Substantial research exists involving the recruitment of African American police officers by police agencies to repair decades of damage to relationships between urban communities and residents. Research documents that African Americans play a major role in policing. However, while recruitment efforts fail and the numbers of African American police diminishes in some regions, role perceptions of African American police officers have not been researched in depth. The research study explores the gap in current research by examining the perceptions of African American police officers regarding their role in policing. Using a generic qualitative design, two female and eight male officers from four Midwestern United States police departments were interviewed. The interviews were conducted during the fall of 2019. The interviews focused on the perceptions of the participants about their role in diversifying their police departments and in police-community relations. The data from the interviews were examined using inductive analysis. Three major themes emerged from the data: Multiple roles, organizational cultural struggles, and the cultural ambassador. The findings show that African American officers saw themselves playing a variety of roles in the context of the traditional roles. The findings also showed that organizational cultures play a large role in how African American officers develop and navigate between the various roles they play. The results suggest that African American officers see themselves playing a vital role in diversifying their departments, changing organizational norms, and repairing broken relationships with the urban community. Recommended future research could utilize a phenomenological design exploring officer perceptions from multiple regions.
|Commitee:||Schnieder, Jeffrey, Kill, Misti|
|Department:||School of Public Service and Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Law enforcement, Black studies, African American Studies|
|Keywords:||Role perceptions, Urban , African American, Police officers|
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