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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70563 Find in a Library
Title: Police Career Planning Among University Students - The Role of Agencies' Perceived Reputation
Journal: Police Studies  Volume:3  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1980)  Pages:34-41
Author(s): E Beckman
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In a study of 272 University of Michigan criminal justice students, the majority chose a police agency by repute for employment and viewed State police more favorably than a prominent metropolitan police agency.
Abstract: A questionnaire was prepared regarding the respondents' home town, class standing (freshman, sophomore, etc.,), sex, race, academic major, present occupation, whether the respondents intended to seek employment in criminal justice and, if so, whether in police, courts, corrections, or other. The respondents in this 1977-78 study were 55-percent female, most were from outside Detroit, 71 percent were full-time students, 11 percent were presently employed in police work, and 87 percent were white. Seventy-seven percent intended to pursue criminal justice careers, including 34 percent as police. All were asked to rate one college police agency, a certain metropolitan agency, and a State police agency, and indicate whether they would work for them. While 78 percent rated the State police favorably, only 10 percent so rated the metropolitan agency. Likewise, 66 percent rated State police as highly professional, while only 8.5 percent so rated the city police. Finally, 82 percent thought the State police had the best reputation and 83 percent thought the metropolitan police had the worst. Corruption, poor personnel quality and public relations, and urban problems were listed as causes of the negative city agency reputation. Sixty-six percent of whites but only 27 percent of blacks, indicated that they would join the State police, but the overwhelming majority of both races would not join the city police agency. Finally, most whites do not wish to join agencies with affirmative action programs. It is concluded that, as a police agency's reputation has an overwhelming effect on university students' career planning, metropolitan police forces will repel many university graduates. Mandatory affirmative action programs in the cities exacerbate the problem. Tables and eight references are included.
Index Term(s): Higher education; Michigan; Municipal police; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Role perception; State police; Students
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