Within the criminal justice system there are various types of data gathering research methods that can be utilized. The method chosen for this research paper is the email survey method. The proposed research for this paper is job satisfaction within the police field with emphasis on the patrol officers. With patrol officers being the backbone of the police departments the research should be pretty insightful. The main goal of this research is to pinpoint the patrol officers’ main dissatisfactions during their workdays. The specific interview structure that will be used is an email questionnaire survey. This type of survey will allow and hopefully enable every patrol officer to participate and it will also allow graphical results. Just about every criminal justice case begins and ends with a patrol officer. Beginning with the criminal offense report, to the arrest, and ending at the testifying in court. Although there are many various key players in most cases besides the patrol officer, it is highly unlikely that crime reduction would exist without the patrol officer.
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Understanding the needs of a patrol officer and what is pleasing and displeasing on the job is key to crime reduction. A happy employee does their job successfully and to the best of their ability. An unhappy patrol officer will definitely not complete tasks let alone risk their lives for another individual. The department has the responsibility to ensure that the majority of its patrol officers are satisfied with their working conditions to prevent silent strikes and to also prevent behavior manifestation. Using an email questionnaire survey would be the interview structure used to conduct the research regarding the employee satisfaction. This survey will involve the simple format of a YES or NO option only.
Constructing a different variables list will enable determination of what issues the questions will be based on. This list will also ensure that main concerns and topics are covered along with not duplicating any issues. Configuring what type of data and data analysis is needed will be the next venture followed by figuring out how to word the questionnaire. Taking into consideration patrol officer lingo and technical wording to avoid any biased or compounding variables to each question. Some examples of questions that would be asked are:
1. Do you intentionally avoid police functions when off duty?
2. Do you take a level of pride when wearing your uniform?
3. Do you take sick days when you are not ill?
4. Do you hide your profession when off duty?
5. Do you take extended training courses or classes to avoid fieldwork?
6. Do you use cellphones, tablets, or any other devices to entertain yourself while on duty?
7. Do you avoid public interaction while on duty?
Using these initial questions will not only help me gather data on satisfaction but will also help me gather data on other issues as well. An example of other issues would be the topic of whether or not response time intertwines with officer satisfaction and how this affects crime statistics. This type of qualitative data gathering is a great advantage because it records attitudes, feelings, and behaviors. (“Analyse This!!! Learning To Analyse Qualitative Data”, (2008)). As mentioned also opens up new topic areas that were not initially considered. These initial questions are also structured or closed ended questions in which will involve the needed information. Which means the data collected from the answers won’t involve thorough answers that need to be explained. In completion of the questionnaire questions, a small group of similar respondents will take a pretest that will point out any confusion or misunderstanding of question formatting and wording.
To have the best outcome of participants and to ensure the best results, compensation would be offered in the form of extra paid time. This will also ensure a more quantitative data analysis due to a larger number of people responding to the survey. Some researchers believe that rewards and/or incentives given to people who participate in surveys increases response and reliability A tailored design method or TDM will be used with this email survey question. According to Hagan ((2010)), “The “tailored design method” or TDM, “uses multiple contacts seeking response and endorsements to increase response rates” by “tailoring the survey to the group being studied in order to foster trust, increase rewards, and decrease the cost of participation.”
This phase would be to get endorsed by the patrol unions to ensure and response, respect, and acceptability of the survey in the patrol officer’s eyes. These unions were founded and organized to assist and defend patrol officers, with the backing of these unions the participation and legitimacy would be highly prosperous. In turn, the unions will be knowledgeable with the results of the survey. One of the main focuses of this survey will be that it is truly an anonymous survey, and that each individual who fills out a survey remains anonymous and has no ties or repercussions from their answers. A few approaches to this could be survey kiosks or ballet boxes.
These would allow no log on requirements or have any tracks on keystrokes. It is detrimental that informed consent and confidentiality be withheld and not compromised. According to “The Role Of Numeracy In Informed Consent For Surveys” ((2009)), “Two key ethical issues for survey researchers are obtaining informed consent and maintaining the confidentiality of responses. Informed consent implies that two requirements have been met: (1) that research participants have been informed about the essential elements of the research, including the risks and benefits of participation, and have understood the information; and (2) that they have given their consent to participate”. If compromised the survey answers could potentially cause issues with employment or job environments. This type of outcome could cause the survey to become unreliable and null and void.
Analyse This!!! Learning to analyse qualitative data. ((2008)). Retrieved from http://archive.learnhigher.ac.uk/analysethis/main/qualitative1.html Hagan, F. E. ((2010)). Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology (8th ed.).Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database. The Role of Numeracy in Informed Consent for Surveys. ((2009)). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2857726/