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2 Police psychology.docx

18 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 2400
Jenelle Power

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Police psychology ch.2 Why is police selection so important? - Selection is important - Given police officers considerable power - As community members, we want them to make good decisions - Police have a lot of responsibilities and discretion, so we want the best people for the job Example: corruption in NYC - “So when we hit a place, we’d take some money to reimburse our informant payments. After a while, with so much dough lying around, you just take more. If you find 10 grand, you take only three or four thousand. You can’t raid a drug house and come back and not turn in some money. That’d would be a sure tipoff.” NYC police officer Dowd convicted of corruption • Police officer caught selling cocaine to high school students Example: corruption in New Orleans - Notorious for corruption - 1994- case of Kim Groves - Can become a norm and influence other officers to commit crimes - Apolice officer hired a hit man and had Kim killed Example: corruption in Toronto (allegedly) - Six police officers charged • Beating up drug dealers and stealing their money • Shaking down bar owners for protection money. • Extortion, obstructing justice, assault, theft, perjury, corrupt practices - Charges stayed because case taking too long - The police were not convicted Types of police deviance High Level Corruption Low Level Corruption Violent Crime Tampering Evidence Denying Civil Rights Being “Above” Inconvenient Laws Criminal Enterprise Minor Bribes Property Crimes Playing Favorites Major Bribes Gratuities Police selection procedures - Police selection procedure: a set of procedures used by the police to either screen out undesirable candidates or select in desirable candidates - Used to: • Screen in desirable candidates • Screen out undesirable candidates  Undesirable candidates are those who cannot handle the job responsibilities - But what makes a good police officer? - Requires many skills to do the job well • These skills can change over time Job analysis - Job analysis: a procedure for identifying the knowledge, skills and abilities that make a good police officer - KSAs • Knowledge • Skills • Abilities - Determined through surveys, interviews, observation - Potential problems • Police officer’s stability can changes over time • Disagreement on what KSAs are important • Diverse - Different requirements depending on the particular job What IS agreed upon? - Across the ranks, the following skills are important (Sanders, 2003): • Honesty • Reliability • Sensitivity to others • Good communication skills • High motivation • Problem-solving skills • Team player Validity of measures ****** VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW!! - How do we know what works? • Measures of success • No agreed upon set of measures - Predictive validity • Predicts how applicants will perform in future • Refers to how good a variable is at predicting a future outcome Positive correlation - One variable increases and the other also increases Negative correlation - One variable increases and the other variable decreases Selection interview - Selection interview: In recruiting police officers, an interview used by the police to determine the extent to which an applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, and ability deemed important for the job - Very commonly used - It is a semi-structured interview • Refers to questions that have to be asked, but have flexibility • Ex: can ask follow up questions or for people to expand on things - Mixed support (on whether it actually works well) - Poor inter-rater reliability • If a person is interviewed by different interviewers, interviewers will have different grades/ score it differently • How well a person does depends on who is doing the interview  Want the same results no matter who the interviewer is Psychological tests: cognitive abilities - Cognitive ability test: procedure for measuring verbal, mathematical, memory, and reasoning ability - Generally tests: • Verbal • Mathematical • Memory • Reasoning - Use generally supported - More predictive of training success than actual future performance - Training success is easier to measure than the success of the actual job Psychological tests: personality - Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): an assessment instrument for identifying people with psychopathological problems • Designed to identify psychopathological issues • Moderate but significant prediction - Inwald Personality Test (IPI): an assessment instrument used to identify police applicants who are suitable for police work by measuring their personality attributes and behavior patterns • Developed for law enforcement • Measure personality and behavior patterns to assess suitability for police work • Researcher suggests IPI more predictive of police officer performance than MMPI, although still preliminary - Widely used tests - IPI measures a person’s attitudes towards authority What is currently used? - Widely used even though they are not considered the best method What is used by the RCMP - PoliceAptitude Battery • Includes personality questionnaire - PhysicalAbilities Requirement Evaluation - Regular Member Selection Interview - Polygraph - Security Clearance - Health Assessment - Training Program RCMPpolice aptitude test (RCMP, 2008) 1. Composition 2. Comprehension 3. Logic 4. Memory 5. Judgment 6. Computation 7. Observation Situational tests - Situational test: a simulation of real-world policing task - Involves simulating real world policing tasks • Domestic disturbance • Homeowner complaint • Witness probing - Pynes & Bernardin (1992) • Situational test and training (r = .14) • Situational test and job performance (r = .20) Police discretion - Police discretion: a policing task that involves discriminating between circumstances that require absolute adherence to the law and circumstances where a degree of latitude is justified - Apolicing task that involves discriminating between: • Circumstances that require absolute adherence to the law • Circumstances where a degree is latitude is justified - Absolutely necessary! • Cannot possibly make laws to encompass all possible situations an officer will encounter - Must be practical & consider cost-benefit Important areas for discretion: 1. Youth crime - Department of Justice’s website summarizes the approach to youth justice as including: 1. Taking responsibility 2. Fair and proportionate responses that encourage rehabilitation and reintegration 3. Specialized court system for youth 4. Community involvement - Can get adult sentences depending on the severity of the crime - Sentencing the youth could make matters worse Youth justice committees - Alternative path for youths instead of getting a sentence - Female offenders are a lot more influences by their associates and so it may be more appropriate for them to make an agreement not to associate with certain people - In Ontario, can be referred by police (pre-charge) or courts (post-charge) - Must be a low-risk offence - Apology for offence must be made - Other requirements could include: • Community service • Written project • Curfew • Paying back victim & community • Voluntary participation in counseling programs, such as anger management sessions • Agreement by the offender not to associate with a person or a group Important areas for discretion: 2. Offenders with mental illness - Movement to deinstitutionalization of people with mental illness leads to an increase of mentally ill on the street & are more involved with the law - What are the options? • Psychiatric institution • Correctional institution • Informal resolution - Difficult to access services for a person who is mentally ill + criminal history + substance abuse issues - Some institutions exists that are both correctional and psychiatric (hospitals) in nature - NGOs / advocacy groups assist with receiving help for the mentally ill Offenders with mental illness: is this a big problem? - Study in London, Ontario on police and people with mental illness (PMI) (Hartford, Heslop, Stitt & Hoch, 2005): • PMI were >3x as likely to interact with police than members of the general population • ~2x as many PMI were charged and/or arrested during the study period as compared to the general population • 40% of offences for which PMI were charged were for minor, nuisance type offences • Once charged, PMI were 37% more likely to spend time in custody prior to conviction and 57% more like to spend time in custody as part of their disposition • PMI were more likely to be convicted of the offence than the general population • The rate of violent offenses committed by PMI was the same as the rate for the general population • Events involving PMI represented an estimated 3% to 9% of the annual operating budget What are police officers’attitudes towards PMI? - 112 male and 26 female officers completed CommunityAttitudes Toward Mental Illness Scale - The results of the following chart indicate that there is a general positive attitude for dealing with PMI, but still seems to see them as a threat Frequency of Contact with PMI Once a day or more often 2.2% One or more times a week but less than daily 23.5% One or more times a month but less than weekly 50.0% Several times a year but less than monthly 19.8% Yearly or less 4.4% Attitude Subscale Mean Auth
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