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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78504 Find in a Library
Title: Role of Race in Predicting Job Attitudes of Patrol Officers
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:9  Issue:1  Dated:(1981)  Pages:63-77
Author(s): E S Buzawa
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 15
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Patrol officers and their supervisors in the police departments of Oakland, Calif., and Detroit were studied to determine the differences in selected work-related attitudes of black and white patrol officers.
Abstract: The patrol officer sample included 94 officers from Detroit and 76 from Oakland, of whom about 70 percent responded. Information was gathered by means of a questionnaire and extensive interviews. Questions covered attitudes and perceptions about the adequacy of benefits, occupational prestige and social value, the quality of supervision, job stress, the effect of the job on family relations, self-fulfillment, opportunities for advancement, and overall job satisfaction. Structured interviews were conducted with supervisory and management personnel to gather information on departmental policies and management practices. Results revealed significant differences in attitudes between black and white officers as well as variations between the Detroit and Oakland samples. For example, black respondents were somewhat less satisfied than whites with benefits, but the relationship was stronger in Oakland than in Detroit. On the other hand, higher overall levels of job satisfaction were found among blacks, but the difference was much larger in Detroit than in Oakland. In addition, 73 percent of the white officers in Detroit felt that officers who were promoted were very unlikely to be selected from among those who do the best work. Only 45 percent of the black officers in Detroit responded the same way, and no such differences occurred in Oakland. Furthermore, white officers viewed affirmative action as effectively inhibiting their opportunities for advancement. Findings suggest that future studies of racial differences in occupational attitudes should be very specific about the occupation and the work environment. Generalizations among occupations regarding racial differences in attitudes may be misleading. Findings disagreed with other research indicating greater job satisfaction among white officers than among black officers. Possible explanations for specific findings are discussed. Tables, notes, and 39 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Affirmative action programs; Black/African Americans; California; Comparative analysis; Michigan; Police attitudes; Police occupational stress; Racial discrimination; Work attitudes
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