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13 Crim. Just. Pol'y Rev. 3 (2002)

handle is hein.journals/cjpr13 and id is 1 raw text is: 











Gauging Employee Familiarization

With Mission: A Qualitative Review

of Service Delivery Attitudes


Richard C. Lumb
State University of New York at Brockport
Kenneth Miller
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department



   This article examines employee understanding of values, mission, goals, and result-
   ing service delivery within the framework of community-policing. In a quasi-military
   structure, it is often assumed that once the chief sets the direction, all employees will
   comply in their behavior and actions. Change in organizational structure, aptly illus-
   trated by the implementation of community-policing, disrupts core practices and is
   traumatic to many employees. Determining employee understanding, core beliefs,
   and readiness for a new program is an important first step to sustained change.
   Jumping into a new program andproviding employees with a single one size fits all
   training program is not sufficient. This study examined employees' perceptions
   regarding community-policing as practiced by their respective agencies. Focus group
   sessions were conducted infourpolice or sheriff agencies, separating each group by
   its rank or position. Outcomes of this study disclosed variations of definition, mean-
   ing, application, and practice expectations, stratified by rank or position in the
   departments studied.


In the field of policing, there is a tendency to believe that employees are in
synchronous agreement with the chief of police regarding matters of mis-
sion, goals, and service delivery. The reality of this phenomenon may lie far
from that belief, as individual staff members are more likely to harbor a vari-
ety of views and understanding of their work that differs from their col-
leagues. Using the vernacular of the police profession, conversations lead
one to believe that there is group consensus; however, were careful investi-
gation to take place, it would reveal the existence of multiple perceptions
surrounding a single common issue. Each individual, although able to voice
the expected response that signals safety from rebuke, holds within his or
her mind a set of beliefs and values that may or may not agree with the group

Criminal Justice Policy Review, Volume 13, Number 1, March 2002 3-20
© 2002 Sage Publications

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