There have been few studies on the Ferguson Effect, the effects of news media reporting on police officers and police officers’ perceptions on policing; however, the studies conducted by Rosenfeld, Nix & Wolfe, and Morin, Parker, Stepher, & Mercer were instrumental to this study. The researcher was unable to find any prior studies related directly to media’s impact on police officers’ self-efficacy or that directly asked police officers about the effects on them personally and professionally. The current study looked at police officers, working patrol in major cities that have experienced crime spikes since 2008, and specifically asked them about their perceptions of media’s effect on policing, about their satisfaction level with issues impacting law enforcement and how these factors influence their performance and productivity on patrol. It also analyzed multiple levels of data to ensure accurate findings. However, further studies in this area will help establish additional recommendations for repairing the muzzling effect to restore law enforcement’s mission and advance its relationships with the communities they serve. Recommendations for future studies on this topic are as follows:
1. The researcher recommends that the current study be expanded by the PATP survey being administered to departments across the United States. Studies that encompass both large and small agencies will add to the research on the “muzzling of the sheepdog effect” (a.k.a. the “muzzling effect”).
Continued studies will add to the academic knowledge of police officer perceptions and ultimately provide additional recommendations for keeping the men and women who keep our streets and communities safe – healthy, safe, and prepared to safeguard the flock.
To take part in the continued research and to have the PATP survey administered to your department/association/FOP, please e-mail Dr. Landavazo at Christopher@Landavazo.com