This study examined the prevalence and nature of cynicism among Slovenian police officers and police supervisors.
The authors define police cynicism as an attitude characterized by hatred, envy, and mistrust; an incapacity to express these feelings openly towards the source of these feelings; and continuous anger stimulated by feelings of impotence and continuous adversity. In order to assess the prevalence of cynicism among Slovenian police officers and supervisors, 541 police personnel were interviewed in 2003. The dependent variable was police cynicism as measured by a 16-item scale. Another scale measured perception of victimization in the workplace as well as aggressive and violent behavior in the workplace. Also measured was social support from coworkers. The survey was conducted from April to May 2003 at different police agencies and criminal investigation divisions across Slovenia. In accord with other similar studies, this study found that police cynicism is a multidimensional concept. Four dimensions of police cynicism were found: cynicism toward the police supervisors, cynicism toward the community where the officers perform their duties, cynicism toward the working rules and procedures that govern the officers, and cynicism toward the rules and regulations that govern police work in general. Cynicism in these areas was related to a number of personal, interpersonal, and organizational factors. In Slovenia, violent and aggressive behaviors in the work place, as well as the lack of social support among colleagues were positively related to police cynicism. Where social support was strong, cynicism was weakened. 2 tables and 9 references