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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 194078 Find in a Library
Title: How Police Supervisory Styles Influence Patrol Officer Behavior
Series: NIJ Research Report
Author(s): Robin Shepard Engel
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
Washington, DC 20530
Grant Number: 95-IJ-CX-0071
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF|Text
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report examines the way in which police supervisory styles influence patrol officer behavior within the community.
Abstract: Three main research questions are addressed in this report: (1) What types of supervisory styles are prominent in the field? (2) How do supervisory styles influence patrol officer behavior? (3) What are the resulting implications for departmental policy and practice? Field observations of the Indianapolis Police Department and the St. Petersburg Police Department, as well as interviews, identified four types of supervisory styles: traditional, innovative, supportive, and active. None of the four styles was noted as ideal; each had its drawbacks and limitations. The report details aspects of each style and then identifies the active supervisory style as the most influential on patrol officer behavior. Researchers found that an active supervisory style resulted in patrol officers who were twice as likely to use force against suspects. Patrol officers who had an active supervisor were also more likely to be proactive in their policing activities and spend more time per shift engaged in problem-solving and community-oriented activities. Overall, the research revealed that police supervisors best lead by example, which is the hallmark of the active style. However, supervisors must take care to present a positive example and avoid negative behaviors, like the unlawful use of excessive force. Study limitations include the fact that data were generated from only two police departments in urban areas.
Main Term(s): Police supervision
Index Term(s): NIJ grant-related documents; Patrol units; Police attitudes; Police decisionmaking; Police management; Police research
Note: NIJ Research for Practice
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