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This paper aims to analyse and discuss conditions for gender equality in police leadership. This is done by interviewing 28 sworn police leaders in Sweden, and using a doing gender perspective for analyses. The results show that women and, to a greater extent, men in police leadership do gender traditionally. Explanations for the lack of female leaders and strategies for increasing the number of female leaders are shown to either focus on women as individuals (mostly men) or organisational structure and culture (mostly women). Further, strategies to reach gender equality goals are critically examined. These could be used to create concrete diversity and equality work within police and other organisations. Whether or not quantitative gender equality work (raising the number of females in leadership positions) can create changes in qualitative gender equality (the learning of new norms to change experiences of inclusion and exclusion in relation to gender) is discussed.
The police service in England and Wales has developed a new approach to police leadership where individuals from outside of the police service can now enter directly to leadership ranks. Previous research identified that officers place great value on being led by someone who has experience of being a police officer. Adopting a social identity perspective, the current paper reports on quantitative and qualitative data about police officer views on direct entry and existing police leadership captured as part of a wider national survey (N = 12,549) of police officers in England and Wales. The paper identifies the importance that shared identity and credibility play in police follower/leadership relationships. It argues that direct-entry police leaders face credibility issues linked to their lack of shared police identity but also that serving officers perceive existing leaders to be poor because they believe they have forgotten what it is like to be a police officer. This paper develops a new theoretical and empirical approach to police leadership utilizing social and organizational psychology theory and research. The paper suggests that if police leaders understand police identity, then they can create propitious conditions within which police officers will follow their leaders.
The purpose of this article is to identify the attributes of police leadership and their relationships, associated with the dimensions of to be, to know, know-how, and know to be of the police officer. The methodological design used is of mixed type. For empirical study, the approach was sequential. First, qualitative data was collected and analysed, which then supported the collection and interpretation of quantitative data. The method of data collection is of a sequential exploratory nature (DEXPLOS) with a derivative modality: a theoretical-conceptual foundation was constructed, and qualitative data was obtained in focus groups (first tool) and, then, quantitative data was obtained from the results of a survey on the institutional climate (second tool), with the purpose of guaranteeing a representative sample for the validation of the police leader's attributes. The results obtained identify through the technique discussion groups and, later validation with the technique of structural equations, that the attributes -police honour, service vocational, credibility and trust, adaptability and effectiveness, vision and innovation- are essentials and inseparables from police leader.
Police officer well-being In these times of increased tensions between police officers and their communities, the need for effective police leadership is more important than ever. Past research suggests that a transformational style of leadership is preferred by most officers, with supervisors who are good communicators, trustworthy, effective at training officers for changing times, and able to create a shared cooperative vision. The present study developed a new Transformational Police Leadership Scale (TPLS) that police departments might eventually use to assess supervisor leadership characteristics. Participants included 152 US police officers who completed anonymous surveys to report demographics, to rate leadership behaviors of immediate supervisors, and to report their psychosocial well-being (self-esteem, perceived police social support, romantic partner conflict). Exploratory factor analysis produced a 20-item TPLS with three dimensions showing acceptable internal reliability and test-retest reliability: Clear Communication, Training and Cooperation, and Fairness and Honesty. The three TPLS dimensions were not associated with demographics (age, gender, marital status, college education, patrol officer rank, years of service), suggesting their relevance to a variety of officers. The TPLS dimensions significantly explained variance in psychosocial well-being of police officers including better self-esteem (R .sup.2 = .11), more perceived police social support (R .sup.2 = .30), and less romantic partner conflict (R .sup.2 = .12). Future research could expand evaluation of TPLS psychometric characteristics such as confirmatory factor analysis with larger and more diverse sample, inter-rater reliability, and convergent validity with other non-police measures of transformative leadership.
In this paper, we ascertain whether a practice-based approach can increase our knowledge of police leadership. This approach represents an alternative to normative management models which have dominated the management literature. The normative approach often focuses on how police leaders must lead as well as on the traits and skills of police leaders. In contrast, our focus is on what leaders do and why and, therefore, what constitutes their professional leadership practices. We conducted qualitative explorative studies with Norwegian police leaders in 2016 and 2018. Our data were collected through the following means: a one-day shadowing of 27 police leaders, six weeks of fieldwork, 63 formal interviews of police leaders and a substantial number of informal conversations with police leaders and subordinates. In our analysis of leadership as practice, we recognise the importance of structural, cultural and contextual conditions as well as the emergent and dynamic nature of leadership practices. We identified four important practice dynamics: producing, relating, interpreting/sensemaking and negotiating. These practice dynamics were concerned with the relationships between leader(s) and employees, often characterised by the following. ‘Taking care of each other’ and ‘us against them’ within a leadership practice. Interpretations and sensemaking of the ‘reality’ within practices and production of policing as collective achievements. The language, symbols; artefacts, the police mission in relation to how it belongs/identifies with the practice and the negotiations of police leaders ‘fighting’ for resources (silos). And the continuously creation of manoeuvring spaces in what constitute police leaderś professional practice.
Given the challenges that police organisations continue to face in attracting visible minorities, this study reviews how minority police officers perceive the barriers they confront. The systematic review of the literature provided the initial framework to guide the interviews with 20 visible minority police officers in a medium sized police organisation in Western Canada. The results illustrate that this police organisation, like many others, is slow in changing its organisational culture. This was demonstrated through comments about some misguided recruitment practices where human resource officers are not able to generate interest from potential minority recruits. It was also demonstrated through comments about leadership's inability to follow through on improving diversity. Thirdly, it was demonstrated through comments about job satisfaction and motivational issues. The findings point to reshaping recruitment, leadership and motivational practices as a way to better develop a more heterogeneous police culture. In re-engineering the recruitment process, a key message emphasises building relationships using 'gatekeepers'. Changes in leadership practices might encourage transformational or shared types of leadership with structures for more engagement - teamwork, participation, and personal development. This may allow leaders and members to be involved in pursuing diversity goals and be internally motivated to carry them out. The findings also indicate that key motivators for minorities relate to community feedback, autonomy, career developmental opportunities and team relationships. These motivators build on police public service-like motivators (PSM's) emphasising service to the larger community, a focus which might offer insights in responding to the diversity issues in the future.
Despite the global growth of evidence-based policing (EBP), there remains a resistance to change within police organizations that ultimately impedes the adoption of evidence-based practices. As a means of identifying which level of policing is most resistant to EBP, the present study describes results from interviews with 38 sworn and civilian Canadian police executives on their perceptions as to which level of policing - leadership, middle management, or the frontline - is most resistant. The results indicate that although there was no consensus among our participants, the middle management level was perceived as most resistant to EBP for a wide array of reasons. Ultimately, the results have practical implications for police practice that surround the need for a greater adoption of change.
oday, in Canadian policing research, unprecedented opportunities exist for university-based researchers to investigate various research questions with cooperation from police leadership. Given complexities in contemporary policing, it is recognized that transformational changes require contributions from external knowledge and scientific research - in furtherance of the movement toward evidence-based practices. This paper incorporates data originating from interviews with 20 Canadian police commanders and 20 Canadian policing research academics. It is clear that the majority of this study's participants realize that more cooperative research arrangements are required to resolve long-standing issues around access, trust, and control of the research agenda. For academics, however, this does not extend to a policing research institute model for Canada (similar to that of the Scottish Institute for Police Research). In addressing these issues, this paper informs, and provides empirical context to, on-going international discussions across policing research and police communities - vis-à-vis ending the 'dialogue of the deaf'.
Public police now use online and social media spaces as forums for communication. Drawing from discourse and semiotic analysis, and contributing to literature on police image management, we analyze police Instagram communications from five Canadian cities. Focusing on public police services’ Instagram posts, which are more indebted to visual communication than Twitter and Facebook, we examine the ways police communications frame community and diversity. Arguing that these communications resemble the fantastical authenticity found in other Instagram communications, we show how police mobilize images of community and diversity on Instagram to create positive affective relations with community. We argue that these communications amplify policing myths and operate to enhance police legitimacy. In the discussion, we assess what our findings mean for literatures on public police social media communications and policing myths.
The enforcement of drug laws in the United States has been heavily racialized. A substantial proportion of individuals arrested and prosecuted for drug possession in America are Black and Latino, despite similar rates of drug use across racial groups. Due to a lack of access to racially disaggregated criminal justice data, little is known about how race influences drug law enforcement in Canada. We conducted an analysis of cannabis arrest data obtained from police services in five Canadian cities (Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Ottawa, Halifax) to determine whether racial differences exist in rates of arrest for minor cannabis possession in Canada. With just one exception, we find that both Black and Indigenous people are over-represented amongst those arrested for cannabis possession across the five cities examined. Canadian cannabis legalization lacks measures to redress the racialized harms caused by the war on drugs because the full extent of these harms remains largely unknown. Broader collection and dissemination of disaggregated criminal justice data is needed in the Canadian context in order to inform criminal justice and social policy.
The current study examined the experiences and perceptions of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in relation to their interactions with the police. Thirty-five adults with ASD living in Canada completed a detailed survey that probed their experiences with police in depth. Amongst respondents, police contact was common and frequent, occurring under a diverse range of circumstances. More than three-quarters of respondents reported at least one lifetime police interaction, with 53% of respondents reporting four or more. The majority of respondents viewed their police interactions unfavourably, and many reported experiencing adverse effects. Results suggest that this negativity toward their police encounters may be largely due to the fact that police are unaware they are interacting with someone with ASD, and perhaps also a lack of resources available to police officers for people with ASD. Findings provide insights into the nature of police encounters amongst individuals with ASD, emphasizing how interactions between people with ASD and the police may be improved in the future.
The current study attempts to determine whether HR practices such as job autonomy, training, and organizational support in terms of rewards are related to positive change behaviours toward the community policing program among first‐line police officers. We also test the role of affective commitment and change‐related self‐efficacy as mediators of these relationships. Based on a survey of 476 officers in a large police department in the United States, our results show that affective commitment to change emerged as a mediator while the mediating effect of change‐related self‐efficacy was not significant. The study has important implications for HR and for implementing change programs in police organizations globally and in Canada.
Research based in the US and Britain have established that perceptions of the police are particularly low among youth and racialized communities. However, by contrast, little is known about racialized youth perceptions of the police within Canada. Due to formal and informal bans on the collection of race-based data, Canada maintains its international reputation as a tolerant multicultural society. Using the critical race methodology of composite counter-storytelling, this paper will highlight the perspectives of Black and Indigenous youth and explore their experiences with law enforcement. This aims to counter Canada’s international status as a multicultural utopia and demonstrate how legal criminal justice actors, such as the police, perpetuate the marginalized status of Black and Indigenous youth through the process of criminalization.
The purpose of this study was to examine associations between three subtypes of childhood maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, and exposure to intimate partner violence) and two forms of adult police contact (criminality, victimization) using nationally representative Canadian data. Presence of a mental health disorder was also explored as a potential mediating variable in these associations. The weighted sample included 23,846 adult participants from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health. Logistic and multinomial regression analyses examined associations among individual and multiple exposures to subtypes of childhood maltreatment with police contact. The Sobel test was used to assess the mediating effect of mental health disorders. Adjusting for sociodemographic variables, results indicated that all maltreatment subtypes were significantly associated with increased odds of both forms of police contact (adjusted odds ratios ranged from 2.06 to 2.95). Presence of a mental health disorder was a partial mediator in the associations between child maltreatment and both forms of adult police contact (adjusted odds ratios ranged from 1.52 to 2.32). In addition, a dose-response relationship was observed for victimization; as the number of subtypes of maltreatment increased, there was an incremental increase in risk of victimization. Future efforts are needed to prioritize child maltreatment prevention, trauma-informed approaches, mental health awareness, and training in law enforcement.
This study employs a quasi-experimental design to evaluate drinking age laws.•The paper uses a national dataset of police-reported violent victimization events.•Men and women gaining the drinking age incur increases in violent victimization. Background/aim: Given that alcohol-related victimization is highly prevalent among young adults, the current study aimed to assess the potential impacts of Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) laws on police-reported violent victimization events among young people. Design: A regression-discontinuity (RD) approach was applied to victimization data from the Canadian Uniform Crime Reporting 2 (UCR2) Incident-based survey from 2009-2013. Participants/cases: All police-reported violent victimization events (females: n = 178,566; males: n = 156,803) among youth aged 14–22 years in Canada. Measurements: Violent victimization events, primarily consisting of homicide, physical assault, sexual assault, and robbery. Results: In comparison to youth slightly younger than the drinking age, both males and females slightly older than MLDA had significant and immediate increases in police-reported violent victimization events (females: 13.5%, 95% CI: 7.5%–19.5%, p < 0.001; males: 11.6%, 95% CI: 6.6%–16.7%, p < 0.001). Victimizations occurring in the evening rose sharply immediately after the MLDA by 22.8% (95% CI: 9.9%–35.7%, p = 0.001) for females and 19.3% (95% CI: 11.5%–27.2%, p < 0.001) for males. Increases in violent victimization immediately after MLDA were most prominent in bar/restaurant/open-air settings, with victimizations rising sharply by 44.9% (95% CI: 29.5%–60.2%, p < 0.001) among females and 18.3% (95% CI: 7.7%–29.0%, p = 0.001) among males. Conclusions: Young people gaining minimum legal drinking age incur immediate increases in police-reported violent victimizations, especially those occurring in the evening and at bar/restaurant/open-air settings. Evidence suggests that increasing the MLDA may attenuate patterns of violent victimization in newly restricted age groups.
Bridging prison and immigration justice is of utmost importance, and an obvious and strategic point of encounter for dialogue among activists and scholars working on these issues is immigration detention. But as penal and carceral abolitionists have taught us, we cannot tackle prison injustice without addressing broader issues in policing, criminal law and other means of coercive social control. Taking my cues from this work, I suggest that we move upstream and look at the role of immigration policing in detention and deportation. The article draws from records obtained mostly through Access to Information (ATI) and Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to map out collaboration between the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and municipal police forces in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. In looking for ways to limit police involvement in internal border control, the article discusses strategies to promote a culture of non-collaboration with immigration enforcement and build alternative means of ensuring community safety and well-being in the spirit of police and border abolitionism.
This study takes a comparative approach to examine public satisfaction with the police, focusing on three theoretical models: the demographic model, the neighbourhood conditions model, and the prior contacts with the police model. Using survey data collected from two mid-sized communities in the U.S. and Canada, this study analyzes the similarities and differences in the factors affecting satisfaction with the police with both statistical methods and random forests analysis. The statistical results suggest a great amount of similarity in the effects of theoretically relevant factors across the two samples. The random forests analysis further points to the consistent importance of age, quality of life, and education in predicting public satisfaction. In addition, both analyses find that the effects of age and quality of life are stronger for the sample in the U.S. than those for the sample in Canada. This study suggests that police departments in these jurisdictions could effectively improve satisfaction with the police by addressing quality of life issues in their communities and improving their relationship with younger citizens and citizens with lower levels of education through better interactions.
Since the 1970s, the state response to intimate partner violence (IPV) has increasingly become one of criminalization-particularly police intervention. Little is known, however, about marginalized women's experiences with the police within a context of intimate partner violence in Canada. Drawing on interviews with 90 battered immigrant women, this study examines which women contact the police, why some do not, and what characterizes their experiences when the police are involved in an IPV incident. This study demonstrates that while the women who called the police were demographically similar to those who did not call, the women who called reported much greater levels of physical abuse. Findings indicate that general fear of the police and fear of police being racist or culturally insensitive continue to be important reasons why women do not call the police. Notably, the majority of women who had contact with the police reported the encounter as positive.
Police officers, and specifically women officers, report elevated mental disorder rates relative to the general population, which may be impacted by sleep quality, policing-related stress, and social support. In a sample of Canadian police officers, sex was indirectly related to post traumatic stress, depression, generalized anxiety, panic, and social anxiety symptoms through its relationships with social support and sleep quality, but not through policing-related stress. Sex was indirectly related to problematic alcohol use symptoms through sleep quality only. Differences in clinical symptom severity between both sexes may be partially accounted for by the worsened sleep quality reported by women officers relative to their men counterparts. Conversely, general social support appears to be a protective, albeit insufficient, factor influencing the mental health of women police officers. Male and women police officers did not differ in their reports of policing-related stress. The current results underscore the importance of incorporating strategies to improve sleep practices into police workplace environments. Additionally, findings that general social support and policing-related stress do not help explain the trend of increased clinical severity reported by women police suggest that more research is still needed to identify and delineate other contributing factors.