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Research Performance Progress Report for July-December 2012

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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.


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).


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.


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.

Written by Phil Stinson

January 30th, 2013 at 11:22 am

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