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Journal cover: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management

ISSN: 1363-951X
Previously published as: Police Studies: Intnl Review of Police Development
Incorporates: American Journal of Police

Online from: 1997

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Police accreditation and clearance rates

Document Information:
Title:Police accreditation and clearance rates
Author(s):William M. Doerner, (Department of Economics, College of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA), William G. Doerner, (College of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)
Citation:William M. Doerner, William G. Doerner, (2012) "Police accreditation and clearance rates", Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol. 35 Iss: 1, pp.6 - 24
Keywords:Accreditation, Crime rates, Innovation, Performance measures, Police, Quality of policing, United States of America
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/13639511211215423 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors thank the editor and the reviewers for sharing their insights on an earlier version of the manuscript.

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to examine whether accredited police agencies display higher clearance rates than their non-accredited counterparts.

Design/methodology/approach – The study group consists of all municipal police departments operating continuously in the State of Florida from 1997 through 2006. Independent variables capture organizational characteristics for nearly 260 agencies to determine whether becoming accredited improves clearance rates.

Findings – Random-effects Tobit analysis suggests that accreditation status does not affect violent and property crime clearance rates. Clearance rates are more influenced by the number of sworn personnel and law enforcement expenditures per capita.

Research limitations/implications – Much of what is currently known about the impact of accreditation stems from anecdotal and testimonial evidence. Still, the industry manages to expand and flourish. A glaring need for sound empirical research is evident.

Practical implications – Instead of advancing the protection of local communities and bringing about meaningful organizational reform, accreditation appears to be a useful tool for bureaucrats who wish to further their own careers.

Originality/value – Advocates link accreditation status to a number of benefits, including better investigatory practices that culminate in more solved cases. Recent academic work suggests that accreditation has dubious benefits, despite claims to the contrary. This study adds to that literature by showing that accreditation also fails to elevate clearance rates.

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