Public Administration Training in Basic Police Academies: A 50-State Comparative Analysis.

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  • Author(s): Cohen, Galia ()
  • Source:
    American Review of Public Administration. Jul2021, Vol. 51 Issue 5, p345-359. 15p.
  • Additional Information
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    • Abstract:
      Recent controversial interactions of police with the public have become an issue of important concern for public and governmental leaders, who have openly questioned current models of police training and their effectiveness. This study is asking whether basic police academies utilize curricula that reflect the contemporary challenges of modern policing today and prepare recruits to become not only police officers but also competent and skilled, street-level bureaucrats who can provide an effective and impartial service to their increasingly diverse communities. The aim of this study is to quantify, analyze, and compare the content dedicated to the public administration domain in state-mandated basic training curricula across all 50 states. The study utilizes a mixed-methods research design with content analysis. Data were generated from 49 basic training curricula (with one state not having mandated training standards) and 17 interviews with police training officials. The result shows that despite the paradigm shift in the role of the modern-day police officer, police academies have made little to no progress in bridging the gap between the academy curriculum and the practicality of police work. On average, only 3.21% of basic training curricula are explicitly dedicated to public administration training—a training focused on public service values of fundamental importance to the practice of law enforcement. This article gives public administration scholars a voice in the national debate about the crisis in police–public relations by contributing to the literature on police training reform from a much-needed public administration lens. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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