Suggestions for Further Research on the State Police
The data and conclusions about the development of the state police presented in this book were intended to fill the void that exists with regard to current understanding and knowledge about the development of this form of police in the United States. Much remains to be done. My research has convinced me that the state police, along with small-town and rural police forces, offer police scholars a wealth of issues and data sources for future study. The following discussion will briefly identify four areas of study that seem to be the most logical next areas of inquiry for expanding our knowledge about not only state police but the police in general.
The first area for study is the legislative process creating state-controlled police agencies in other states. Besides the studies of Illinois and Colorado presented in this volume, only New York and Ohio have been studied with regard to development of a state police (see the studies by Ray for New York and Swart for Ohio, listed under those state headings below). States such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey should be examined in detail to provide a more complete picture of the various interest groups promoting centralized paramilitary state police forces and those who opposed such efforts. Also, study of the legislative process leading to the development of state police in such states as Montana, California, or North Dakota would provide a comparison with the industrial states. Finally, additional comparative legislative analysis may uncover regional differences (North versus South, Northeast versus Midwest) with regard to the pattern of state police development.
A second area for research should focus on the state police movement, both locally and nationally, and the various organizations that were formed to promote state police reform. The existence of such groups as the State Police Auxiliary Committee in Illinois and the New York State Police Committee suggests the strong possibility that regional and national organizations may have acted in a cooperative if not coordinated effort to advance the state police idea nationwide. Questions for research would focus on membership, operation, and financial support for such groups in order to clarify the