Maguire, E.R. and Uchida, C.D. (2000). “Measurement and Explanation in the Comparative Study of American Police Organizations.” Criminal Justice 2000, Volume 4: Measurement and Analysis of Crime and Justice, edited by D. Duffee, D. McDowall, B. Ostrom, R. Crutchfield, S. Mastrofski, and L. Mazerolle. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.


This essay serves as a roadmap for theory and research on American police organizations. Organizational scholarship in policing has not progressed in an orderly or cumulative fashion. Some of the classic works in the study of police organizations remain well read but infrequently replicated or improved upon. Current research on police organizations is beginning to build on foundations established more than three decades ago.  The essay explores trends in the measurement and explanation of police organizations since their emergence in the early 19th century.  The discussion spans the gamut of measurement and explanation, from data collection and statistical analysis methods to scholarly theory and public policy on policing. The essay demonstrates that paying careful attention to sound measurement and explanation is vital for research, theory, and practice.

Year: 2000
Language: English
Type: Book chapter
Topic: Policing, Organization theory
Methodologies: Other