Attitudinal Dimensions and Openness to Evidence-Based Policing: Perspectives of Academy Recruits




Grieco, Julie

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Evidence-based policing is a relatively new movement in policing encouraging law enforcement agencies and officers to pay more attention to information derived from systematic study, analysis, and research. While evidence-based policing holds a great deal of promise for law enforcement agencies, what is less clear is whether it is practiced regularly by officers, how it is implemented, what officers know about it, and what types of mindsets are needed by officers to be receptive to it. One arena of policing which might present some clues to these questions is training academies, which is explored in this study. Research shows that police academies are where recruits first acquire attitudes and assumptions about the field of policing, and that individuals may be more likely to be open to change and new ideas during their educational or transitional period. However, research has yet to examine what attitudes may contribute to evidence-based policing, and whether these attitudes are fostered or discouraged during a police officer’s initial academy training experience. These questions are explored in this dissertation, by surveying 415 recruits in two police academies, across four cohorts, before and after their training experience.



Criminology, Attitudinal openness, Evidence-based policing, Police, Policing