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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Qualitative Phenomenolgical Case Study of How a Liberal Arts Degree Benefits Police/Citizen Interactions
by Sherwin, Stephen L., Ed.D., Aurora University, 2019, 222; 13859816
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation analyzed the influence of the liberal arts on police officers and the quality of police-citizen encounters. Within recent years, several incidents of police-citizen encounters involving African Americans resulted in serious injuries, including death. Although many quantitative studies have investigated if higher education for police officers is a viable solution to reducing unfavorable police-citizen encounters, there is a lack of qualitative research on the subject. This study investigated the lived experiences of police officers with, and without, liberal arts degrees in higher education, and discussed whether a liberal arts curriculum provides police officers the mental acumen, ethical maturity, and humanistic rationale to overcome problematic police-citizen encounters. Data collection included conducting face-to-face interviews with police officers of a variety of ranks, ages, races, genders, duties, and jurisdictions to learn the essence of their lived experiences and perspectives. As a result, four thematic clusters were developed from the data providing the formation of conterminous spheres of dependency embodying interdependent themes that highlight the participants' police-citizen values. Results found that not all participants are in favor of any higher education as a mandate for police officers. However, all the participants professed the need for police officers to possess liberal values that humanize both the police and the citizen.

This study concludes with recommendations for police officer education, training, and curriculum to overcome adversarial police-citizen encounters.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Heybach, Jessica
Commitee: Markovic, Vesna, Wilson, Faith
School: Aurora University
Department: Leadership in Adult and Higher Education Curriculum
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 81/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Higher education, Law enforcement
Keywords: Police-citizen encounters, Liberal values, Police officer education
Publication Number: 13859816
ISBN: 9781085558983
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