The research project includes an integrated relational database of digital images of news articles and court records, websites, and other material from the Internet, such as audio and video files of television news reports related to the cases of interest. The media and communication products are important raw data for criminological and communication research. The data are archived for current and future research projects of the principal investigator, Philip Matthew Stinson, Sr., J.D., Ph.D., including but not limited to an ongoing study of police integrity funded by the National Institute of Justice at the U.S. Department of Justice.
We employ a range of scholarly methods, including quantitative and qualitative textual and content analyses, experiments, case studies, and historical analysis that may involve comparison of media processes and productions. All of the research may well employ copyrighted material. Pursuant to copyright law it is fair use to (1) create topically based collections as described herein for scholarly use, and (2) store copyrighted materials in collections and archives for an indefinite period of time. From time to time (at the sole discretion of the principal investigator) access to the database archives is made available to scholars and students who wish to access these collections for related research projects.
Fair use applies to personal archiving of copyrights material for scholarly purposes, either immediately or within a set of ongoing research interests, with the expectation of allowing scholarly consultation of it by others, both within the disciplines of criminology and communication, and on an interdisciplinary basis. This research project adheres to the standards promulgated by the Center for Social Media’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication. Fair use of any copyrighted materials in the collection, database and archives is subject to the following limitations:
(1) Materials included in the collection are related to the research interests of the project’s principal investigator, Philip Matthew Stinson, Sr., J.D., Ph.D.
(2) Material archived in reliance on fair use is intended only for scholarly use, including functions as explaining scholarship results to others and distribution of scholarly results.
(3) The collection, database, and archives will be maintained only until the principal investigator no longer holds the research interests that motivate the collection, or until the collection no longer is required to support published research based on items in it. At that point, the collection will either be destroyed or donated to either an institutional archive or to other scholars pursuing similar research interests. Maintenance of the collection may involve, as appropriate, format migration and back-up copying.
(4) A policy will be developed to open the collection of archived material to others at a later date aimed at limiting access to scholars doing research in the relevant area and establishing appropriate limitations on the purposes to which the materials will be put.
(5) All archived material will be clearly marked as to its source, and whenever possible metadata associated with that material will be preserved.
We recently completed beta testing of our new computer-based coding instrument that replaces the 21 page coding sheet consisting of more than 250 quantitative variables we use in our content analysis research study of news articles reporting the arrests of sworn nonfederal law enforcement officers across the United States. The new application utilizes a customized version of the IBM/SPSS Data Collection (version 6) Data Entry Interviewer module. Web application developers in Information Technology Services (ITS) at Bowling Green State University spent several months customizing the application for our research project by building logic sequences into the response-driven Interviewer system and integrating the application with OnBase, the university’s enterprise-level content management system. The application is designed to pull information from our relational database within OnBase that will prepopulate case-specific data fields in Interviewer. This will reduce coding errors and increase the speed at which cases are coded by project research staff. Completed coding instruments will aggregate the quantitative data into SPSS .sav database files. BGSU ITS web application developers are currently developing a customized electronic form that will also create a digital imaging facsimile of the paper-based coding instrument for each coded case that is completed. The e-form coding sheets will be stored in the digital imaging database within our content management system.
The March 2013 episode of the Police Integrity Lost podcast is Using Google News for Data Collection: Police Crime Research Methods Part 2. In this podcast episode, Steve Brewer (Penn State Shenango) and John Liederbach (Bowling Green State University) question Phil Stinson (Bowling Green State University) on his use of the Google News search engine and Google Alerts as part of his research methodology to collect data for research studies on police crime in the United States.
The February 2013 episode of the Police Integrity Lost podcast features Phil Stinson (Bowling Green State University) and Steve Brewer (Penn State – Shenango) discussing their use of classification tree analysis (also called “decision tree” analysis) techniques as part of their predictive analytic statistical procedures in the study of police crime. Classification tree analysis is used as a statistical technique to uncover the causal pathways between independent predictors and an outcome (dependent) variable of interest in a regression model.
The Police Integrity Lost podcast is available exclusively on iTunes.
The purpose of the research project is to promote police integrity by gaining a better understanding of police crime and agency responses to officer arrests. The study provides a wealth of data on a phenomena that relates directly to police integrity—data that police executives have not previously had access to because this information did not exist in any useable format.
In the previous reporting period we substantially completed tasks 1-5 and 74.6% of task 6 on our project timeline. In this reporting period we completed task 6 (conduct PACER searches), started work on task 7 (code content of articles and other case documents), and continued to make progress on task 11 (analyze data and write articles) on our project timeline. The project timeline called for task 7 to be substantially completed during the months of August through December 2012. It has proven to be slower going than we projected, however, and are still coding documents relating to arrest cases in the first of four years (2008-2011) needing to be completed. The coding of content was slowed by enhanced training of new graduate research assistants who started work in August 2012, as well as by the fact that it is taking coders longer to complete the coding process for each case than anticipated. At the end of this reporting period, tasks 1-6 are 100% complete, and task 7 is 15% complete. Task 11 is ongoing.
As of the close of business on December 31, 2012, a total of 7,383 police crime arrest cases involving 6,317 individual officers have been logged in our integrated relational and digital imaging database. Of these, 6,437 cases involve 5,480 individual officers arrested for one or more crimes during the time period of January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2011 (946 arrest cases logged in were for officers arrested during the year 2012). Prior to July 1, 2012, there were 6,693 police crime arrest cases (involving 5,752 individual sworn law enforcement officers) that had previously been logged in our database. Thus, during this reporting period we added 690 new police crime arrest cases and 565 more sworn officers to our database (including 195 new cases involving 122 individual officers who were arrested during the years 2005-2011). In sum, during this reporting period, we expanded our database of known police crime arrest cases by 13.1% overall (an increase of 3.1% for the study years 2005-2011 arrest cases).
We continue to make enhancements to our project database, which utilizes an enterprise-level content management system, OnBase. During the prior reporting period we designed and implemented a relational database that is now integrated with our digital imaging database within OnBase. We are now focusing on SPSS software integration with the project database. The integrated relational and digital imaging database includes electronic case log-in procedures and allows us to structure and search data in different ways for content analyses. During the first quarter of calendar year 2013 we will deploy a PC-based on-screen coding instrument using customized IBM/SPSS Data Collection/Data Entry Author/Interviewer modules that will also be integrated with our OnBase project relational and digital imaging database.
The digital imaging database includes 152,006 scanned pages of digital images, consisting of 13,182 TIFF case document files, 11,382 TIFF coding sheet document files, and 5,132 PDF PACER document files. Of these, 82,784 pages were added since July 1, 2012, consisting of 2,787 case document files and 1,680 coding sheet document files, and 5,132 PACER document files. The PACER files consisting of 69,841 pages were recently electronically imported into our OnBase project database and indexed using a customized automated document import processor.
In sum, our digital imaging database currently includes more than 152,000 pages of news articles, court records, and coding sheets that document the criminal arrests of more than 6,000 police officers since the beginning of 2005. These officers were employed in state, local, special, and tribal law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
We learned that training of graduate research assistants and the process of coding the content of case file records is more time-consuming and slower than we anticipated when we developed the project timeline. Crucial to timely completion of the project will be the implementation of our PC-based coding instrument that will replace our paper-based coding sheets as early as February 2013.
There are three major goals of the project. The first goal of this research is to determine the nature and extent of police crime in the United States. The second goal is to determine what factors influence how a police organization responds to arrests of officers. The third and final goal of the research is to foster police integrity by exploring whether police crime and officer arrests correlate with other forms of police misconduct.
DISSEMINATION OF PROJECT RESULTS TO COMMUNITIES OF INTEREST:
Results have been disseminated to communities of interest through the writing and publication of refereed journal articles, magazine articles, and research briefs. We also maintain a project website and blog, and produce a monthly audio podcast that is available on iTunes.
We have proactively worked to disseminate our research results to communities of interest. To that end, we have engaged in outreach activities to reach members of communities who are not usually aware of these research activities, for the purpose of enhancing public understanding and increasing interest in learning and careers in criminological research. We have published two short research-brief articles reporting our research findings in Police Chief, a practitioner-oriented magazine published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. We also make PDF copies of one-sheet research briefs explaining our research studies and findings on our web-site and post timely project-related entries on our blog. Additionally, we distribute audio podcasts on iTunes where we discuss the research project, studies, and related findings.
The web analytic reports for the Police Integrity Lost Blog indicate that for the time period July 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012, there were 1,054 unique visitors to the blog. Traffic to the blog was primarily from the United States (96.2%) where visitors to the blog were located in 152 cities across the country, but there were also visitors to the blog from India, Philippines, Australia, Canada, Algeria, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, and Poland. Traffic to the blog included direct traffic (73.53%), search traffic (17.17%), and referral traffic (9.3%).
The iTunes podcast is available domestically as well as internationally, and interested persons can stream, download, and/or subscribe to the podcast audio files directly from the iTunes client application. Web analytics for the iTunes podcast episodes indicates that for the period September 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012, there were 3,487 mp3 file hits, indicating that there were 3,487 instances when someone either streamed (listened to) all or part of one of our podcast episodes and/or downloaded mp3 audio files. Of those hits, the largest number of requests directed to our pod server to stream and/or download the mp3 audio files was in October 2012 when there were 1,363 hits on the Police Drug Corruption podcast (Police Integrity Lost Podcast Episode 1) and 1,426 hits on the Off-Duty Police Crime podcast (Police Integrity Lost Podcast Episode 3).
PLANS FOR NEXT REPORTING PERIOD TO ACCOMPLISH THE PROJECT GOALS:
We have added additional research staff to complete task 7 on the project timeline. The NIJ grant provides two 20-hour/week graduate research assistants. Additional staff research assistants are being assigned to the project staff at University expense as an in-kind contribution. Three additional 20-hour/week graduate assistants have been assigned to the project staff and are now being trained to code the content of the case files. At this time, we anticipate substantial completion of tasks 7-10 on the project timeline by the end of July 2013.
Currently, we are preparing three papers that will soon be submitted to refereed journals for publication consideration: Police Drunk Driving Arrests, Crime by School Resource Officers, and Crime by Policewomen. We will be presenting our findings on a study of Police Sexual Misconduct Arrests in a presentation at the annual conference of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences on March 21, 2013, in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, we have several speaking engagements in Ohio during January and February 2013 where we will discuss our research findings related to Officer-involved Domestic Violence.
We will continue to work on papers that we will submit to journals for publication consideration, and will also continue to produce our monthly audio podcast for iTunes. We have also started preliminary work on Task 12 on the project timeline, and are outlining and writing the introduction (including the literature review) and methods section for the final technical report.
PRODUCTS PRODUCED BY THE PROJECT:
The project has produced two peer-reviewed journal articles, two research brief magazine articles, four one-sheet research briefs, six mp3 audio podcast episodes, and five research presentations.
In this episode of the Police Integrity Lost podcast, Phil Stinson and John Liederbach discuss late-stage police crime. Stinson and Liederbach are both professors in the Criminal Justice Program at Bowling Green State University. Their study on late-stage police crime Exit Strategy: An Exploration of Late-Stage Police Crime was published in 2010 in the refereed journal Police Quarterly. The purpose of the study was to examine the character of police arrests known to the media. Cases were identified through a content analysis of news coverage using the internet-based Google News TM search engine and its Google News Alerts TM email update service search tool. The study is important because there were previously no exhaustive statistics available on the crimes committed by law enforcement officers, and only a small number of studies provide specific data on police crimes. The study focuses on the crimes committed by experienced officers who are approaching retirement. The occurrence of these late-stage crimes presents a challenge to existing assumptions regarding the relationship between experience and various forms of police misconduct, and also provides an opportunity to examine a stage of the police career that has not been the subject of much research. In this podcast episode Stinson and Liederbach discuss the research and policy implications, as well as how their data should be interpreted within the context of existing studies on police socialization and the production of misconduct.
BGSU Professor Phil Stinson will speak at a meeting of the Northwest Ohio Municipal/County Judges Association on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, in Perrysburg, Ohio. Stinson will discuss his recent research findings on officer-involved domestic violence (OIDV) and specifically address issues relating to the Lautenberg Amendment. The 1997 Lautenberg Amendment to the federal Gun Control Act prohibits anyone (including military and law enforcement officers) who has been convicted of a qualified misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from possessing a firearm or ammunition.