Examining the Effects of Agency Accreditation on Police Officer Behavior

Abstract

The policy of accreditation of criminal justice organizations has grown over the last four decades. Some advocates for accreditation claim that it facilitates organizational change at all levels of the organization. To date, however, little empirical research has examined these claims, especially within criminal justice agencies. While accreditation leads agencies to adopt formal policies, the previous literature on street-level bureaucrat behavior would suggest rank-and-file employees are unlikely to follow these formal policies as intended. The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) is the accrediting body for law enforcement agencies in North America, and part of the formal policies CALEA accreditation requires regard engagement in community oriented policing. The present study examined whether officers on CALEA accredited agencies differed from officers with agencies not seeking accreditation, with regard to their engagement in community policing activities. The findings revealed that agency accreditation was not associated with the degree to which officers engaged in community oriented policing activities.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Data for this study was obtained from: Haarrr, Robin N., Impact of Community Policing Training and Program Implementation on Police Personnel in Arizona, 1995–1998 [Computer file]. ICPSR version. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona State University West [producer], 2001. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium of Political and Social Research [distributor], 2003.

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Correspondence to Richard R. Johnson.

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Johnson, R.R. Examining the Effects of Agency Accreditation on Police Officer Behavior. Public Organiz Rev 15, 139–155 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11115-013-0265-4

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Keywords

  • CALEA
  • Accreditation
  • Police
  • Management
  • Supervision
  • Community policing
  • Public policy
  • Organizational behavior