Reflections of Service-Learning and Readiness Among Rookie Police Officers
When police officers do not positively engage with the people and situations they encounter, public safety is at risk. Police officers are exposed to learning about how to deescalate volatile situations in police training. Yet, some officers still rely on use of force, and are not fully incorporating positive engagement to deescalate volatile situations. Service-learning provides one way to possibly address a meaningful mode of engagement with police officers regarding how to deescalate situations without having to use force. Using components of Kolb’s experiential learning theory, the purposes and corresponding research questions of this basic qualitative project study is to explore the experiences, observations, conceptualizations, and experimentations of service-learning in college criminal justice courses among rookie police officers. Interviews will be conducted with at least 8 officers, until saturation is reached. Interview transcripts will be descriptively coded for common themes. Findings from the study will offer insight about service-learning experiences among rookie police officers to instructors and developers of curriculum who prepare police officers. Possible implications for positive social change resulting from the study include changes to police officer training curricula, better prepared police officers, and ultimately enriched relationships between communities and police.
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