Police Occupational Culture: Testing the Monolithic Model
Since foundational work in the 1950s, researchers have described a variety of dimensions of the occupational culture of police. In an effort to integrate the disparate works, a theoretical model has been constructed depicting the ways in which the stressful features of the police work environment produce coping mechanisms and outcomes. While this model usefully organizes the vast literature on police culture, it has yet to be empirically tested. The current study addresses this void. Path analyses of officer survey data reveal support for several of the propositions set forth by the monolithic model, although the magnitude of the statistical associations was not very powerful and overall model fit was marginal. The implications of these findings are especially relevant given recent concerns over police-community relations and the renewed interest in the police occupational culture expressed by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
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