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Facilitating Organizational Change: Shaping Action Through Individual and Organizational Evaluations

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1998
324 pages
This report presents the methodology and findings from the Facilitating Organizational Change project in the Columbia Police Department (South Carolina), which developed and applied a structured performance evaluation for officers involved in community and problem-oriented policing.
Several approaches were used to create evaluation strategies. First, focus groups were held with citizens to determine their understanding of community policing. Second, focus groups were held with police officers to determine their level of involvement with community and problem-oriented policing. The information developed from these focus groups and that brought to the project through the literature on community policing and knowledge of the research staff led to the development of a survey instrument to be completed by all members of the police department. This information led to the creation of the new evaluation forms to be used by supervisors in the "experimental" region. Training was conducted for both supervisors and beat officers to acquaint them with the evaluation criteria and their administration. After implementing the new evaluation criteria, the officers reported receiving mixed messages concerning the new evaluation criteria. Although the understanding of the criteria and use of the evaluation forms was uneven among sergeants, many modified their behavior by adopting components of the criteria. The project was successful in changing the ways police officers conduct their activities. It was not successful in making these activities accepted as a custom and practice of the department. Recommendations are offered for improving the training and performance evaluations of officers involved in community policing. Appended evaluation form and evaluation data

Date Published: January 1, 1998