Psychology and Policing

By Neil Brewer; Carlene Wilson | Go to book overview

II PSYCHOLOGY AND ORGANIZATIONAL FUNCTIONING

Just as psychological theory and research can inform various aspects of operational policing, so can it provide valuable guidelines for improving the functioning of police forces at the broader organizational level. The net result of such improvements will be increased policing effectiveness. This second section deals with a number of these organizational issues.

Gowan and Gatewood provide a comprehensive overview in chapter 8 of the basic principles and procedures involved in selecting the most suitable personnel for positions at all levels within a police force. They systematically illustrate the key features involved in developing a selection program and examine the contribution of selection instruments such as biographical data, interviews, ability, personality and performance tests, and assessment centers to police selection. In Chapter 9, Murphy focuses on one particular procedure--integrity testing--that is likely to be of special interest to police forces given their unique charter. He looks closely at the rationale for using integrity tests, the various forms of such tests, the evidence on how well they work, and considers how useful they are likely to be in the police context.

Lawson's chapter 10 on instruction and training examines some of the key issues in an area in which police forces invest heavily. Most police forces are engaged in recruit training within academies and in specialized training and development courses for officers at all levels. This chapter conceptualizes the instruc

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