What Satisfies the Badge? Job Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction Among Canadian Patrol Officers
Within police work, there are many factors that contribute to the job satisfaction or dissatisfaction that an officer may experience. However, the proper instrument needed to measure such factors within this unique occupation does not yet exist. The purpose of this research was to investigate sources of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction experienced by Canadian patrol officers in order to provide a foundation for future measure development. A qualitative research method was employed, while also using Herzberg’s (1959) motivation-hygiene theory as a theoretical framework. Fifteen semi-structured interviews with Canadian patrol officers was carried out and all data was thematically analyzed. The findings from this study indicate that in addition to several general facets of job satisfaction (achievement, recognition, work itself, possibility of growth, advancement), unique sources of job satisfaction exist for Canadian patrol officers, including the peer camaraderie between officers and a sense of pride about the work. Alternatively, general factors of hygiene were confirmed to exist (company policy, interpersonal relations, physical working conditions, salary, job security), alongside of unique hygiene factors: reward system, effects on personal life, media relations, public relations, painful and traumatic experiences, and judicial system practices. Aspects of supervision and partnership quality served as both intrinsic and extrinsic conditions of the job. Given the importance of having effective policing within our communities, monitoring the job satisfaction of patrol officers can serve to mitigate the negative consequences of dissatisfaction, while also upholding motivation within the force.
Patrol officer, Police job satisfaction, Canadian police, Survey development
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Educational Psychology and Special Education
Applied Measurement and Evaluation