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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 214121 Find in a Library
Title: Profiling Police: Evaluating the Predictive and Structural Validity of an Actuarial Method for Screening Civil Liabilities Among Police Officer Candidates
Author(s): Ivory A. Toldson Ph.D.
Date Published: 2006
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
Grant Number: 2003-IJ-CX-1006
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the predictive and structural validity of an actuarial method for predicting traits associated with negligent and volatile behavior among police officer candidates.
Abstract: The results revealed that an actuarial approach to police officer candidate screening can offer a robust prediction of police behavior and can improve the prediction of civil liability indicators among police officers. Candidates demonstrating the following profiles were found to be more likely to become “bad” police officers: evasiveness, bizarre mentality, family problems, insubordination, and prior complaints. An actuarial approach to police candidate screening involves comparing a candidate’s profile, generally determined through psychological screenings, to thousands of preexisting profiles of police officers to determine whether the candidate is more similar to “good cops” or “bad cops.” In this study, investigators assessed whether the three main civil liabilities of Excessive Force, Racially Offensive Behavior, and Sexually Offensive Behavior could be predicted based on variables from a preexisting database of 2,852 police officers who completed assessments at a private police psychological practice. Indices of “good” and “bad” police officers was determined on the basis of post-test assessments, supervisor ratings, incident reports, reprimands, and civilian complaints. Data were initially analyzed through the use of principal components analysis with varimax, stepwise multiple regression analyses, and confirmatory factor analysis. The authors then used a model development approach in which structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test models, followed by the testing of alternative models suggested by SEM modification indexes. Future research should assess standards of police psychological screenings. Figures, tables, references
Main Term(s): Police personnel selection; Police recruits
Index Term(s): NIJ grant-related documents; Psychological research; Psychologists role in policing; Research methods; Research uses in policymaking
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