Date of Conferral
Although many research studies about sexual offender registration exist, there is no qualitative study on the perspective of police officers whose job duties include the implementation of Sex Offender Registration and Notification (SORN) laws. The purpose of this case study was to explore specific police officers' perceptions of sex offender registration. Six police officers were hand selected for face-to-face interviews based on their unique job duties that included responsibilities and training related to the implementation of the sexual offender registration and community notification protocols. Festinger's cognitive dissonance theory provided the theoretical framework for this research study. According to study findings, the majority of the police officers in this study supported sexual offender registration despite the lack of research that supports its effectiveness. Data gathered from conducting face-to face interviews with the identified police officers revealed that 5 out of 6 police officers believed that SORN policies had a positive impact on enhancing community safety, and half of the police officers felt that SORN policies reduced recidivism. All of the police officers in the study called for more formal training and education about SORN. Also, these police officers identified money and human power as barriers to proactive efforts or effective management of the sexual offenders who lived in their jurisdiction. Finally, the police officers in this study suggested the use of specialized officers or the creation of a task force as a method to better address the sexual offenders in the community. Exploring these options could have far-reaching implications for positive social change for the law enforcement community and society as a whole.