Officers' Determinations of Citizen Disrespect: An Exploratory Study

William Pizio, University at Albany

Although a body of research does exist examining the influence of citizen disrespect on police decision making and use of force, that research is limited in the capacity to appropriately conceptualize citizen disrespect. In fact, little is known about the verbal and nonverbal behaviors that for officers signify disrespect. Utilizing semi-structured interviews of officers in a mid-sized city police department, this descriptive research will seek to capture the most meaningful behavioral cues of what actually constitutes disrespect in officers' eyes. With a stronger ability to define disrespect conceptually for observations, future research can then focus on determining what effect, if any, disrespect has on officer decision making.

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Updated 05/20/2006