Police Education Into The National Spotlight During The 1960s Essay

Police Education Into The National Spotlight During The 1960s Essay

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Nearly a century ago, during the emergence of the professional era of policing, increasing the educational requirements for police officers (POs) became the locus of debate among scholars, practitioners, and politicians (Baro & Burlingame, 1999). Proponents of a better educated police force surmised that degreed officers were better suited to provide effective and professional services (Sherman, 1978b). Prior to this time, the profession was inundated with corruption linked to insufficient training, education, and competency (Sherman, 1978a; Walker, 1977).While early reformers asserted that college educated POs retained the faculty to better navigate the complexities of the modern, professional epoch of policing (Walker, 1977), the issue garnered little attention (Shernock, 1992). However, civil unrest emanating from the use of aggressive policing strategies to combat elevated urban crime rates propelled the issue of police education into the national spotlight during the 1960s (Jacobs & Magdovitz, 1977).
In an effort to alleviate civil tensions and reduce the occurrence of pervasive discriminatory policing practices (Fogelson, 1977), the 1967 President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice (PCLEAJ) recommended that police agencies raise the educational standards for new hires to that of a bachelor’s degree (PCLEAJ, 1967). These recommendations appeared logical at the time, especially given that within the context of organizational psychology, college education is deemed a significant determinant of work quality (Chomal & Baruah, 2014). Yet, in essence, this was founded on rhetoric and intuition, not empiricism (Carter & Sapp, 1990).
This is noteworthy, particularly since the commission’s supposition,...


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...cording to Gau and associates (2013), this perturbation stems from POs’ resentment of their current status within the organization.
It is worth noting that psychologists have observed similar feelings of resentment in other professions and coined the term, psychological entitlement, to explain this phenomenon. From this perspective, those who have attained a higher level of education and perceived competence, believe that they are deserving of special remuneration and accolades irrespective of their actual level of mastery or relevance of education (Naumann, Minsky, & Sturman, 2002). Regardless of the organizational setting, undesirable outcomes such as misconduct and dissatisfaction are universally associated with increased levels of psychological entitlement (Harvey & Martinko, 2009; Naumann et al., 2002). In an investigation of the impact of education on POs’ job

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