Building Trust Inside and Out: The Challenge of Legitimacy Facing Police Leaders Dennis P. Rosenbaum, Director Center for Research in Law and Justice University of Illinois at Chicago National Institute of Justice April 21, 2014 Portions of the research described here were supported by grant No. 2008-DN-BX-0005 awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.
Today’s Agenda • Big picture view of legitimacy in policing from leadership perspective • External legitimacy issues • Internal legitimacy issues • National Police Research Platform as a tool for understanding and reforming
Difficult Time to Lead • Inside: Budget cuts, changing workforce, new crime threats, new technologies • Outside: Negative encounters, image management with stakeholders • Pressure to innovate, pressure to reform, pressure to be transparent/accountable • Need better “knowledge management” and “information management”
Beyond Evidence-based Crime Control: Fairness and Legitimacy • What type of knowledge is needed, but sorely lacking? • Wake up call: Policing is no longer just about crime control • Policing in 21st century multi-ethnic society is largely about legitimacy and fairness in service delivery and leadership • Effective crime fighting requires a healthy organization
Evidence-based Processes • Beyond numeric outcomes to policing processes: • External processes – Officer decisions and interactions with community members (Procedural Justice) • Internal processes – Management decisions and interactions with employees (Organizational Justice)
Building Capacity: The National Police Research Platform • Provide standardized diagnostic tools and benchmarks for evidence-based decision making and self-assessment • Advance knowledge of organizational behavior via cross-agency comparisons • Encourage a paradigm shift: from bean counting to evidence-based management/organizational health • Measuring what matters to the employees and the public – and what affects organizational legitimacy
Quality of Policing inside and Outside the Organization • Internal Quality of Policing: How are employees treated? (Organizational justice) • External Quality of Policing: How is the public treated? (Procedural justice and more)
What is “Legitimacy?” “A psychological property of an authority, institution, or social arrangement that leads those connected to it to believe that it is appropriate, proper, and just.” (Tyler, 2006, p. 375).
Enhancing Legitimacy with Uniforms, Badges, and the Professional Image
“Consent of the Governed” • Police authority is not defined entirely by the badge, gun, and arrest powers • Police action must be authorized by the consent of the governed • Legitimacy is not an immutable characteristic of the police --It can be conferred and removed over time • It is defined in the hearts and minds of those being asked to follow
Undermining Legitimacy: The Chronic Problems • Corruption, scandals, and reform attempts • Causing/mishandling civil disorder • Excessive force • Race discrimination and profiling • History of poor relations with various communities(minorities, youth, mentally ill, LGBT)
Consequences of Weak Legitimacy: Unhappy Citizenry • Less willing to cooperate (e.g. "no snitch culture”) • Less willing to comply with requests • Less willing to obey the law • More likely to file complaints, lawsuits, and generate negative media coverage
How to achieve Legitimacy?Procedural Justice Respect: Treat people with respect/dignity Neutrality: Treat people objectively, based on the facts, not personal characteristics Voice: Listen to people - pay attention Concern: Show concern for their welfare....
Appropriate Response to Victimization • Victimization can be traumatic: • Show sensitivity to victim’s experience – empathy, compassion, emotional support • Show competence – answering questions, explaining actions, following procedures, making decisions
Officer’s Actions Citizen’s Perceptions Expected Outcomes Officer is Respectful Increase Officer Safety I’m Satisfied with Encounter Follows Procedural Justice Principles Increase Compliance with Requests Officer is Fair Increase Investigative Information I trust this Officer Addresses the Needs of Victims Officer Listened to me Reduce Citizen Complaints I trust the Dept. Officer cares about my Wellbeing Increase Job Satisfaction
How do we get there?“Measure what Matters” • Measure what is important to the community – the quality of service • If you measure something, it begins to matter. Otherwise, who cares? • Use the National Police Research Platform as a starting point and paradigm shift…
Problems with Existing Data Police management has weak data to judge the quality police-citizen contacts (citizen complaints? Police surveys?) Community surveys don’t tell us about recent police services Contact surveys (Bureau of Justice Statistics)provide only national estimates
Benefits of Police-Community Interaction (PCI) Survey • Provides local, jurisdictional data for police management purposes (Advancing practice with feedback and “reactive measurement”) • Provides local, regional and national standardized data for research purposes (Advancing science by providing contextual data for explanation) • Added benefit: Democratizes policing by giving the public a voice in evaluating police services • Measures the desired behaviors that matter
What does the PCI Survey Measure? Overall satisfaction with the encounter Procedural justice – Quality of treatment and decision making Victim-focused measures: Empathy and emotional support, concern, explain, provide information Agency legitimacy – trust and confidence Agency performance overall – effective and responsiveto problems, concerns Intentions to cooperate, comply, obey the law
Survey Methodology Letter from Chief/Sheriff mailed to citizens with police contact in the past 10 days Letter Invites Citizens to Complete Satisfaction Survey by: Web-based survey or 1-800 automated telephone survey University collects data independently and provides feedback to the participating departments
“How satisfied are you with the way you were treated by the officer in this case?” 83.2%
Known Groups Validation • Predictable differences in satisfaction by: • Racial/ethnic group • Age • Type of incident (police-initiated or not) • Agency
Electronic vs. Conventional Telephone Survey: Randomized Control Trial
Preliminary Conclusions about Electronic PCI Surveys • Feasible – It can be done • Cost effective - $5 vs. $82 per survey • Acceptable validity of responses • Attractive to local agencies -feedback • Provides external indicators of organizational and officer performance • Provides database for advancing knowledge about factors that contribute to procedural justice in diverse settings
Next Steps with PCI Survey • Roll out with national sample of agencies in Phase 2 of the Platform • Explore differences between agencies • Test the potential utility for police management
Differences between 12 Agencies in Satisfaction with Traffic stops (% Very Satisfied and Somewhat Satisfied) Agency
Ways of Utilizing PCI data for Internal Accountability • “Respectstat” • Comparisons by District or Area • Mapping “Hot spots” • District trends over Time • Hourly Trends • Institutionalization
Preliminary Look at PCI Data from the National Police Research Platform • Survey is in the field – ongoing data collection • Expect between 50 and 75 agencies to participate (out of 83) • 100 to 500 surveys per agency • Today – Quick peak at data from 43 agencies
Quick Conclusions • Procedural justice is a strong predictor of citizen satisfaction with police contacts, controlling for agency size, community characteristics and decision making outcomes (traffic citations). • For the PCI Survey, more work is needed to reduce costs, improve response rates, and test alternative survey modalities • Relative to the history of the Uniform Crime Report (UCR), we are living in 1929. National and local politics and competing research agendas stand in the way, but can be overcome!
Leadership ChallengesInside the Organization • Strategies for Change – What works? • Employee commitment to organizational goals is essential • Where employees are satisfied with work, they are more committed to the organization’s goals…