Building Trust Inside and Out The Challenge of Legitimacy Facing Police Leaders
In the face of budget cuts, changing workforce demands, new varieties of crime and new technologies, how should police executives manage officers and other personnel and still ensure that organizational goals are being met?
Drawing on new data from a national sample, Dr. Dennis Rosenbaum, Director of the Center for Research in Law and Justice at the University of Illinois, Chicago, discussed the latest findings from the NIJ-funded National Police Research Platform on the organizational dynamics of American police agencies. His discussion examined ways to measure agency performance, including the quality of leadership and supervision, personnel development and procedural fairness both inside and outside the organization.
DR. THOM FEUCHT: Good morning, and welcome to today’s Research for the Real World Seminar. I’m Thom Feucht. I’m the Senior Science Advisor and the Acting Deputy Director at the National Institute of Justice, and I’m serving as your host for today’s seminar.
It’s my pleasure to introduce today’s seminar speaker, Dennis Rosenbaum. Dennis Rosenbaum is Professor of Criminology, Law, and Justice, and the Director of the Center for Research in Law and Justice at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He’s also director of the National Police Research Platform Project, which is funded by the National Institute of Justice, to advance the state of knowledge and practice in American policing. As part of this initiative, Dr. Rosenbaum and his colleagues have developed standardized performance measures that provide the foundation for local and national benchmarks of police organizational excellence. Dr. Rosenbaum’s presentation today is entitled “Building Trust Inside and Out – The Challenge of Legitimacy Facing Police Leaders.” Please join me in welcoming Dennis Rosenbaum.
DR. DENNIS ROSENBAUM: Thank you all. It’s an honor to be here. I’ve worked with NIJ over the years, many years, longer than I’d like to remember, and so I appreciate the opportunity to be here again and talk to you about the work that we’re doing. Hopefully in the end it will help to not just advance the science of policing, but really in the end all of us want to improve the practice of policing, and I think that’s why we care as much as we do. Today’s agenda, I’m going to give you the big-picture overview of legitimacy in policing from a leadership perspective. The leaders of these organizations face lots of challenges, but I want to frame this in terms of legitimacy and procedural justice.
Externally, we’ve talked a lot about that in the last decade. In fact, there’s a worldwide interest in legitimacy and procedural justice among scholars in dozens of countries. Internally, not so much. We haven’t paid attention to that, how organizations are run and managed. I want to give more attention to that too today as well. Of course, the platform, as Thom said, is a tool for helping us understand this, so I’ll put in a little plug there. A lot of the data that I’m going to present today come from that. I’m going to move quickly because I have too many slides.
It is a difficult time to be a leader in law enforcement. Budget cuts, changing work forces, new crime threats, new technologies… there’s so many things that we could talk about there, but I think if you know the field, you know that these are challenges that are being faced. I’ve talked to hundreds of police chiefs in the last year, actually, through our project, and budget cuts are a big thing, for example. They also, we would argue, need to keep the eye on the ball and the continued focus on professionalization in improving the quality and effectiveness of policing.
They are under enormous pressure to innovate. There’s pressure on them to continue to improve and professionalize, to be accountable, to be transparent, and the argument here, let me just say that even though there are all these pressures, there’s tremendous room for optimism, if you’re optimistic as I am, that we’re living in a time both in the public and private sector organizations where knowledge is valued over opinion, where information is the coin of the realm, where organization’s greatest strength lies in their capacity to collect, communicate and utilize information.
They need better management knowledge. There are theories of management knowledge now and information management, and we need to build these stronger ties. I know that NIJ, OJP in general, is committed to this connection between science and practice. Historically, we’ve not been very good at it, and we’ve all written articles about how it could be improved. But I think OJP and NIJ and all the agencies involved have done a very good job of trying to build more evidence-based practice, evidence-based policing, but what do we mean by that? What type of knowledge is needed?
We’ve been pushing this at least since Larry Sherman’s address at the Police Foundation in 1998 by that title. We have websites about it. But I want us to be cautious and stop and think for a minute. What type of knowledge is needed but sorely lacking? If organizations are in the business of knowledge management, what type of information should they be managing? What type of knowledge is lacking in police organizations? I think this is a wakeup call actually. Policing is no longer, actually never was, completely about crime control. Today, we are obsessed with crime control and crime measurement. I’ve been part of that, so I have to take some of the blame. We’ve been focused on building more effective crime control programs and measuring the effects of those and measuring crime in general to evaluate the impact. Don’t get me wrong; these are very important trends. The best science is being applied in both cases, but we’re skipping an important step here, and that is the process of public safety.
We need to begin to build organizations that are responsive to the full range of needs of the communities they serve and their own employees. The old school theories of organizations maintain that if you paid your employees well that’s all that mattered. Taylor and others. That’s not true. Old school criminal justice theories suggest that if you lowered the crime rate, the community would be happy with you. That’s not true either. That’s because process is important. Human beings care about the way they’re treated, more so than the outcome of policing. Today, we will talk more about this. Even the National Academy Report in 2004 was titled “Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing” for good reason.
We live in a multicultural society. Police have to adapt to the circumstances they’re facing. While crime fighting is important, that requires a healthy organization, one that’s functioning on all cylinders, one where employees are happy, engaged, motivated to achieve organizational goals. We need an evidence-based process. We need to pay attention to process and go beyond the numeric outcomes. We have the external process, and here I’m talking about officers’ decisions and interactions with the community members. We often talk about this in procedural justice terms, and today I’m going to also talk about organizational justice, the way management interacts with its employees. You know, the human relations school that was pioneered by Mayo and others, later McGregor, suggests that workers’ performance is influenced not so much by their pay, as I mentioned earlier, but by whether their social and emotional needs are being met in the work environment, including their need for achievement, for recognition, for fairness in treatment, emotional support and professional growth. So the quality of human relations within the organization — the way employees are supervised and disciplined and treated by other employees — will influence their emotional health and stress, their job satisfaction, their productivity, their willingness to achieve organizational goals and the quality of their interactions with the public. Just as procedural justice is a central feature of how the public perceives and responds to the police, organizational justice is the defining feature of how police respond to their employees. At least this is my theoretical premise. We’ll see if that’s true or not.
Officers, like community members, are facing law enforcement authority figures who are in positions to make decisions about their future, deciding whether to reward, punish or ignore specific behaviors. Indeed, most police officers work in a fairly hierarchical, quasi-military environment with many authority figures. The organizational justice model suggests that it’s employees’ judgments about the fairness of managerial decisions that determines whether they will accept managers’ decisions, see the merit of their leaders’ approach to change an innovation, and feel a commitment to the organization.
The National Police Research Platform is designed to measure legitimacy and fairness inside and outside police organizations. It’s designed to enhance the capacity of police organizations to engage in critical thinking, evidence-based decision-making and self-assessment on these new dimensions of performance. The idea is to collect standardized data in multiple jurisdictions over time, allow the agency administrators to engage in routine comparisons of changes within their agency, as well as comparisons with similar jurisdictions. Of course from a research perspective, we’re also interested in advancing knowledge by identifying the contextual factors that explain interagency differences in behavior and the causal mechanisms that are at work. Importantly, I want to argue that it represents a paradigm shift to some extent in the way that police and their constituents and think about and evaluate their performance. The platform shifts management attention away from bean counting to the quality of policing from a nearly exclusive focus on crime statistics to a more well-rounded set of data on organizational performance.
Finally, all of you recognize that change is more likely to occur when the desired behaviors are measured, discussed and monitored. And I’ll come back to that more later. Well, I just covered all of this. There’s internal and external quality of policing. I’m going to skip over some of this stuff. What is legitimacy? Let’s back up a little bit.
Since the days of Max Weber, academics love to talk about legitimacy and analyze it inside and out. Police executives, however, aren’t so fond of the concept. You know, who has it? Who doesn’t? How much does my agency have? If I lose it can I get it back or will I lose it forever? There are a lot of interesting questions at a practical level. But researchers in this area — including Tom Tyler, who’s done a lot of thinking about this — define it as “a psychological property of an authority, institution or social arrangement that leads those connected to it to believe that it is appropriate, proper and just.” So, a public entity like the police has legitimacy if we think it’s acting in a fair, proper, just and appropriate manner. We’ll need to define that more later, but what can the police do about legitimacy? That’s one of the first questions. They can manage their image, of course. The police know that legitimacy is enhanced in the simplest of ways: by appearance. Institutional theory informs us that symbols such as uniforms, badges, insignias, as well as ceremonies, communicate competence, high status, professionalism even for a 21-year-old with little experience. But legitimacy can be influenced and threatened by a few critical incidents: tasering a person that’s mentally ill, or a pattern of stop-and-frisk with minority youth. Lots of things can happen, but the important point here is it’s about the consent of the governed.
One of my messages, and most of you already know this: police authority is not defined entirely by their badge, gun, arrest powers or by their image. It must be authorized by the consent of the public. It’s not immutable; it can be taken away. And it’s really defined by the hearts and minds of those being asked to follow, both the police officers and the citizens. There are a lot of things that undermine police legitimacy. You know what they are: the history of corruption scandals, reform attempts that have led to consent decrees and blue ribbon committees. There has been both causing and mishandling civil disorder. There are many issues around excessive force. There is this more recently raised discrimination and profiling debates. And, of course, there is a history of poor relations with various communities that has led to challenges to the legitimacy of police organizations.
Here are a few slides. Thank you to the Chicago Police Department. Back at my university, I tend to give my students a history lesson on American policing so they have some background on today’s issues beginning with slave patrols in the South and the politically corrupt policing in the North, and law enforcement support of Jim Crow laws in the South for many decades after the Civil War and then the difficulties we encountered in the ’50s and the ’60s shown here, the civil rights movement. And the continuous efforts to reform the police from inside and out with new leaders, new blue ribbon panels, et cetera. You know the history, so I won’t bore you with it, but these pictures, I think, capture one of the biggest issues in the professionalization and reform eras of policing that officers did not know how to handle conflict, disobedience or interpersonal interactions in general. They were stuck inside their new cars equipped with new radios without the proper training or leadership.
Crisis of legitimacy can occur at the individual level. Everything from Rodney King to the unfortunate encounters with the Harvard professor here. The Beer Summit at the White House, defined as a teachable moment, again begs the question, how can we create respectful, fair and professional encounters? Police agencies are judged in large part by the quality of their encounters with the public, so we need to begin to measure these interactions systematically.
First, I want to be clear about what the consequences are. Lots of research here saying that when the public feels mistreated and do not feel the police are legitimate authorities, they are less willing to cooperate, they are less willing to comply with requests, they are less willing to obey the law, and more likely to file complaints, lawsuits and generate negative media coverage of the police. Immediate consequences of failed interpersonal communication are real for the officer on the street. The citizens may be more likely to challenge the officer, who then feels more pressured to get tough, use force more often because of noncooperation, and the consequences may jeopardize the officer’s safety and/or reputation if complaints are filed.
How to achieve legitimacy. One mechanism we now know through lots of research is procedural justice. Legitimacy is linked to the process of policing, and it may be shaped by the day-to-day contact between the community and the police. The procedural justice model focuses on two critical dimensions of the officer’s response: the quality of decision-making, which is here in terms of fairness and neutrality, and the quality of treatment, which has to do with respect and concern. I also have pushed this agenda a little bit beyond the focus on fairness to bring more attention to the sensitivity to crime victims’ needs and the trauma that people face, not just crime victims but car accidents and homeless and mentally ill. The research is pretty clear that the criminal justice system and other professionals can revictimize these vulnerable populations. And so we need to be sensitive, and we need to have concern at that level as well and not just about fairness.
Police officers, I find, don’t like to be — when it comes to thinking about this, I tend to focus not on what they’ve done wrong on or on some touchy-feely approach, mainly because I’m afraid of being called Professor Hug-A-Thug, which I have been in the past. So I talk about the benefits to them and how this will make their job easier. And this is the chart I’ve used in various agencies. Assuming officers treat people better, you can see the expected outcomes, how the citizens will feel in these outcomes that I have already referred to in terms of officer safety and compliance and crime fighting intelligence, et cetera. And in the end, they’ll enjoy their job more, actually, because it will be easier.
So how do we get there? We have to measure what matters. More legitimacy with the public. How do we do that? There are many ways, and we’ve been involved in a number of them — training, et cetera. But my first suggestion is this: that police executives should work with researchers to begin to measure what matters. I know that here at NIJ we’ve talked about this for a long time. We had meetings about this 20 years ago or so — or 15 years ago, I lost track — on measuring what matters. But frankly, over time we just haven’t done it. So what do I mean here? We need to measure what’s important to the community, as I have alluded to already. And if we measure something, it begins to matter. You pay attention to it as an agency. It changes the discourse about effectiveness — think in terms of CompStat. Otherwise, who cares? We enjoy counting beans — just changing from bean-counting to carrot-counting. We can use the national platform as a starting point for this paradigm shift. I’ll cover more of that in just a minute.
Let me just point out the problems of the existing data. Police management has weak data to judge the quality of police citizen contacts. They do have citizen complaints which are rare and highly selective. They do do their own surveys, as we know now, but many of those surveys are biased because they are run from inside the organization. We do have community surveys that myself and other colleagues have done around the country, but they oftentimes have a whole year timeframe, and they also are unique to the cities that they’re being measured, so we have different measurement systems in different cities. The Bureau of Justice of Statistics does a very good police-citizen contact survey. It’s pretty rigorous, but it only provides national estimates, and it doesn’t help local jurisdictions understand how well they’re performing.
Here are the benefits of one the surveys we’ve developed as part of the National Police Research Platform to measure the quality of police citizen contacts. It does provide this local data so that police can improve their performance. It does provide standardized data across different jurisdictions so we can advance knowledge. And it democratizes policing by giving the public a voice in evaluating police services, and it measures the desired behaviors that matter, as we’re going to talk about in a little bit.
What does it measure? It measures overall satisfaction with the encounter. It measures procedural justice, both the quality of treatment and decision-making. And it adds these victim-focused measures that I was alluding to, empathy, emotional support. It measures police legitimacy overall as an agency. It does measure outcomes in terms of how well the citizens feel the agency is achieving its goals of reducing crime and disorder and responding quickly to their problems and addressing their concerns. And it measures whether the citizens want to cooperate with them and comply and obey the law. So there’s kind of an indicator of legal cynicism built in there.
Let me just go on and say that the survey methodology: really fast. Each week, letters from police chiefs and sheriffs are mailed to residents who have had a recent encounter with an officer in the last 10 days, encouraging them to complete this survey. They have the option of doing the survey online or over the phone through an interactive voice technology. The letter emphasizes that the survey is independent, and that the police department will never know whether they choose to complete the survey or not or how they answered the survey questions.
Here are some preliminary results from our pilot test that we did as part of the platform in three cities of different sizes. This is an overall rating of how satisfied you are with the way you were treated. Our police chiefs were nervous, but we’re pleased to see that more than 8 out of 10 respondents thought they were doing a good job. We did validate this. Based on prior research, we were able to find the same results, predictable differences. Minorities were less satisfied with the police than non-minorities. Younger people were less satisfied. Police-initiated contacts like traffic stops were less satisfied. So that was predictable, suggesting the survey can predict known-group differences, and there were agency differences as well between the three. I’ll come back to some of that.
But I was not convinced that these electronic surveys were valid, so I, being a randomized control trial addict, I decided to test this against the gold standard in the field at this time, which is the sort of telephone survey done by professional survey labs, and I was pleased to see that Oak Park, Illinois, Chief Tanksley was willing to work with us and participate in this randomized trial. Victims of crime and traffic accidents were matched by type of crime and then randomly assigned to either get the electronic surveys that we were developing or this conventional telephone interview by a professional survey lab.
This slide shows that the telephone interview, because they called people over and over at home, was able to get a higher response rate. They got 34 percent; we only got 11 percent with our electronic surveys. And they were a little better at getting a higher percentage of minorities and young people with that effort. But, as you see here, the most important thing, the bottom line, is whether the two methods yielded different results, different evaluations of the police. And they did not, to our surprise. They revealed no differences, even by subgroups that were underrepresented. So these are nonsignificant differences between these groups.
So what are the preliminary conclusions? That it’s feasible. It costs a lot less. Those surveys at the survey lab cost me at least $82 per survey. That they’re acceptable validity. It’s attractive to local agencies because it’s local. It provides us with an external measure of performance, and it provides the basis for a database for advancing knowledge about factors that contribute to procedural justice in diverse settings.
What were the next steps? We decided to roll this out with a national sample, explore differences between agencies, and test the potential utility as a police management tool, which we are doing in one large city right now.
Here is another study we did. This was not part of the platform, but we used the platform survey to test this model further. Here it shows 12 different police departments in Illinois. This shows their citizen satisfaction with traffic stops, and you can see that the survey was able to detect sizable interagency differences in public satisfaction. Nearly a 33 percentage point difference between the lowest with 66 percent satisfaction and the highest actually with 100 percent. I know you’re wondering how did somebody get 100 percent. We’ll talk about that over a beer.
We’re working now with this data collection system in a large Midwest police department that will remain unnamed for now. There are a lot of possible ways you can use a survey like this internally, especially in larger departments. We’re calling it “RespectStat” — like CompStat, but it’s about respect indicators and not crime indicators. How well are you doing as an agency? You can compare districts or areas. You can map hotspots. Personally, I think that’s a great idea. We’ve already done some of that. Data analytics typically applied to crime data can be applied to public sentiment as well, allowing organizations to identify and visualize geographic areas where the public is most dissatisfied or concerned about procedural fairness by the police.
District trends over time, that’s the way I would prefer to look at it because they should be compared against themselves. You can even do hourly trends if you have a big agency, and you can begin to institutionalize data collection. I think if you’re going to do this, you need to do it for the long haul.
Let me give a couple quick examples. These are actual real data in a large police department. Again, within one large agency, dramatic differences by district, from 52 percent of the citizens being satisfied with the way they were treated to 80 percent at the best-performing district.
Here you can even look at it by time of day. You can see that overall, people are not as happy with the police on the midnight shift, which is the green, and then again police are dealing with a different group of people at 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning. We could talk about that. But for the evening shift, it seems that things are a little better after the officers have had dinner at 1800 hours, and the end of the shift appears to be a time for lower ratings except the day shifts, so they like to go home. But anyway, who knows? There may be lots of noise in this data too, but it’s the beginning of thinking about this stuff.
Let me give you a preliminary look at the survey data from the national platform. We’re still in the field right now. I expect between 50 and 75 agencies out of the 83 that are capable doing this, and we expect 100 to 500 surveys per agency. Here’s a quick look at this data. Right now, I have 43 agencies, 10,000 surveys. The size variable is actually the number of sworn officers. It’s not really fair to say “small” is a small agency, because they have at least 100 sworn officers, but in this sample it’s relatively small.
The demographics of this survey, typical pretty much of a national survey in the sense that more than half are white and — that age should be 49 years not 49 percent. And there’s quite a variation in the sample by police-initiated traffics stops and citizen-initiated traffic accidents, and so we have a good sample to draw from there.
Here is the overall satisfaction score by agency size. You can see that — in the high 70s, that they’re getting good scores overall, but it declines as you get larger. The larger agencies are having more difficulty finding citizen satisfaction during police encounters.
Here’s the overall procedural justice index. I’ve not talked much about the items today, but there are 22 items in this scale. Again, procedural justice in the field declines with agency size and this pattern is consistent throughout. I’m going to go through some tables quickly because I have a lot to cover yet.
Respectfulness is a multi-item index and again the same pattern. Unbiased is whether the citizen felt they were treated neutrally, objectively regardless of race, class or gender, and larger cities again having a little more difficulty. But I should say — trustworthy — I should say that all of these agencies are performing fairly well, but there are substantial differences still even within them.
Officer empathy, as I said, here are some items that I was talking about going beyond the traditional fairness index. Did the officer listen to what you had to say, seem concerned about your feelings, seemed to believe what you were saying, comforted and reassured you? That index, again, same pattern, but we do have an index of it. For crime victims, I think this kind of measurement is very important.
Interactions are complex in human exchanges. There is a beginning, where I say hello or I don’t. There’s an ending, where I say goodbye. There are all kinds of dynamics, verbal and nonverbal, that occur, some of which we cannot capture. But I did decide we would add some questions like this: Did the officer greet you by saying hello and stating his or her name? You can see that in most cases the officer did. Again, that’s not a practice that’s as common in larger cities and large agencies, where only 60 percent did so. Did the officer threaten to use physical force against you? This seems to match what other researchers have found, very low percentages, although, again, larger agencies have more difficulty here with nearly 5 percent of citizens claiming that force was threatened. Again, they’re likely to face more severe and chronic problems in some of the larger communities as well.
I throw this up because we know that officers who give tickets during traffic stops receive lower ratings than officers who don’t. Those results are not shown here. These are only the traffic tickets. But the big question is whether procedural justice is still relevant during these encounters. Officers frequently tell me there’s no way. There’s nothing you can do to make people happy who are getting a ticket. So we tested that idea. In this slide we show you only cases where tickets were written to see if carside manners make a difference, and they do. I’ve divided the officers into two equally sized groups with lower scores on procedural justice, on respect, and those with higher scores on procedural justice, which is blue. The results show that when drivers feel that the officer treated them with respect, they gave the officer much higher ratings on overall satisfaction with the encounter than when the officer was disrespectful — 60, 70 percent differences between these two groups. The relationship may not be causal, but it’s suggestive. So chiefs and sheriffs: When your officers tell you there is nothing they can do to get good marks when they have to enforce the law, tell them that that’s not true. Demeanor and fairness are especially important when you have to deliver bad news.
Here’s the first regression run. I just did this this week, so it’s preliminary. I’m testing the hypothesis that citizens’ overall satisfaction with the experience will depend on procedural justice that occurred during the encounter as well as other factors. These are aggregate data by jurisdiction, so I only have about 34 agencies where I had the data here. I found that agency size, rate of crime in the community are inversely related to citizen satisfaction, and I needed to control for these factors. Also, the proportion of incidents in their sample where they gave a ticket, because when they give a ticket, it’s a powerful determinant of satisfaction. Both outcome and process do matter in policing.
But when I put these variables into the equation with procedural justice index, as shown here, you can see these effects are washed out by the effects of procedural justice. Agencies where officers are perceived as engaging in high procedural justice encounters receive much higher ratings on citizen satisfaction than agencies where officers are viewed as less procedurally fair.
Here’s an illustration of this graph. Each circle is an actual agency. You can ignore the big circle — I guess that’s just my attempt to circle high-performing agencies. This is procedural justice on the bottom, and this is their overall satisfaction. As procedural justice increases in the agency, satisfaction.
A quick conclusion: Procedural justice is a strong predictor of satisfaction, controlling for these other factors. For the survey, more work’s needed to reduce cost and improve response rates and test alternative survey modalities. I sort of view this where if you compare this to the uniform crime reports, we’re kind of living in 1929, where we’re just starting this. And there will be national and local politics and competing research agendas that stand in the way, but I think all this can be overcome, and eventually we will have a new national metric that deals with procedural fairness and other measures of the quality of police service.
Let me switch gears entirely now to inside the organization, to look at whether some of these same ideas might help us to better understand how police agencies operate and how they achieve organizational excellence. I start with the premise again that chiefs and sheriffs are under enormous pressure to professionalize and innovate and to be more effective and to enhance agency legitimacy and public support. But how can they achieve these goals? How can they introduce changes without resistance? How can they get employees committed to organizational goals? There’s a lot of reform going on, but I think too often we focus on changing the mission statements, flattening the organization, creating new units, renaming old units, trying new deployment schemes here and there, adding new technologies, et cetera.
Less frequently, they pay close attention to the people who make all this happen, the employees. How do they feel about all of this? Do they like their jobs? Do they like their peers? Do they like the changes being proposed? Do they like the leaders? Any good leader of an organization probably knows that if you don’t have employee buy-in, you can forget all of your fancy innovations, technologies, public relations programs, training programs. They won’t work or they will be poorly implemented and utilized. When employees are happy at work, they’re more committed to the organizational goals. Here’s just one example. I’m showing you all the agencies. This is the correlation, 18,000 sworn employees here in 101 agencies. Notice the strong positive correlation between overall job satisfaction and commitment to organizational goals.
What keeps employees from giving their best performance? It’s time to look at what’s bothering them inside the organization if we intend to bring about real and lasting change. Of course, we need to mention police culture up front. Anyone who’s studied police knows that officers can be cynical about the public, about the administration, and be strongly resistant to change. But there is hope if you address some of their real concerns. Similar to the community, I will make the argument that officers are concerned with justice inside the agency. They want to trust that management will make decisions that are good for everyone, fair and equitable. All human beings, I will argue, are concerned with fairness.
Let me just provide you with a few quick examples from our recent data. Here is an example where we ask how often the agency head encourages input from employees when important decisions must be made. To simplify this, I just show you the percent that said “rarely or never.” The numbers are staggering: from 15 percent in small agencies to nearly 50 percent in large agencies. Again, agency size matters. You face bigger problems in bigger agencies with more than 600 sworn employees. It’s harder for management to reach all of the employees in the organization, which I think underscores the importance of middle managers and first-line supervisors as messengers and communicators.
Here’s another one. “In this agency, the discipline process is fair.” Again, “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” I’m showing you only the ones that challenge that. Here you can see the employees feel the discipline process is not fair, from 26 percent of officers in small agencies to 58 percent in larger agencies that do not agree with the statement that discipline is fair. So again, our surveys have allowed us to take a quick look under the hood of the organization to see that justice and injustice are important concepts to police officers and deputy sheriffs. I love this slide. I use it everywhere I go — I don’t know why, but… This will teach you not to hit people. This can be used to illustrate, to some extent, how people discipline’s handled in some departments, unfortunately. Administrators, they want officers to treat the public with respect, but too often the officers don’t feel respected by their own supervisors.
One question here is what messages are police organizations sending to their employees about how you should interact with others based on how they treat their own employees. There’s lots of research, by the way, outside of policing and criminology showing that people model behavior. They observe and imitate your behavior, not your words. The idea of “don’t do as I do, do as I say” does not work. I’m a psychologist by training. All my degrees are in psychology, so I can show you lots of laboratory studies that document that we want to imitate the behavior of others.
Here I’m going to introduce my definition of organizational justice to get us started on this. “A perception held by employees that they are being treated fairly, respectfully and compassionately by those in authority positions, that they have some input and control over decision-making in their work environment, that they are kept informed of and given explanations for the decisions that affect their lives, and that they have opportunities for professional and job enrichment or growth.” That actually applies to all organizations. There’s quite a body of literature outside of criminal justice to support some of this. The basic research question I pose today is “Is organizational justice related to employees’ commitment to the organization?” In theory, law enforcement agencies with high levels of organizational justice should be able to overcome the cynicism, create a work environment where employees are more committed to the organization when compared to agencies where organizational justice is weak.
First, I did a factor analysis of all of our items on our employee survey, and guess what? We did find sort of four different dimensions that were orthogonal, independent factors: nine items in the first, four in the second factor, four in the third, and two in the fourth.
I’m arguing here that — the idea is that agencies’ organizational justice can be viewed from many different angles, in that there are multiple dimensions. The first two, the nine-item one, I’m calling it “just organization” for now. It includes fair discipline, fair assignments, fair opportunities, fair accountability and respectful treatment. The second one, “just leadership”: “The head of the agency sets clear expectations, encourages input, sets a good example and inspires employees.” The alpha coefficients are pretty high on these, independent. The third factor that came out of factor analysis is just supervision. “Supervisors set clear expectations, encourage input, is fair and consistent, and stands up for employees.” Okay, and the fourth one, “just treatment for women and minorities.” We have only two items there. It’s basically “Employees are treated the same regardless of gender” — and they can agree or disagree with this — “Employees are treated the same regardless of race and ethnicity.”
Guess what, looking at these bivariate correlations, we see that each of these dimensions of organizational justice is significantly related to commitment. That is, sworn personnel who report organizational justice runs high in their organization are much more committed to the agency and want to help management achieve organizational goals than sworn personnel who feel their department scores low on organizational justice. Now, within a multilevel framework, here are the level-one results looking at individual findings. We’ve controlled for a number of demographic factors, such as the officer’s age, gender, race, ethnicity, education and whether he or she is a supervisor. Notice that all the procedural justice dimensions as well as the individual demographics are significantly related to organizational commitment. I’ll interpret these in just a minute.
We did an HLM analysis looking at several agency and community factors, that level two, to see if they should be included in the larger model. Essentially this was a basic HLM random-intercept model with level-one covariates. There are 88 agencies in this analysis. We looked at concentrated disadvantage in the community using 2010 census data. We looked at crime rates using UCR data. We looked at agency type, are they run — is it a sheriff’s office or a municipal law enforcement? And then we looked at agency size.
Here are the HLM results on organizational commitment. In a nutshell, at the individual officer level, organizational commitment is influenced by all of the significant variables in the table, but organizational commitment is also affected by agency community characteristics in the form of concentrated disadvantage and agency type. To my surprise, officers report higher levels of organizational commitment in communities with higher levels of concentrated disadvantage. Maybe external threat leads to internal cohesion. There’s a whole body of research on that. Who knows? Coser, 1956.
Furthermore, officers have higher levels of organizational commitment in sheriff’s offices as opposed to municipal police. Most of our variance in organizational commitment, however, is driven by officer characteristics as opposed to agency characteristics. Organizational commitment is higher among young employees, minority employees, more educated employees and female employees. That may surprise you. It surprised me. And supervisors. I expected supervisors to be more committed. Management should keep these groups engaged. I don’t know if this means they’ve already lost the older white males who have maybe been there for years and have become too cynical. But anyway, there are a lot of interesting questions raised. We have a lot more models to test. This is very preliminary stuff.
Let me just try to make some sense of this. These are only very preliminary results, but to bring some closure, I would like to return to the larger concept of legitimacy. There is much talk lately of organizational legitimacy in the eyes of the public. How law enforcement agencies lose legitimacy when they have a crisis of confidence, a bad incident or a pattern in practice that gets attention in the media or possibly attention from DOJ. We also need to focus on how law enforcement employees feel about legitimacy. If management wants employees to follow them as they seek innovation, they need to be legit, as they say on the street. These findings I have presented today suggest that legitimacy inside the organization is likely driven by justice considerations, very similar to how the public views authority figures.
With the platform data, I have sought to apply the concept of organizational justice to law enforcement agencies, and I think we have a pretty good fit. A good framework for understanding and explaining how officers think and feel about their employers and their willingness to buy into innovation and change. What are the policy implications of this work? Whether in the private sector or the public sector, there is considerable supervisory and managerial skill required to interact with employees in a way that it maximizes both the quality and quantity of their work while maintaining employee engagement and job satisfaction.
Becoming a legitimate authority figure should be an important goal of police leaders. Managers are more likely to achieve legitimacy and thereby have the authority to make real change by interacting with their employees in just ways, engaging them, valuing their ideas, protecting them, and treating them fairly and respectfully with feedback and discipline, and giving them fair opportunities for professional growth and development.
Also, I haven’t done the analysis yet, but at some point — the argument is that internal legitimacy is linked to external legitimacy, that the way you treat your employees carries over into how will they treat the public. We don’t know that; there are a lot of other factors that could come into play to disrupt that link.
What I learned from my mom, okay. I didn’t understand what she was talking about growing up when she used to say that. But now I think I have some idea. As a manager of people, this is the best way for you to achieve outcomes you want. In a quasi-military environment like policing, it’s very tempting and easy to fall back into the trap of using your authority to get what you want. Yes, employees will be obedient to keep their job, but is it effective in the long run, and are there untoward effects? I encourage management to think about it. How will the results be different if we routinely manage people by being critical, confrontational, threatening or punitive on the one hand or by being polite, helpful, supportive, complimentary and exemplary on the other? What you really want is buy-in, employee cooperation, compliance, working toward organizational goals because they want to, not because they have to in order to avoid punishment. Otherwise, they will fight back in various ways, as we have seen: rule violations, depolicing, et cetera. Cynicism. So I guess my mother had it right after all.
What comes next? I think we have to work with law enforcement, continue to address their new information needs. We do have a national advisory board chaired by Chuck Ramsey, the Commissioner of Philadelphia, and lots of other folks on that. Jim Bueermann — I don’t know if Jim is here… I don’t see him — from the Police Foundation, and Daryl Stevens and others too. Although we have established this core set of indicators that we’re somewhat confident in inside and outside the organization, there’s still flexibility in our ability to add new things and new variables locally and nationally. I think we need to continue — we have a panel of about 100 agencies that were randomly selected. We need to continue that panel over time with periodic data collection. Because a lot of this cross-sectional stuff, we really don’t know the causality, but over time we can get a better sense as events come and go, as police chiefs come and go and the various crises, how these affect outcomes. It’s also an opportunity to test innovation, to try out new technology, to do randomized trials, et cetera.
We need to expand the nonrandom sample of agencies. We just have a small number of those now. We’re hopefully going to work with other agencies. We are talking with Kali [phonetic] and other groups about expanding the sample beyond 100. This is like the UCR again in 1929. Eventually we’d like to see thousands of agencies participate, so that there’s a new system of measurement that changes the paradigm. Here is the real task, and this is a task I’d like the OJP folks, NIJ, to think about translation of these data. The next big challenge is to translate this new knowledge into practice. We’ve come up with all this data, all this information. We need to figure out better ways to help agencies build their organizational capacity to share, discuss, interpret and act upon these results.
That’s what evidence-based decision-making is about. Help them engage in critical self-reflection and evidenced-based decision-making. With future projects, we hope to build and test more effective translational tools. We have, at our own expense through the University, put up a comparative website. The 100 agencies in our study can go to this website now and look at their own results. They can compare their results with similar agencies, and by that I mean agencies with similar crime rates, similar size, et cetera, and they can compare their results with all agencies. But what they do with that information is still unclear. I’ve had chiefs call me saying, “Let’s have a forum to talk about this.” I would like to envision some randomized trials, too, where we look at various translational modalities and see if certain things are more effective than others at getting the knowledge transferred into practice. Anyway, that’s it. Thank you very much.
DR. FEUCHT: Thank you, Dennis. Now it’s time for your questions. If you have a question for Dennis, just step up to one of the microphones, be sure and introduce yourself, and we’ll get Dennis to give you some answers.
DR. DANIEL WOODS: Hi, Dan Woods, Police Foundation. How would you think the best way to sell the concept of legitimacy to police agencies would be, given my personal experience and anecdotally, it almost invites a dichotomy where you say you want to enhance legitimacy, the police department just from officer level up to the top seem to think, “Well, does that mean we’re illegitimate now?”
DR. ROSENBAUM: Okay, that’s a really good question. I do think the concept and the term is “illegitimate” — no! I think that it’s problematic, and that police have good reasons for questioning it. I mean, if they want to change the concept — researchers kind of imposed this on them, I think — that’s fine with me. But it isn’t a dichotomy. As you can see, our data show there’s all levels of functioning at an agency and at the individual level. So we need to think about that, and also, as I suggested, not only are these terms value-laden — “illegitimate” — but this idea that you’re doing a bad job, somehow you’re really screwing up with the public, and you’re screwing up with your employees, people get defensive. That’s another basic human condition, right? If you threaten them, if you tell them they’re doing bad, they’re going to say, “Well, no we’re not, and you’re wrong,” and try to kill the messenger, et cetera.
Practically speaking, for those of you that are grounded in “What are we going to do tomorrow?” kind of thing, there is a movement in this country right now to implement procedural justice training with both in-service and with new recruits.
I did a randomized trial with new recruits in Chicago that I’ll try to get published later this year that shows that we can improve their performance, but on the other hand, we were swimming upstream, and that overall, the performance by the time I left the training academy was declining on these measures. So the training academy itself was introducing values that were not conducive to this model. So there’s training, there’s leadership training, there are a lot of things. But you’re right —there’s a conceptual issue, and I think we need to get our advisory board and other people to discuss this. I can still remember Ellen Scribner, who used to be at NIJ, telling us, “Don’t talk about legitimacy with police chiefs! They don’t like that.” Yet the world just keeps publishing, Tom Tyler and hundreds of people around the world, actually, in a dozen countries. Do you have any ideas?
MR. WOODS: Oh, no — that’s why I came.
DR. ROSENBAUM: Okay, alright. So we don’t have to call it that. It doesn’t have to be called that. Just because Weber thought that was a cool idea.
DR. CHARLES WATSON: Good morning and thank you for coming. My name’s Charles Watson with MITRE. I’ve done research — I guess it would be a large department, 1500 sworn. My focus was improving training, because if you think about how a police officer gets promoted, he may become like a section leader. You’ve been promoted, you are a section leader. Okay, how do I do it? So I did a research study looking at trust leader-membership exchange and three dimensions of reciprocity across all ranks, and we have that data. And the data was remarkable in that it showed that dimensions of reciprocity were critical to the leader-member exchange and the formation in trust, and as we went up the chain of command, the dimensions changed dramatically.
DR. ROSENBAUM: Do you want to tell the group what you mean by reciprocity?
MR. WASTON: Well, reciprocity, I looked at from a researcher named Yuu [phonetic], and we looked at three types of reciprocity, what I could call standard reciprocity, normalized reciprocity and negative reciprocity. Normal reciprocity is kind of the reciprocity you have when you start dating someone, where there’s this tit-for-tat, and normally after about a year in that relationship, you have built that relationship, and you don’t expect to see a requirement for that type of reciprocal behavior. We found that you had to continue that into the lower ranks. Standardized reciprocity is what I call the tit-for-tat that we have in all of our relationships, where I do something for you, and there’s an expectation you’ll do something for me. And in the negative reciprocity is the more I would call Machiavellian-type reciprocity, where I do something for you that you may not want me to do, but I do it because it requires you to do something for me. And we found that to be evident in the higher ranks of the police department, and we found the lower type of informal reciprocity to have disappeared. But we did find that the leader-member exchange dimension is closely correlated to — we used the Meyer’s integrated trust dimension, and we used Mary Uhl-Bien’s leader-member exchange. The study that the dimension from the subordinate view all the way up the ranks. Here in the Washington, D.C., area, a large metropolitan police department, and if you’re interested in any of that data, we’d love to give it to you. Thank you.
DR. ROSENBAUM: Thank you. Great. That sounds highly consistent with what we’re talking about, right? I mean, that’s the interpretation. Anybody else? I guess I would say one more thing. Even though we’re pushing some standard metrics here to help us move the agenda along, these things are complicated. Human relations are complicated, as he’s implying. There are more dynamics. With public encounters, we can’t just have a training for police that says “Go treat people respectfully.” It’s not that simple. They need to practice and rehearse behaviors. They need to videotaped.
There are a lot of things that have to go in to effectively modify the way that we normally interact. We all have patterns. We’re adults. Even with new recruits, they’re still adults. If someone says something bad, some people are likely to walk away, others want to fight. Everyone has a tendency. You’ve got to curb those tendencies and deal with what you have. So it’s more complicated than that. These people just do these quick trainings. It’s not that easy. And internally, inside the organization, you interact repeatedly. You only get one chance with these citizens, right? But you interact repeatedly, so you know what the behavior patterns are. You can tell verbally, nonverbally, if your supervisor, every time you ask him something, he just keeps reading, that you’re not that important. What you’re saying doesn’t matter. Anyway, okay.
MS. PHYLLIS NEWTON: Phyllis Newton at the National Institute of Justice. I have a question about the way you are asking questions. When you ask about “just,” you’re talking about just, the way they are treated, how are you asking those questions? What are you saying to them when you are measuring? And the reason I’m asking is because I’m comparing you as a psychologist with me as a sociologist, and it’s interesting to me the numbers you’re coming up with and how the questions are asked.
DR. ROSENBAUM: Yes. Well, you’re talking about inside the organization with the employees. We just put labels on them like “just supervision,” but the questions are more like — like I’ve said here, some of them — “The discipline process is fair.” “My supervisor listens to what we have to say.” We don’t put words on it like that. A lot of them are agree/disagree questions, because it’s easier to ask a whole bunch of questions that way. The 4-point scale, the strongly disagree, somewhat disagree, somewhat agree, strongly agree. Are there particular ones or does that help a little bit?
MS. NEWTON: Well, discipline is a good example. In measuring it, would you look at the discipline the way it is carried out as opposed to asking someone how they feel about it? In other words, how many times this kind of behavior happens. That’s the question, behavioral as opposed to perceptual.
DR. ROSENBAUM: Right, a lot of these are attitudinal and perceptual. Like you said, I’m a psychologist, so I really believe that what people feel is what’s important in the end. But there is a correlation with behavior. Some attitudes are not. As you know, there’s a whole literature on attitude-behavior correlations. We would like to ask what you’re saying. The problem with that is it’s difficult to have a 10-minute survey that you administer to tens of thousands of people and is standardized across agency. We do have some independent. I should say there are other surveys we’re doing. There’s one called a department characteristics survey that asks about how many cases of discipline and how many people are found guilty, how many are exonerated. So we have other types of data to supplement but in their own case, no. There is room sometimes for that. We do ask some things. I do ask about certain behaviors like safety, risk taking, how often they wear their seatbelt, and how many accidents they’ve had, a few things like that. Discipline’s a tough one.
MS. NEWTON: Yes, I would like to just say one thing that I’m very appreciative of and that we’re working on at NIJ, and that’s the difference between process and outcome, and I’m glad to hear you talking about process. I don’t think it gets enough play, so that when you have a study that’s ongoing, I think it’s very important after the first or second year to say, “We know something here.” Because what happens in the end and you look at outcome, you somehow forget. Because 80 percent do this, you forget what it took to get to that 80 percent. And so I appreciate that.
DR. ROSENBAUM: Yes. Oh, thank you. Yeah, we’re trying to do that with both the community and the police.
DR. PATRICIA CAMPIE: Good morning. Thanks for a great talk. Trish Campie, American Institutes for Research. I’m doing a study right now with police in Massachusetts in 11 cities, and we’re looking at community norms of violence impacting actual violence and seeing how police might be sort of mediating the relationship.
DR. ROSENBAUM: Interesting.
DR. CAMPIE: One of the early findings, again preliminary, is that the expectations from local business, local schools and other groups that want the police to act a certain way, are actually wreaking havoc with the relationship between with the police and the community. So even when police feel very much aligned with the community, and they’re in a partnership role, and the community feels very trusting, all of a sudden the high school comes in and says, “Why aren’t you arresting that kid on the corner?” or the [businesses] are like, “Why aren’t you getting these guys off in front of my business?” So they want them to be more law enforcement, more top-down. So they’re really caught in a bind. Have you had any experience like that in your work?
DR. ROSENBAUM: Yeah, well, yeah, of course. This is a very fascinating point and one that we haven’t dealt with in our society, which is that there are all these competing pressures on the police to be different things to different people, and the troubling part for me is the extent to which this nation is still obsessed with holding, especially larger departments, responsible for the crime rate. In big cities, it’s not even the crime right, it’s just the homicide rate. You live or die and get fired depending on whether homicide goes up or down. What is wrong with us that we can’t see that places like Chicago, which is all the media talk about, handle 10,000 to 15,000 calls a day, and we only care about the three, you know, or one. The one call. The other 14,000 we don’t care about. That’s part of the same problem.
The police are, in a democratic society, a reflection of what the norms are. We wanted them to be. That was kind of the community policing model, right? But if the community is telling them all these conflicting things about what’s important and not accepting — It’s funny, I got an email from John Eck the other day saying, “You wrote this wonderful article 25 years ago reviewing all the literature on community crime prevention, and now you need to update it.” And I’m like, “No, I don’t want to. I’m too lazy.” This was 1988 I think I wrote that. The whole idea was that everybody accepts responsibility for the crime problem and for disorder and for everything else. But they all want to view the police still in 2014 just like the doctor takes care of my health instead of me eating properly, and the dentist fixes my teeth rather than me flossing, and the garbage guy picks up the garbage, and the police make the neighborhood safe. It’s a very outdated concept.
We need more programs and more research that focus on public education. We’re going to have some fascinating data here down the road, whether there’s a link between inside the police culture and the community. I find too that police — there’s another level, I’m guessing, I could be wrong. We’re always blaming the police for the way they interact with communities. It’s complicated. All these communities have different kinds of problems, and when you ride along with police, you realize that everyone’s complicit in this whole thing. It’s who’s the better person in the end. There’s lots of research in psychology too showing that if you’re cooperative with someone, they’re cooperative, but if they’re a competitive person and trying to beat you in games and whatever you’re playing, you have to be competitive to interact with them. And that’s a natural human tendency. You lose your cooperative demeanor. And so I think we find this going on in communities. It’s just very complicated stuff. But I agree with you. I think that’s fascinating, and I hope you get some good work out of that because that’s a message that’s not out there enough.
MS. DENISE VIERA: Denise Viera, Office of Justice Programs. This gets back to the way that your questions were put together. It seemed like a lot of the questions seem to ask about — this is within the organization — how you felt your supervisors or command staff were dealing with you and maybe not so much — I don’t know, this is really the question — about how much that individual officer may have felt efficacious themselves and whether or not that had any impact on any of this. Yes, there are these cultural issues, but from a psychological standpoint, do I feel personally empowered or not?
DR. ROSENBAUM: That’s a really good point. Again, being in psychology, efficacy is a really central concept, self-efficacy and collective efficacy. I think there probably is some bias in our questioning toward authority, but that isn’t our whole survey. This talk was about justice and authority figures and whether you listen to them. But we do have some questions that deal with things like “My views are valued in this organization” and “I have input.” You know, it’s that kind of thing. So we could rethink some of those. Same items — some could be considered justice, but they’re also about efficacy. We are doing various other papers here out of this that will come, and right now I’m working with some folks on women and policing, and how they feel about the organization and whether their views are valued and things like that.
So we have a lot of different ways we can go with this. You’re suggesting that might mediate this relationship, somehow that that might be important, and does the organization undermine that or support that. This is why also it’d be nice to follow over time. We’re going to follow organizations. The part of the platform that I didn’t mention, we did not do in the second phase — we just didn’t have enough funding — was we were following the life course — I’m still continuing it on my own a little bit — the life course of new police officers. That seems to have taken off in other countries, in Australia, now Canada wants to do it, so I’ve been working with them. We can follow people over time and see if they began efficacious, did they lose it three years into the job? The great thing about that, we can study “When did you become cynical and why?” I’ve always been fascinated by that. And the police like this question; they want to know the answer to that, because they all say, “I know when that happened to me!”
MS. VIERA: And how they affect these other aspects of how they view the organization and then if that’s something that’s common within that department, is that from an outcome standpoint — in the community?
DR. ROSENBAUM: Right.
MS. VIERA: Because that’s a lot. That’s 50 years of study.
DR. ROSENBAUM: Right. I think this inside/outside thing is going to be really important. Part of what we’re also looking at with the gender paper too is the composition of the work force. I have this idea — probably I’m wrong — but if a small number of women, minorities, other people in the organization, there are more problems. You reach a point there’s more threat to the organizational norms, but then at some point it becomes just accepted. I can think of large police departments like Los Angeles where you heard a lot of bad things about L.A., but there are pretty interesting dynamics inside that place. Other bigger departments have so few people of women, or of color, or whatever, that it’s complicated.
There’s a lot of fascinating stuff in here. I think police chiefs are challenged. I think it’s too easy to get caught up in the flavor of the day. It’s sort of like what’s the new technology. What’s the new thing. Technology is really important, don’t get me wrong. It is changing policing again, as it always has — the introduction of the car, the radio, et cetera; now it’s social media. It’s fascinating stuff, but how the officers accept that or whether they undermine it… I know big cities when in-car cameras first started, high levels of cynicism, distrust. They did everything they could to defeat that system. In one place I can think of near where I live, they took little pins into the wire so they couldn’t see. When they first started with the video, they just tore them out, but then they had to be more subtle or they got in trouble, so they took little pins and put them through the wires so the video camera wouldn’t work well. But no one would ever know that you had stuck that pin in there multiple times. Stuff like that.
MS. ANDREA COLEMAN: Hi, my name is Andrea Coleman, and I’m with OJJDP, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. I was just wondering in your data when you were surveying the law enforcement officers, those that were involved in either community-oriented policing or problem-oriented policing, were they more likely or less likely to feel that their organization was just? That they were being treated, all those indicators, those indexes that you had, did they feel more or were you all able to gauge that from the responses?
DR. ROSENBAUM: We actually have some measures in there of whether they’re involved in the community, but I haven’t looked at it yet. Do you have any ideas about what we might find? What was your idea for asking?
MS. COLEMAN: Well, my idea for asking was I was thinking that for those officers that are really engaged in those strategies that if they’re in an organization where everything’s sort of gone awry, then they are more sort of aware of it because of their dealings with the community. So they may respond lower to those questions if they feel that what they say matters or that discipline is fair because they do have that interaction with the community versus those officers that still do mainly traditional policing.
DR. ROSENBAUM: Because they know how the community feels about the police?
MS. COLEMAN: Right, exactly.
DR. ROSENBAUM: Interesting. Absolutely.
MS. COLEMAN: I was wondering if —
DR. ROSENBAUM: [Interposing] No, that’s really good. I was thinking the opposite at first, that these are more community-oriented officers, they might be more satisfied with their job in some ways.
MS. COLEMAN: Yes, right.
DR. ROSENBAUM: But be more cynical go about achieving —
MS. COLEMAN: [Interposing] Right, right.
DR. ROSENBAUM: Satisfaction and commitment to the organization are not necessarily the same thing even though they’re highly correlated.
MS. COLEMAN: Right.
DR. ROSENBAUM: So they might like their job working with the community, but they hate the organization. They’re not going to help them unless they have to. We’ll look into that. We do have the age of the citizens they interact with, and gender and race, everything. That’s fascinating too, and so we’ll see how well they do with young people.
MS. COLEMAN: Right, exactly.
DR. ROSENBAUM: And with minorities. Whatever. Actually, a couple of my grad students and I are working on a piece. Chicago’s been involved with this for a long time beyond the national platform, so we have thousands of data points. And we’re looking at what happens when we have matching demographics, like when the officer is a male, and the citizen’s a female, or the officer’s a minority, and the citizen is white, and all these possible combinations. It’s fascinating stuff, and so we’ll be reporting on that at some point. There is some matching that goes on. People tend to want similar others, but gender is more complicated. It confuses all the stuff.
MS. COLEMAN: I just wanted to add an additional comment. This is very timely for me because I’m also in the doctoral program at George Mason University, and I’m taking James Willis’ Theories of Justice this semester. We’re actually talking about all of this, so this is very timely, and he wanted to be here today, but he couldn’t, So I’m writing my final research paper for the class on citizens’ perception of police legitimacy and how procedural justice affects that.
DR. ROSENBAUM: Yes, well say hi to Jim and Steve Mastrofski’s on our team, all these other people. By the way, I think this stuff is really important in the community with regard to young people. In fact, we did that last year. Well, every year George Mason does this thing with you guys on the congressional briefing, and last year the big topic was New York and their stop-and-frisk stuff, so I talked about this procedural fairness during encounters between the police and young people. Again, the message is the same thing of treating — and besides the procedural justice and fairness stuff, my point was you have to have positive stops and not just negative stops. Then you’ll learn about the community. You’ll learn which kids should be frisked every time and which kid doesn’t ever need to be frisked. If you get out of your car and get out there. All right, thank you. I appreciate it.
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