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Factors Impacting Intra-District Collaboration: A Field Study in a Midwest Police Department

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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This study focuses on factors that impact police officers intra- and inter-district information-sharing patterns. Forty participants completed a survey that identified their communication patterns. Additionally, individual conflict-handling styles were assessed to determine their relationship to information-sharing practices and networks. Finally, nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with patrol officers and detectives to identify additional factors that might explain information-sharing patterns in the department. A social network analysis was conducted with the quantitative data, and the qualitative data were analyzed by thematic coding. The study revealed that an individuals conflict-handling style whether it is competing, accommodating, avoiding, compromising, or collaborating is related to his or her information-sharing habits. The collaborating style yielded a considerably higher number of ego-alter links the accommodating and competing styles yielded a considerably lower number of ego-alter links. The study demonstrates strong within-role information sharing officers communicated more with other officers than they did with detectives, and detectives communicated more with other detectives. Likewise, intra-district information sharing was low, while inter-district sharing was high. The interviews revealed several enablers of information sharing common goalsteamwork, trust, and positive information flow. Barriers included ego, physical barriers, workload, and negative information flow.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Information Science

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