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Police Employee Organizations

NCJ Number
Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management Volume: 26 Issue: 2 Dated: 2003 Pages: 341-351
Date Published
11 pages

This study explored the characteristics of police employee organizations and unions and their perceptions of police labor relations.


Police employee organizations and unions have been described as obstacles to police management through the opposition and resistance to organizational change. However, there has been little focus on police employee organizations structure and characteristics. This study, supported by U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, attempted to explore issues related to police employee organizations and police labor relations in a systematic way with a relatively large sample of police employee organizations. The data were taken from a larger study which examined police chief and police union leader perceptions of community policing, management rights issues, and perceptions of labor relationships. The survey contained two sections. First, police organizations were asked to provide information and specific characteristics about their organizations, and second they were asked for perceptions of relationships between police employee organizations and police agencies. Findings indicate that prior work on police employee organizations provides a relatively accurate picture of these organizations. Characteristics of typical police employee organizations include: (1) most were founded after 1960; (2) most are a relatively small local organization led by a police officer who was elected by the membership; (3) both a contract and a dues check off agreement; (4) most members are sworn officers and membership is likely voluntary; (5) the leaders are entitled to an important role in policy development; (6) the leaders do not believe they have to much influence regarding policies in their department; and (7) leaders are unlikely to feel that they can trust management to made good decisions. References

Date Published: January 1, 2003