Police officers highly motivated by supervisor scrutiny

A study from the Princeton University shows that police officers are highly responsive to the scrutiny of their superiors.

The findings suggest that rules and supervision can be effective at reforming police behaviour. The study examines millions of police records from the New York Police Department's (NYPD) stop-question-and-frisk program -- a controversial police tactic wherein officers detain, question and potentially search pedestrians. Unlike previous research, the study is among the first to examine a rare case in which police behaviour was recorded with very high frequency before and after an unanticipated procedural change.

The study, "Modern Police Tactics, Police-Citizen Interactions, and the Prospects for Reform," was part of dissertation work funded by a National Science Foundation dissertation completion grant.

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