Date of Award

Summer 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Capital Development


Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Chair

Cyndi H. Gaudet

Committee Chair Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 2

Heather M. Annulis

Committee Member 2 Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 3

Dale L. Lunsford

Committee Member 3 Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 4

Quincy Brown

Committee Member 4 Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 5

Patricia Pulliam Phillips

Committee Member 5 Department

Human Capital Development


Law enforcement officer turnover lacks the support of empirical research (Monk-Turner, O’Leary, & Sumter, 2010; Wareham, Smith, & Lambert, 2013), despite being costly in terms of both human and monetary capital (Peña, 2013; Reaves, 2012; Wilson & Sheer, 2013). What literature is available describes factors such as job dissatisfaction and monetary issues as reasons to leave an agency (Cyprian, 2009; Hubbard, 2008; McIntyre, 1990). A new phenomenon, known as the “Ferguson Effect” has been examined in terms of community involvement (Nix & Wolfe, 2016; Wolfe & Nix, 2016) and violent crime rates (Rosenfeld, 2015), but there is no research that looks at the Ferguson Effect’s relationship to law enforcement officer turnover.

This non-experimental, cross-sectional, descriptive design study adds to the body of knowledge for law enforcement turnover and includes four research objectives. Findings of the study include five Ferguson Effect variables that were directly related to law enforcement officer motivation and proactive work efforts were significant. Turnover intentions among respondents did not rise to a level that would indicate an overall desire to leave their agency. There was a weak relationship between the Ferguson Effect and turnover intentions with the population studied. Additional research should be conducted using a population of less senior law enforcement officers, particularly line officers, to determine if different turnover intentions exist.