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Administrative Issues Journal

Abstract

This quantitative study utilized Richard H. Hall's attitudinal attributes of a professional using a Likert scale. The survey was administered to officers in two similar mid-sized police departments. The first agency had 650 officers, while the second had 350 officers. Agency One requires all applicants to possess a bachelor's degree, while Agency Two does not have this requirement. It was hypothesized that the officers with a bachelor's degree would possess an enhanced attitudinal level of professionalism over those without. It was also hypothesized that officers belonging to an agency that requires a bachelor's degree will have an enhanced attitudinal level of professionalism over officers from an agency that does not require a bachelor's degree. The findings of the study, like earlier research, did not support a higher attitude of police professionalism associated with a bachelor's degree as posited in the hypotheses. The use of only two agencies may have weakened the strength of the comparison. It may also be that an officer's possession of a bachelor's degree may be desirable for reasons of professionalism, but it lacks an impact on officer's attitudes toward professionalism.

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