Date of Graduation

8-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Kenda Grover

Committee Member

Kit Kacirek

Second Committee Member

David Deggs

Third Committee Member

Barton Washer

Keywords

Community College, Law Enforcement, Police, Public Perception

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to extend our understanding of public perception towards law enforcement. Students from three different Kansas community colleges were surveyed about their perceptions of law enforcement effectiveness and professionalism, and what might impact those perceptions.

A total of 159 community college students responded to the survey. The majority of the respondents were female (78%), and Caucasian (77.4%). Respondent’s age represented the following percentage breakdowns: 29.6% being 18-19 years old, 27.7% being 20-24 years old, and 30.8% being 25-34. Resulting in 88% of respondents being between the ages of 18-34 years old.

Mean and standard deviation statistical procedures were calculated to determine the overall perception of law enforcement effectiveness (M = 3.60, SD = 0.800) and professionalism (M = 2.76, SD = 0.708). The categories of race and gender were further examined using mean and standard deviation procedures. The Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) procedure was used to analyze the data, with no significant differences in mean perceptions of law enforcement effectiveness by gender and race (F (1, 150) = 0.52, P=0.4712) or in mean perceptions of law enforcement professionalism (F (1, 149) = 2.40, P=0.1231). A Chi-Square test was used to determine there was no relationship difference between media consumption and gender (χ2 (3, N = 158) = 2.7478, p = 0.4322) or media consumption and race (χ2 (3, N = 155) = 2.5875, p = 0.4597). However, results did indicate a significant difference related to the total number of hours of media consumption and the perception of whether it was positive towards police (χ2 (15, N = 159) = 70.86, p < .0001).

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