Thesis

Driving like hell: police officers and the prospect of dying

Thesis (M.A., Sociology)--California State University, Sacramento, 2012.

This study seeks to understand how police officers perceive the prospect of dying while on duty by using driving habits as a proxy. The author analyzes interview data collected from 99 police officers across seven northern California police agencies. The author finds that officers state a commitment to safety yet they admit to engaging in reckless driving habits within specific situations. This study contends that characteristics of the police officer milieu function to obscure the risk inherent in reckless driving and structure participation in edgework (1990). These findings suggest an acceptance of risk among the interviewed officers.

This study seeks to understand how police officers perceive the prospect of dying while on duty by using driving habits as a proxy. The author analyzes interview data collected from 99 police officers across seven northern California police agencies. The author finds that officers state a commitment to safety yet they admit to engaging in reckless driving habits within specific situations. This study contends that characteristics of the police officer milieu function to obscure the risk inherent in reckless driving and structure participation in edgework (1990). These findings suggest an acceptance of risk among the interviewed officers.

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