Does Discipline Decrease Police Misconduct? Evidence from Chicago Civilian Allegations
60 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2020
Date Written: August 7, 2020
Reformers are calling for greater oversight of police behavior, in part through enhanced use of civilian complaints. However, others counter that greater oversight could chill effective policing. We assess police officer response to administrative determinations of misconduct. Using Chicago data, we find strong evidence that a sustained allegation reduces that officer’s future misconduct. We find no evidence that this effect is driven by incapacitation, such as assignment to desk duty, or by officer disengagement with policing. We conclude that our findings are consistent with improved officer conduct, in part due to officer concerns over promotion, salary, and desirable assignments.
Keywords: Police misconduct, deterrence, discipline
JEL Classification: M51, K42, J58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation