POLICE INTEGRITY LOST

BGSU Research for the Public Good

Archive for the ‘Police Crime Database’ Category

Project launches computer-based Coding Instrument

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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.

Written by Phil Stinson

April 16th, 2013 at 8:57 pm

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.

PROJECT ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

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.

PROJECT GOALS:

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.

Written by Phil Stinson

January 30th, 2013 at 11:22 am

Project Accomplishments: January-June 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.

During this reporting period we substantially completed tasks 1-5 and 74.6% of task 6 on our project timeline. Those tasks are (1) sort and alphabetize 2008-2011 news articles, (2) log in new cases from sorted articles, (3) scan logged case articles into OnBase TIFF (tagged image file format) files, (4) index OnBase TIFF digital images and perform OCR (optical character recognition) processes on all digital image files, (5) find supplemental news articles and case information, and (6) conduct PACER searches. The project timeline called for task 6 to be performed during May-July 2012, but was moved up to start in January 2012 to get ahead of an increase in the electronic public access fee, from $.08 to $.10 per page, effective on April 1, 2012.

As of the close of business on June 30, 2012, a total of 6,693 police crime arrest cases involving 5,752 individual officers have been logged in our integrated relational and digital imaging database. Of these, 6,242 cases involve 5,358 individual officers arrested for one or more crimes during the time period of January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2011 (451 arrest cases logged in were for officers arrested during the first six months of 2012). Prior to start of this project in January 2012, there were 3,813 police crime arrest cases (involving 3,326 individual sworn law enforcement officers) that had previously been logged in our database. Thus, during this reporting period we added 2,880 new police crime arrest cases and 2,426 more sworn officers to our database.

We also made substantial enhancements to our project database, which utilizes an enterprise-level content management system, OnBase. We developed and implemented a relational database that is now integrated with our digital imaging database within OnBase. 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. The digital imaging database includes 69,222 scanned pages of digital images, consisting of 10,395 case document files and 9,702 coding sheet document files. Of these, 17,756 pages were added since January 1, 2012, consisting of 5,879 case document files and 2,553 coding sheet document files.

We completed approximately 4,000 of 5,358 (74.6%) case locator name searches in the federal courts PACER system and downloaded 47,693 pages of PDF files on “hits” where our search criteria matched names in our project database. The PDF files will be converted to TIFF files and electronically imported into our OnBase project database using an automated document import processor.

In sum, our digital imaging database currently includes 116,915 pages of news articles, court records, and coding sheets.

We learned that more police officers were arrested for crimes during 2005-2011 (an average of 821.7 officers arrested per year [or an average of 967.8 officers arrested per year if we exclude the year 2005 from the calculation on the basis that 2005 for the first year of data collection, search terms were still being developed, and there were half as many police crime arrest cases found]) than we previously estimated (we estimated 714.3 per year). There are also more arrest cases than we anticipated in designing the project timeline. For example, in our prior research we identified 854 arrest cases of police officers in 2006, and 858 arrest cases in 2007. We have now identified an additional 32 arrest cases for year 2006 and additional 94 arrest cases for year 2007. To date, we have also identified 1049 arrest cases for year 2008, 848 for year 2009, 918 arrest cases for year 2010, and 1,154 arrest cases for year 2011.

The project has produced one peer-reviewed article, and a second paper is currently under review for publication consideration. The article, “Fox in the Henhouse: A Study of Police Officers Arrested for Crimes Associated with Domestic and/or Family Violence,” has been accepted for publication in the refereed journal, Criminal Justice Policy Review, and is currently in press.

The project has also produced two conference presentations. The first, Officers’ Drugs of Abuse: A Study of Drug-related Police Crime, was presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in New York City on March 16, 2012. The second, Police Integrity Lost: Preliminary Findings from a Study of Law Enforcement Officers Arrested, 2005-2011, was presented at the 2012 NIJ Conference in Arlington, Virginia, on June 20, 2012.

Written by Phil Stinson

July 24th, 2012 at 10:20 am

Overview of our Digital Imaging and Relational Database

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Written by Phil Stinson

July 4th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

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