Relationship of Higher Education and Law Enforcement Performance
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The relationship between higher education and law enforcement performance is still under debate. Since the early 1900’s policy makers have not come to a consensus to make college education a qualification for law enforcement employment nationally. The disagreement is not whether higher education has value, to the extent which it improves police performance is not held in consensus.
Policy makers cite a lack of substantial results to validate making a college degree a qualification of law enforcement employment. Researchers have unsuccessfully attempted to provide suggestive results for the benefits of law enforcement officers possessing a college education against those who do not. Historically, the inability to correlate a significant relationship between higher education and performance leaves the subject in quandary.
Using Negative Binomial Log Linear Regression, this researcher collected performance data from several police departments and certified police officers in the central Texas region. An electronic survey was provided to certified police officers to capture data on the independent variable professionalism. The study’s collected data was cross referenced, and the officers badge numbers were replaced with a generic identifier to protect their identities. The names of the police departments were also removed from this study.
Setting the significance level at .05, the three research questions for this study were answered: Is there a significant statistical relationship between higher education and police performance, does the type of degree matter, and is performance statistically significant to police performance? The results of the study suggest levels of education predicts a positive relationship with law enforcement officer performance, degree types do not matter, and professionalism is not statistically significant to police performance.