Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice


Candace McCoy

Committee Members

Candace McCoy

Michael Maxfield

Roddrick Colvin

Subject Categories

Criminology and Criminal Justice | Legal Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Police, job performance, predictors, hiring requirements, NYPD


It would be advantageous for law enforcement agencies if it could be determined which applicants for employment were most likely to provide superior performance over the course of their careers. In order to do this, it is necessary to determine a) what constitutes superior performance by police officers, b) what measurements can be used to record such performance, and c) if there are characteristics known about newly-hired police recruits that can serve as predictors of superior performance over an extended career. This study looked at the career histories of the 1,707 members of the New York City Police Department class hired in June of 1995 who completed Academy training and were subsequently assigned to permanent commands. Characteristics of the members of the class that were known at the end of training were drawn from NYPD personnel and Police Academy records. The principles of performance theory were used to determine behaviors that could be considered superior performance, and then measurable indicators for such performance were identified, and subjected to analysis using cross tabulations and linear regression. The study found that female officers and officers with four-year bachelor’s degrees were more likely to provide superior performance in the measures that served as indicators for good judgment and respectful interaction with the public, while New York City residents and officers whose final Police Academy grade was in the upper half of the class were more likely to have superior performance in measures that served as indicators for a higher rate of organizational commitment. A greater likelihood of superior performance was also provided by male officers in the first organizational commitment measure of comparative rate of sick leave, but not in the second measure of comparative length of service, where the sex of the officers did not have a significant effect. However, superior performance was found not to be related to the current hiring requirement of only 60 college credits upon employment or its alternative of two years of military service. The study concludes with suggestions regarding how the findings might affect public policies regarding police hiring.