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Police Supervision Redux: Examining Police Supervision in the 21st Century

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,000,000)

First-line patrol supervisors, including police corporals, sergeants, and lieutenants, directly manage most of an agency’s personnel. In this role, they direct daily work activities, influence officer behavior, and translate organizational goals and strategies into practice. Despite this integral role, there is little in the way of evidence-informed best practices for the selection, training, and performance of first-line supervisors. Additionally, research examining the influence of first-line supervisors on subordinate officers’ attitudes and behaviors is scant. The proposed project is a multi-phase investigation into contemporary practices in first-line supervision. The first phase consists of a comprehensive survey-based scan of first-line supervisor selection, training, evaluation, and practice in police agencies across the United States. The second phase consists of intensive case studies of first-line supervision in five police agencies. Each case study will entail conducting an agency-wide survey, in-depth interviews with police leaders, a systematic review of existing policies on first-line supervision and training for first-line supervisors, and officer and supervisor surveys and focus groups. This research project will support the development of standards for supervisors and the creation of a comprehensive research agenda, providing a robust foundation of knowledge to guide research on first-line supervision. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 28, 2023