Journal Article

Police Education in a University Setting: Emerging Cultures and Attitudes

Allyson Macvean and Carol Cox

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 6, issue 1, pages 16-25
Published in print March 2012 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online February 2012 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Police Education in a University Setting: Emerging Cultures and Attitudes

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Policing in common with many other working environments are defined by a specific culture; a set of morals and principles that determine who the police are and how they perform. Earlier research focused on one monolithic culture within the police service, although it is now generally agreed that the police service encompasses a number of cultures with the negative aspects of these cultures, racism, sexism, cynicism and isolation being the main focus of the literature. A police officer's role is quite unique in that a large proportion of their role is carried out away from their colleagues or supervision. Thus, a police officer's authority is exercised by their discretionary powers, which in turn could be influenced by their education and training. This article examines new forms of police probationer training located at higher education institutions (The debate of whether the police are trained or educated is a discussion that is beyond the scope of this article. For the purposes of this article, the generic term of police education is used to refer to police student training.) in relation to emerging cultures and attitudes. Drawing upon three discrete research projects undertaken by independent researchers at different university sites, it demonstrates that police education, although delivered locally and in partnership with higher education institutions can still provide a location in which aspects of police culture can flourish. The authors conclude that as new partnerships form and new methods in the delivery of recruitment training are explored, different sub-cultures are created, raising the question what does the future hold for the training offered in higher education institutions and its impact on police culture and attitudes for police student officers?

Journal Article.  5165 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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