An assessment of law enforcement agency satisfaction with the Police Corps program

Karla McCary Pope

Abstract

The purpose of this study was two-fold: first, to assess agency satisfaction with the Police Corps program and the officers graduating from the program, and second, to identify predictors of agency satisfaction. A survey was constructed and included questions requesting agency demographic data, the agency's general level of satisfaction with the Police Corps program, and agency satisfaction with the performance of the Police Corps officers employed at the agency for at least one year. The respondents for this study consisted of law enforcement agencies throughout the nation that participate in the Police Corps program. A factor analysis was conducted to identify dimensions of the survey instrument. Five factors emerged and were labeled by the researcher as follows: quality of training, leadership characteristics, performance of basic police skills, undesirable traits, and financial reimbursement. Each factor was utilized as the dependent variable in each of the analyses. The findings of this study indicate that law enforcement agencies participating in the Police Corps program are satisfied with their participation in the program and with the performance of the officers trained by Police Corps. The data collected indicate that the number of Police Corps officers employed by the agency may serve as a predictor of agency satisfaction with regard to financial reimbursement. Upon conducting independent samples t tests, the study revealed that there is a statistically significant difference between the mean scores for the factor financial reimbursement when considering agency size and number of police officers with a bachelor's degree or higher. There was a significant relationship between the independent variable, number of years of participation in the Police Corps program, and the dependent variable, performance of basic police skills. There was no significant relationship between the independent variables and the factors labeled leadership characteristics, quality of training, and undesirable traits. Through various conversations with respondents of the study, the researcher discovered that smaller agencies were not satisfied with the removal of the financial reimbursement for Police Corps officers employed with them. However, all of the chiefs with whom the researcher spoke said that they would continue to participate in the program because of the superior officers they have employed from the Police Corps.