Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Police Perspectives on the Acceptance of Gratuities: A Qualitative Case Study
by Dwenger, William L., D.P.A., Capella University, 2020, 139; 28086637
Abstract (Summary)

Policing has transformed over the years with the public’s desire for an increase in professionalism. As part of this paradigm shift, police officers are scrutinized and judged by their actions. When an officer is viewed indirectly by the public, and engaged in behavior such as accepting a gratuity, the perception can be just as negative as when an officer makes the wrong decision and the incident is video recorded. The issue of police accepting gratuities has been around for decades and persists as a topic of discussion for police executives. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the issue of police gratuities as the practice relates to ethics. A gap existed in the literature in the lack of information about how the practice relates to ethics from the police executives’ perspective. The participants consisted of 12 police executives from small to medium-sized police agencies in Region 2, according to divisions used by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data collected for the study were acquired from participants during the interview process by asking open-ended questions. The study consisted of three research questions: (a) How do police executives perceive and analyze the ethics of officers accepting gratuities? (b) What are police executives’ experience with the acceptance of gratuities within their agency? and (c) How have these experiences influenced the current police executives’ policies around ethics of accepting gratuities? Overall, three themes were apparent: the motivation for giving a police officer a gratuity, expectations of both the police officer and the giver of the gratuity, and perception of the participants after being a police executive. The study findings revealed that police executives have confidence in the officers they supervise and permit judgment calls. This decision making provides freedom for officers to use their best judgment and discretion. The results revealed police executives, while hesitant to formally approve police gratuities, allow the practice in the interest of fostering a positive community relationship.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wright, Robert
Commitee: Hurd, Debra, Maranga, Kennedy
School: Capella University
Department: School of Public Service Leadership
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Public administration, Law enforcement, Ethics
Keywords: Police administration, Police gratuities
Publication Number: 28086637
ISBN: 9798664734980
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