Ni He, Robert Kane
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
sociology, criminology and penology, diversity, minority, police, representation
Criminology and Criminal Justice
The present study is divided into two component parts. The first examines institutional and external factors associated with racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in policing at the line and managerial ranks (the determinants of diversity). Line representation analyses utilize new data sources and a full range of theoretically informed covariates. Managerial representation analyses provide the first comprehensive attempt to understand the dynamics behind minority promotion. Portions of the U.S. Census of Population and Housing Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation (EEO), Division of Governmental Studies and Services (DGSS) survey, and Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey were combined to produce a sample of 180 cities/municipal departments. Results indicate that the representation of minorities in political office and their presence in police leadership positions are among the most influential predictors of line officer diversity. Proportions of minorities in administrative police roles are greater in larger departments paying higher salaries. There is also evidence that the career advancement of minorities can be limited when multiple minority groups compete for the same promotional opportunities. The second portion of the present study tests the hypotheses that organizational diversity reduces police-citizen conflict and ensures impartiality in the formal administration of justice (the effects of diversity). The movement to diversify police department ranks represents one of the longest-running policy initiatives in the history of the field and proponents of this strategy have argued that it can produce these favorable outcomes, despite a lack of empirical support. Diversity is measured in three ways: 1) as relative proportions of minority (African American, Latino, female, and total) line officers and managers; 2) as the ratio of minority managers to line officers (an indicator of an agency's "diversity perspective," Thomas & Ely, 2001); and 3) as the ratio of minority police to citizens (Walker's EEO Index, indicative of political representation). Portions of EEO and LEMAS datasets were combined to create a sample of 434 cities/municipal departments matched to multiple dependent variables measuring conflict and bias provided in the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and related Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR) and Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) data. Results indicate that organizational diversity does have the ability to cool conflict and decrease bias, but that this effect is very modest and only operates under certain conditions. Another key finding relates to the degree of "integration" of diversity at the line and managerial levels of policing: the positive effects of diversity were most likely to manifest in agencies where diversity was evenly distributed across ranks, and not limited to line-level positions. Theoretical and policy implications of all results are discussed, along with directions for future research.
Joseph L. Gustafson
Gustafson, Joseph L., "Diversity in municipal police agencies: a national examination of its determinants and effects" (2010). Criminology and Justice Policy Dissertations. Paper 1. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20000825
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