Thesis

From the police academy to patrol: the impact of cultural sensitivity and awareness training on police recruits

This study examines the role of academy training and fieldwork on police officers' racial attitudes. A secondary dataset based on a survey of 446 police recruits taken at three time periods, including pre-academy training, the end of academy training, and after one year of employment at respective police agencies was utilized. Findings revealed that although the training academy had no effect on police officers' racial attitudes, the effects of fieldwork increased negative racial attitudes towards people of color. In addition, higher educated police recruits were less likely to support equality in policing when compared to less educated police recruits. However, racial attitudes changed over time. After one year of employment, fieldwork increased racially biased attitudes for less educated police officers. In tum, higher educated police officers were more likely to support equality in policing when compared to less educated police officers after fieldwork. Limitations and recommendations are included. Keywords: Cultural Sensitivity Training, Higher Education, Police Officer Attitudes

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