Webinar presenter Dr. Chase Wetherington answered a number of your questions after his presentation, Education, Hiring and Disciplinary Issues in Law Enforcement Agencies. Here are just a few of his responses.
Audience Question: Where can we read your research? Is it on ResearchGate? For the folks who don’t know about that term ResearchGate, ResearchGate is kind of like a LinkedIn or a Facebook for academic researchers. Chase where can we read your dissertation or your research study?
Dr. Chase Wetherington: Again, like I said if anyone wants it specifically and quicker, you can send me an email out. I will send you a PDF. Just getting it in generic form, you can get it through ProQuest. If you’re associated with an academic institution, if you have access to journals or things like that, you’ll be able to get it. You just type in my name or the official title, The Impact of Formal Academic Education on Law Enforcement Disciplinary issues. If you type in that or 2019, 2018, you should be able to locate it.
Audience Question: Have there been recent or current public surveys or studies about the public’s perception of, specifically, law enforcement?
Dr. Chase Wetherington: I’m not sure how recent you’re wanting to know. Obviously, everyone wants to know kind of what people’s perception is right now. The issue with that is that a plan has to be put in place and projects have to be vetted for items like this. As far as something this year? Officially no, I’m not aware of any. There are ones that get put out like the Gallup polls and different things like that. I would say maybe a few years ago was probably the most recent. That’s something that I’m always interested in seeing. If you’re seeing that or anyone sees that, reach out to me. I’ll reach out and share with everyone else. But within the last year, no I have not.
Audience Question: Chase, there seems to be a movement of the foot right now. Many organizations like Google, like Microsoft, Cisco, etc., they’re rethinking the importance of making a BA mandatory for many of their jobs? What are your thoughts? Is a BA that important? Do book smarts really matter more than good old fashioned on the job training? What are you thinking?
Dr. Chase Wetherington: I went into my study thinking that I was going to come to some revelation that a bachelor’s degree specifically in the profession of law enforcement was going to be required. I would try to not push my agency but kind of show that that this increase should be done. Honestly, the research is going to show that it didn’t. Again, there are tons of advantages of different people having a bachelor’s degree, there are plenty of studies that show having one specifically in criminal justice doesn’t really improve over other. I think education is important but I also think that it shows someone has a work ethic and they can complete tasks/goals. They are kind of more well-rounded if you will. There is no substitute for in-person training and field training. In my opinion, there’ll never be a situation where someone can come in with a bachelor’s degree and know have to be a cop and not go through physical field training where they have to learn on the job training. I don’t think it’s possible. I think it’s good to have higher education, I just don’t think it should be required now.
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