Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Michael Knight


Studies show that seat belt use by law enforcement officers is estimated to be at 50%, well below the national average. The purpose of this study was to explore what may be leading to reduced seat belt use by law enforcement patrol officers while also determining if different types of policies effect the level of seat belt usage by this population. The theoretical framework used in this study was Shafritz, Ott and Jang's theory of organizational culture and change. This quantitative study was conducted using a casual, quasi-experimental design; the research questions focused on understanding what phenomena may be occurring resulting in the lower seat belts by U.S. police patrol officers and what types of policies are resulting in increased seat belt usage by this population. Participants in this research consisted of 38 officers from police departments with patrol divisions. These departments were selected from the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The research indicated that officers may have false perceptions in regard to seat belt use. Trainings should be delivered to debunk some of these myths while also providing practical seat belt use training. The results of this study can be used to develop better policies to increase seat belt usage by law enforcement officers, which would likely reduce the injuries and death as a result of auto accidents. Decreased injuries and deaths of law enforcement officers would lead to decreased insurance and workers' compensation claims that would reduce the tax and financial burden faced by citizens and jurisdictions.