research, and physical, needed for a career in law enforcement and how well college education has helped to develop these skills.
  • Demographics such as race, gender, transfer student, military experience, current employment, and previous or current experience in law enforcement.

Expert Panel Survey

  • Expert Panel Survey 1 Recruitment dataset (n=12) contains 26 variables on expert's opinions on: past years recruitment crunch; quality of applicants; agency's efforts in recruitment in general, of minorities, and of women; and factors hindering recruitment such as salary levels, benefits, negative views on policing, and perception of the job.
  • Expert Panel Survey 2 Selection dataset (n=12) contains 28 variables on expert's opinions on: the overall police selection process; change of focus from screening out to screening in; changes in eligibility requirements such as minimum age, minimum education level, communication ability, physical conditioning, traffic violation history, drug use history, and criminal history; validity of tests used in selection such as written test, physical fitness test, and background investigations; and constrains of selection/eligibility by equal employment opportunity, local politics, civil service/merit systems, budget, and unions.
  • Expert Panel Survey 3 Training dataset (n=9) contains 25 variables on expert's opinions on: the effectiveness, validity and length of police academy training; the effectiveness of pre-employment academies vs post-employment academies; regional/state academies vs single-agency academies; the value of systematic evaluation of academies, whether academy training should be more problem focused, community focused, or communication skills focused; whether academies should be more integrated with secondary education and/or higher education; shifting towards field training; and more emphasis towards PTO model.
  • Expert Panel Survey 4 Promotion dataset (n=12) contains 28 variables on expert's opinions on: overall validity of the promotion process; validity of each component of police promotion process; constraints to improvements/changes of promotion process such as equal employment opportunity, local politics, civil service/merit systems, budget, and unions; effectiveness of police promotion systems for each rank; and effectiveness of training that accompanies promotion for each rank.

Response Rates:   

Survey of Law Enforcement Officials and HR Professionals dataset: 23.4%.

Criminal Justice Faculty Survey dataset: 53%.

Criminal Justice Student Survey dataset: 1004 responses.

Expert Panel Surveys: 60% to 80%.

Presence of Common Scales:    Several Likert-type scales were used.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:   2016-09-13

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