Police Officers and Job Satisfaction
Criminal Justice is a very demanding field; this is especially true for police officers. They are called to put their lives on the line everyday in order to facilitate the law, in order to do their job. Employment satisfaction has a direct relationship to job performance in just about every field, including law enforcement. The goal is to conduct a research concerning police officers and segregated factors that affect their overall job satisfaction. In order to produce the most accurate results, two research methodologies will be implemented. The research conducted will include surveys as well as a field research.
The purpose of this study is to determine which factors weigh the heaviest upon police officers and their job satisfaction. In any job situation, an employee who is satisfied with their position will perform far better than those who are not. Organizational culture has a tremendous weight in police job satisfaction as well. Knowing that an individual’s employer will support their decisions can “influence the commitment of its members to the organization beyond themselves.” (Willmott 1993) Education has also been argued to have an effect on employment satisfaction. For this proposed research three variables will be considered. Education, organizational culture, and societal support will be used to determine which factor, or factors, plays a role in employee satisfaction.
The type of interview structure that will be implemented for this proposed research will be a qualitative data-gathering strategy through surveys and field research. The surveys will administered as an anonymous predetermined set of questions used to weigh the factors that affect police job satisfaction the most. The survey will be between ten to fifteen questions, short enough to not lose the interest of the participant. By implementing it anonymously, there is a greater likelihood of honestly and more accurate outcomes. The second form of interview structure will be field research. The research will be broken down into three different participation groups, education, organizational culture, and societal support. The research will be based on performance, complaints, and violations to name a few, for each of the three variables. For example, in Precinct One, there are five police officers who have obtained Master Level education, how does their field performance reflect their job satisfaction? Is there a signification correlation between a police officers education and their performance when they are in the field? This example of field surveying will be used for all three variables of education, organizational culture, and societal support.
The questionnaire would be sampled after one found in a previous study in College of Police and Security Studies, Slovenia. Questions would include the following: (Krejei, Pavel; Jaroslav Kvapil; & Jiri Semrad 1996)
Do you feel that you have job security?
Do you feel your organization supports your decisions?
Do you get a feeling of self-esteem from doing your job?
Do you feel you have had the adequate education to fulfill your job requirements?
Do you receive regard from others in the organization?
Does your community support the police?
Do you have opportunity for independent thought and action in your job?
Do you feel you have authority in your work?
Do you feel like you are an expert in your field?
These questions are used to measure the level of job satisfaction that each police officer has. Asking a variety questions in a different way will show the collective level of satisfaction in each category.
There are several advantages to using qualitative data-gathering. It is a nonstatistical way to measure a specific topic. The collection of information is adequately done through interviews and observations. A small sample is often enough to validate a conclusion in a qualitative research. Quantitative research typically demands a much large sample, deductive approaches, structured interviews, and standardized measuring. The results are usually analyzed through a form of statistical techniques. Both forms of research are intended for a purpose, however, quantitative research has far more demands and stipulations to be able to get to the end result.
It is important, when conduction a survey research, to provide informed consent and ensure confidentiality. To get true and accurate results from any form of study or research, it is important to let the participants know that their answers are used only for the survey, and in no means can their answers incriminate them. Anonymity with police officers may be viewed as more important than in other professions. No employee, regardless of the type of career will incriminate themselves for a study. That is why confidentiality goes a long way in a successful research.
The proposed research for police job satisfaction will weigh factors in education, organizational culture, and societal support. These factors have shown to be weighing variables in relationship to employees being happy in their profession. The research methodologies will be done through a qualitative data-gathering strategy in surveys and field research. The end results will show which, if any, of these three factors has a role with police officers and their overall job satisfaction.
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Major Functions Of Police Departments
Police departments are the most ever-present organization in any society. Policemen are the most visible representatives of the government. In their hour of need and when there is no one to help, citizens will almost always seek help from the police. Members of the police department are supposed to be the most approachable representatives of the government of the day. In cases of accidents, disasters or criminal activities, the police department is always the first to be informed. The major roles of the police departments in any society include: maintenance and enforcement of the law, maintenance of order and service.
It is the function of the police department to maintain and enforce the laws of the land. To this end, policemen are expected to uphold the law as well as to enforce it impartially and without bias. It is the function of the police department to protect citizens’ lives, property and integrity. Police departments have the function of protecting the human rights and liberty of the members of the public. They are also charged with the responsibility of creating a feeling of security in the community. As part of law enforcement, policemen maintain records of all criminal activities reported to them. They are also expected to investigate these criminal activities, identify and apprehend the perpetrators.
The other major function of the police departments is the maintenance of order in the community. This entails maintenance of peace and prevention of activities that might potentially disturb others. To this end, policemen facilitate orderly movement of motor vehicles, as well as people. In maintenance of order, the major role of the police is the prevention of violation of the law. Responding to distress calls and resolving conflict are function of the police that help in the maintenance of order. It is also the duty of the police to aid people in danger of harm, whether to their bodies or their property.
Police departments have the major function of service to the community. This includes guiding people on the streets, providing information to visitors and tourists as well as providing first-aid services. They may also play the role of facilitators and educators on subjects such as crime prevention and drug abuse. Policemen also maintain essential services as directed by the government. They are also expected to render all required assistance to any member of the community.
Police departments are essential service providers in any community and form a critical source of help in times of need.