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Determinants of Police Protectionism

Published onAug 08, 2022
Determinants of Police Protectionism
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Determinants of Police Protectionism

Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. continue to struggle with concerns around police accountability and violence. Recent scholarship has underscored the need to explore the role of police protections embedded in law enforcement Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) and Law Enforcement Officer of Bill of Rights (LEOBRs) in combating accountability and transparency. Following the methodology for index weighting developed by Moe (2009), this index aims to fill a void around an underexplored area of policing, police protectionism. Building upon an initial attempt to develop a dimension of police protectionism in Rad (2018), this research note creates a more refined, replicable, and standardized method for creating a measure capturing police protections which limit transparency and create concerns for accountability. Adapting the Rushin (2017) framework, this note creates eight categories for capturing police protectionism and constructs several measures for police protectionism for both CBAs and LEOBORs. Finally, the index is used to explore predictors of cities with higher levels of protections with census and crime data. The preliminary results render that Black-White segregation is predictive of cities with higher levels of police protectionism suggesting a racial element to police protectionism. We end with recommendations for future research avenues.


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