Causes of Police Officer Career Apprehension Following George Floyd

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Publication Date



Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security


Police workforce retention has become a persistent managerial concern. The public response to recent events of police misconduct have fuelled the perception that police may be seeking other career paths following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Despite growing evidence, current research has been unable to ascertain what conditions may prompt officers to voluntarily separate from police work following Floyd’s murder, or whether the impact varies across demographic groups. Drawing upon a survey of over 600 police officers across eight police departments in the United States, the current inquiry examines what percent of officers reported reconsidering their career following the George Floyd incident, and whether demographic information and occupational attitudes could predict whether officers reconsidered their careers. Findings indicated that female officers were more likely to strongly agree that it made them reconsider their careers, and that instrumental concerns (i.e., public support, personal liability, localized fallout, and concern over media attention) were also influential.

Publication Title

Police Quarterly

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