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Explanations of Employment Turnover Among Alaska Village Public Safety Officers

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 30 Issue: 3 Dated: May/June 2002 Pages: 197-215
Date Published
May 2002
19 pages

This study sought to understand and explain employment turnover within Alaska's Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) program.


This study used principal components analysis methods to identify factors from a survey of 113 VPSOs for use in an event history regression model to explain officer attrition. Although they handle a wide variety of tasks, VPSOs are expected to be proficient in law enforcement, fire fighting, search and rescue, water safety, and emergency medical services. The article concluded that no one type of explanation helped to fully understand why so many VPSOs were leaving the program at such a rapid rate. Several factors, however, were associated with decreased likelihood of VPSO turnover: high levels of officer connection; officer married; officer worked more than one job while serving as a VPSO; and living or having lived in a native village. The article suggests that future research on officer turnover, especially turnover in rural police, should give due consideration to the extent and quality of connections and attachments officers have within their community and primary social groups. Tables, figure, notes, references

Date Published: May 1, 2002