SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: King, W. R. (2009). Toward a life-course perspective of police organizations. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 46(2), 213–244. doi: 10.1177/0022427808330874

Summary: The author prescribes and describes a new, temporally rich organizational perspective: a life-course perspective of police organizations. This perspective will contribute to more informative tests of existing organizational theories by improving understanding of how police agencies change and resist change, and the role of process. The author describes the life-course perspective and how a life-course perspective yields more informative tests of existing organizational theories and advances understanding of police organizations. Six events along the organizational life course are reviewed (creation, early founding effects, growth periods, declining periods, crisis, and organizational disbanding). Finally, two advantages of this perspective are discussed, as well as the temporal orientations of life-course research.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What benefit does the life-course perspective bring with regard to understanding organizations?
  2. What are the six events or stages for police organizations?
  3. What are some of the benefits of using life-course theory to study police organizations?


Article 2: Peak, K. J., Barthe, E. P., & Garcia, R. A. (2008). Campus policing in America: A twenty-year perspective. Police Quarterly, 11(2), 239–260. doi: 10.1177/1098611107306840

Summary: This article compares the findings of a 2006 national survey of campus police agencies with one of 1986. Respondents were queried about agency titles; reporting lines; administrators’ experience, education, tenure, and diversity; agency powers, jurisdiction, rank, training, activities/responsibilities, and relations with local police agencies; and involvement in disaster planning and terrorism readiness. It is concluded that considerable evolution has occurred over the past two decades, whereas constituencies, mission, and duties may differ, campus law enforcement agencies are part of and connected to the broader local law enforcement community and represent an essential component of postsecondary educational institutions.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Did campus police directors become more diverse between 1986 and 2006?  If so, in what ways?
  2. Between 1986 and 2006, the educational level for campus law enforcement administrators changed rather significantly. What do the authors argue is responsible for the shift?
  3. What type of relationships do campus police agencies have with local police? Has this changed from 1986 to 2006?