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Turnover Among Alaska Village Public Safety Officers: An Examination of the Factors Associated With Attrition -- Summary

NCJ Number
Date Published
7 pages
This is a summary of a study that identified factors associated with attrition among Alaska Village Public Safety Officers (VPSOs).
Two primary data sources were used. Information about turnover rates and the amount of time officers spend in the program was obtained from lists of current and former VPSOs published by the Alaska Department of Public Safety. The measures of factors considered as possible reasons for turnover, as suggested by prior research on the VPSO program and by administrators closely associated with the program, were obtained through a self-administered survey of 113 (out of a possible 184) current and former VPSOs. Compared with what is found in police agencies across Alaska and in the rest of the Nation, turnover rates in the VPSO program have been and remain very high. Findings show that VPSO turnover has not been associated only with their relatively small pay, with job stresses, or with the issues surrounding the officers' Alaska Native heritage. Instead, variables from each of these perspectives help in discerning between the VPSOs that stay with the program compared with those more likely to leave the program. Factors that are related to an officer's staying with the program are more constructive in this analysis. Entrenchment within the Alaska Native culture, the stabilizing force of marriage, service to the officer's home village, and service in villages where other police are stationed all contribute to a VPSOs remaining on the job.

Date Published: January 1, 2000