Attitudes Towards the Corona Crisis in the Police Force

Results of an Employee Survey in the German State of Saxony

  • Christoph Meisselbach Saxon Institute of Police and Security Research, Hochschule der Sächsischen Polizei (FH)
  • Reinhold Melcher
  • Marcel Schöne
  • Tom Thieme
Keywords: Police, COVID-19 pandemic, attitudes, mental stress, leadership, police, COVID-19, pandemic, mental stress, leadership, survey

Abstract

What  personal  attitudes  and  perspectives  shape  police  employees’  view  on  the  COVID-19  pandemic? How do they assess the dangerousness of the coronavirus as well as the handling of the pandemic by society and the media? What are their opinions on the measures to con-tain the pandemic — personally as well as concerning their official duties? And how does all this affect their level of mental stress? These questions are answered based on original data from  a  standardized  survey  among  employees  of  the  police  in  the  German  state  of  Saxon,  carried out between October and November 2020. The results2 indicate that the diversity of opinions among Saxon police employees essentially reflects the spectrum of views that was also evident in the state of Saxony and also for the German public in the region, during the survey period. At the same time, police-specific peculiarities are apparent and furthermore, the  attitudes  and  perspectives  towards  the  pandemic  form  consistent  attitudinal  patterns.  Using cluster analysis, three different attitudinal types were found in the Saxon police: con-cerned  interventionists,  unconcerned  sceptics,  and  hesitant  conformists.  These  attitudinal  types  show  consistent  patterns  of  attitudes  and  perspectives  on  the  pandemic.  They  also report different levels of mental stress in the performance of their duties. The outcome con-tributes to a deeper understanding of the police force under the conditions of crisis and polar-ization.  As  such,  they  have  implications  for  leadership  communication  and  organizational  cultures in a democratic police force.

Published
2023-02-16
How to Cite
Meisselbach, C., Melcher, R., Schöne, M., & Thieme, T. (2023). Attitudes Towards the Corona Crisis in the Police Force. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, 22, 55-78. Retrieved from https://bulletin.cepol.europa.eu/index.php/bulletin/article/view/566