The measurement of police integrity was studied in four Croatia and the United States using a survey questionnaire that presented participants with 11 hypothetical case scenarios and asked them to respond to 6 questions about each scenario.
The scenarios covered a range of behavior, including actions that merely gave an appearance of conflict of interest to incidents of bribery and theft. Police officers were asked to rate their own and other police officers' perceptions of the seriousness of each case, the discipline it should and would receive, and willingness to report it. The Croatian national sample consisted of 1,649 police officers from 41 police stations and was geographically stratified and nationally representative. The United States sample was a convenience sample of 3,235 police officers from 30 agencies in many parts of the United States. Police officers in both countries were highly consistent in their attitudes toward corrupt behavior; the more serious they considered a behavior to be, the more severely they believed that it should and would be punished and the more willing they believed that they and other police officers would be to report it. Findings suggest a shared understanding among the police officers in both countries of the hierarchy of the seriousness of various types of corruption and abuse. Nevertheless, police officers from both countries differed markedly in their absolute assessment of the cases. Tables, instrument, and case scenarios
Date Published: January 1, 1997
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