A Descriptive Analysis of a Problem-Based Learning Police Academy

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David A. Makin


In the 1970s, Egon Bitner offered a critique of police academy training, signified by the ability to train compliant soldierbureaucrats rather than competent practitioners. Over the years, subsequent training models have been implemented, evaluated, and modified in an attempt to exceed what has been deemed adequate training. This research provides the first of several outcome evaluations as part of a longitudinal study on the efficacy of problem-based learning in a Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA). Data for this research include survey results for the period of 2009–2012. Early results suggest the problematic nature of the dualistic dilemma within police academy training. Discussed are adaptations in the context of this dilemma. Furthermore, the research explores how environmental factors and broader socialization and acculturation processes should be included within subsequent implementations.

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