Date of Conferral





Criminal Justice


Dianne Williams


Recently there have been widely publicized reports of distrust and a lack of perceived legitimacy in communities across the United States for the police agencies that serve them. Scholars have explored perceptions of police legitimacy and the role of procedural justice in police-community interactions; however, there is a dearth of information concerning the policies of law enforcement agencies using psychological assessments to screen-in or screen-out applicants and the manner in which those agencies serve the community. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to explore the manner in which one police agency using psychological assessments to screen applicants in and one using them to screen-out delivers police patrol services to the community and to discern any difference in procedurally just policing between them. The theoretical framework for this study was Lind and Tyler’s theory of procedural justice. Research questions were focused on exploring the behaviors exhibited by patrol officers as being supportive of or obstructive to the antecedents of procedural justice. A mixed-methods research design was employed, using randomly sampled patrol officers from two randomly sampled police agencies. Body-worn camera video and ride-along were used to observe police-citizen interactions. Data from the observations were coded, categorized, and analyzed for emergent themes. These data were then quantitatively analyzed using SPSS (Version 25). Findings demonstrated a statistically significant and meaningful difference between agency types for procedurally just behaviors and citizen satisfaction. Implications for social change include changing law enforcement agencies’ screening policies to one that screens in applicants supportive of procedurally just policing.