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Increasing Educational Levels of Little Rock Police Officers, Little Rock, Arkansas

NCJ Number
T P Daley
Date Published
20 pages
The emphasis on advanced education for police education is due to the increasing complexity of the police role in which officers are involved in three interrelated role concepts -- law enforcement, order maintenance, and social service -- requiring an understanding of the psychological and sociological implications pertaining to the community.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that college-educated officers provide benefits to the department and community: ensuring the proper use of police discretionary powers, improving the effectiveness of officers in performing their crime control function, and enhancing the ability to perform their "order maintenance" function through a balance of social counseling and law enforcement techniques. This study recommends a program of multiple incentives and mandates to assist employees of the Little Rock, Arkansas, police department, including applicants, existing personnel, and cadets, in improving their education. Each police officer applicant would be required to possess a certain number of college credits; the minimum would increase each year. Qualified women and minorities should be actively recruited. The department should increase starting salaries to a level commensurate with comparable departments nationwide. Current employees should be encouraged to continue their education with incentives including paid educational leave, flexible scheduling, and tuition reimbursement. In addition, the department should implement a phased-in mandatory educational requirement for promotion to supervisory positions. The department's cadet program provides an opportunity for both requiring higher education and recruiting women and minorities. Maintaining the education incentive program (EIP) will address as well the issue of retaining officers already possessing college degrees. 31 footnotes.