Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Urban and Public Affairs

Committee Chair

Negrey, Cynthia, 1953-

Author's Keywords

Organizational justice; Fairness; Consolidation; Louisville-Jefferson County; Police; LMPD


Police administration--Kentucky--Louisville; Police administration--Kentucky--Jefferson County; Police--Kentucky--Louisville--Attitudes; Police--Salaries, etc.--Kentucky--Louisville


This study focuses on how the 2001 consolidation of the Louisville Division of Police (LPD) and Jefferson County Police Department (JCPD) impacted police officers' perception of fairness of the process. To accomplish this, the study asked four research questions: 1) How do police officers view a just department?, 2) How do police officers' justice judgments affect their reaction to the organization and supervisors?, 3) How do police officers form overall perceptions of fairness?, and 4) How do LPD and JCPD officers differ in their perceptions of fairness of the consolidation? A systematic random sample with replacement was used to invite police officers from the newly established Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) to participate in this study. Officers were selected based upon their former agency (i.e., LPD or JCPD) and their rank (i.e., patrol officer or supervisor-including the ranks of sergeants and above). Forty police officers from a population of903 former LPD and JCPD members, still on LMPD at the time of this study, agreed to participate. Police officers hired post-consolidation (295 officers) were not included in the population for this study. The findings in this study indicate that: 1) police view a just or fair department based upon justice rules (i.e., equality, accountability, and flexibility/discretion) and interpersonal (i.e., comparisons made between officers on the same department) and interdepartmental comparisons (i.e., comparisons made between departments); 2) justice judgments can result in negative reactions directed toward the administration, but that an officer's sense of professionalism or lack of control of the situation could influence how he/she reacts; 3) police officers form overall perceptions based upon a value assessment of justice component and justice source; and 4) LPD and JCPD officers differed on their perceptions of fairness, based in part upon the issue of parity (i.e., pay and benefits).