The Correlates of Diversity Among Campus Police Officers: Results From a National Sample of Agencies

John J. Sloan III, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Eugene A. Paoline III, University of Central Florida

Although police departments on college and university campuses have existed since the middle of the 20th century, only during the past 20 years have researchers begun examining the structure and the function of these organizations. One recent trend in campus law enforcement has been the "professionalization" of these agencies and personnel in terms of training, duties, and organizational goals. However, the extent to which the "professionalization" of campus law enforcement has promoted diversity in the characteristics of sworn agency personnel remains an empirical question. This paper explores the issue of diversity among campus police officers using LEMAS data compiled by BJS in 1997 from a nationally representative sample of campus police agencies at post-secondary institutions enrolling 2,500 or more students. Both descriptive and multivariate analyses are used to examine potential correlates of diversity among sworn agency personnel, including variables relating to organizational characteristics (e.g., starting salary, hiring standards, agency membership in IACLEA, size, and mandate) and contextual variables (e.g., institutional control, student enrollment, location of the campus, and region of the country). Implications of the study's findings for the future of diversity in campus law enforcement personnel are also discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006