Who Are the Problem‐prone Fofficers? An Analysis of Citizen Complaints

Document Type


Publication Date



Ethnic groups, Citizen complaints, Police misconduct, USA

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Citizen complaints filed against a small group of officers of a large police department in the south‐eastern USA were used to conduct an examination of repeat offenders and non‐repeat offenders. Examines differences between the offenders in the areas of officer characteristics, complaint characteristics and citizen characteristics. Finds that the all‐male group of repeat offenders was significantly younger and less experienced than their peers and was more likely to be accused of harassment. Finds that the ethnic minority group was more likely to file complaints against repeat offenders and that a disproportionate number of complaints were intraracial. Detects a cause for concern in that several high‐ranking officers reacted to the survey by reappraising the data and classing the greater offenders as productive and conscientious officers, i.e., denotes belief at high level within the police organization that a good officer should generate dissatisfaction among the general public.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

American Journal of Police, v. 15, issue 3, p. 23-44