skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 167595 Find in a Library
Title: Police Cynicism: Causes and Cures
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:65  Issue:6  Dated:(June 1996)  Pages:16-20
Author(s): W Graves
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Cynicism among police personnel is examined with respect to its nature, causes, and prevention, with emphasis on the role of police leaders to build a culture of policing that promotes a healthy, positive setting.
Abstract: Research during the 1960's and 1970's revealed that police cynicism generally increased during the first 10 years of service, then declined slightly, and finally leveled off. More recent research has focused on the related conditions of burnout and stress. These emotional conditions all produce two main unhealthy responses from police officers: withdrawal from society and antipathy to idealism. Factors contributing to police cynicism include the conditions on the streets, police officers' ensuing loss of respect for the law, and occupational stagnation resulting from specialization. Competent, principle-centered, people-oriented leadership has a significant influence on preventing cynicism. Police leaders must demonstrate their commitment to the ideals of honesty, fairness, justice, courage, integrity, loyalty, and compassion. Leaders should also provide police with continuous training on rules of evidence, build a culture of integrity in the agency, be consistent over the long term, provide job enrichment programs, use participatory management styles, and set realistic expectations. Other issues to address include recruiting, training, mentors and peer counselors, and community policing. Reference notes
Main Term(s): Police work attitudes
Index Term(s): Burnout syndrome; Job pressure; Police management; Police occupational stress; Stress management
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.