Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Ilsley, Paul J.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Police training; Police--Education (Continuing education)


This study was conducted in order to address the current state of higher education, vocational training, and continuing professional education as it relates to law enforcement and the profession of criminal justice. It demonstrates that the issue of higher education as it relates to the police service continues to be a topic of debate surrounded in controversy. This study further demonstrates that the issues of higher education and police training are very closely related to the concept of professionalism. It is revealed within this study that a higher educational standard for incoming police officers may not be enough to raise the level of policing for society. As such, this research has determined that the level and quality of police training must also be raised and is an issue of importance, equal to that of higher education, if the quality of policing is to improve and if it is to achieve the status of a true profession. The methodology used was a qualitative-research design utilizing data collection techniques that are consistent with an ethnophenomenological approach. Participants in this study were the subject of structured interviews and were selected based on their expertise and experience in the fields of law enforcement, higher education, and police vocational training. A number of emergent themes were revealed from the data: A belief that the current level of police vocational training, both recruit and in-service training, is inadequate; higher educational standards need to be imposed as a condition of employment; and the convergence of these two issues. Fundamentally, what is required is the improved higher education of incoming police recruits and the elevation of the relevance and quality of in-service training which would raise the profession to a new level. As such, this study determined that an improved level of recruits would lead to better and improved recruit and in-service training. It is recommended that the quality of police training be raised in order to attract potential recruits of a higher-educational standard.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [298]-316)


xxii, 327 pages




Northern Illinois University

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