Dropping Out or Sticking With It: The Sustainability of Crime Prevention Officers

Joseph F. Donnermeyer, The Ohio State University
Jeremy M. Wilson, University of Toledo

One difficulty in sustaining community-based policing efforts is the turnover of officers assigned to these duties. There may be several reasons why officers rotate out of these duties. Some officers come to regret their assignment because they feel that they are no longer part of the "mainstream" of the department. They may receive little encouragement from upper command and may frequently hear comments from patrol officers that they are no longer involved in "real" police work. Other officers develop the belief that their chances of promotion are reduced by assignment to special community-based programs, and that only with time served "on patrol" will they be able to advance to the next level of their agency. This paper presents the results of a study of crime prevention officers in the state of Ohio. It measures their self-reported likelihood of remaining in crime prevention, and examines factors associated with sustainability, including perception of support within the department and the community and various characteristics of the officers (such as educational level, years of experience, years until retirement, training/certification in crime prevention programs, attendance at periodic meetings of crime prevention officer groups etc.)

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Updated 05/20/2006