Wednesday, May 10, 2017

LEMIT Study Examines Turnover Among Texas Police Chiefs

Chief Turnover

Chief Turnover

The latest study from the Texas Chiefs of Police Panel Project examines the issue of voluntary or involuntary turnover.

About half of Texas police chiefs leave their jobs voluntarily and their relationships with stakeholders and policing styles have a lot to do with their success, according to a recent study at the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)

New police chiefs participating in professional development programs at LEMIT from 2013-2015 were asked why their predecessors left office. The survey, by Ph.D. graduate Yudu Li, found that 51.8 percent left their jobs voluntarily through retirement, new jobs or new positions in government. Another 48.2 percent left involuntarily through firings, dismissals, or criminal investigations.

Among the most significant factors influencing the turnover decision were:

  • Police chief who had poor relationships with community stakeholders, such governing bodies, hiring authorities, elected politicians or the media, were more likely to leave their position involuntarily
  • Departments who received high scores in community policing, such as treating citizens with respect and making the community feel secure, were less likely to have chiefs depart involuntarily
  • Police chief appointed from outside the department were less like to leave the department involuntarily
  • Police chiefs appointed by the mayor were less likely to leave the department involuntarily
  • Police chiefs with longer lengths of services were less likely to leave the department involuntary

“Police chiefs can strive for good working relationships with community stakeholders and maintain good departmental policing performance to reduce the likelihood of involuntary turnover,” said Li, an assistance professor at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. “They also can bring new ideas and focus on the problems in the community “

The executive summary is part of the Texas Chiefs of Police Panel Project.