Christine Gardiner, is a professor of criminal justice at California State University, Fullerton, and senior research fellow for the Police Foundation. She conducted two major studies on the role of higher education in policing (one on California specifically, the other on a National scale). Her fields of expertise include policing, crime policy and juvenile delinquency. She also has studied public opinion on the legalization of marijuana in California, and helped create a “Blueprint for juvenile offender reentry” for Orange County as well as a set of recommendations to improve inter-agency collaboration between Los Angeles County’s public safety agencies. She authored "Policing for the 21st Century: Realizing the Vision of Police in a Free Society" (2016, Kendall Hunt) and edited "California's Criminal Justice System," 2nd edition (2014, Carolina Academic Press) and "Criminal Justice Policy" (2014, Sage).

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Policing Expert's Studies Show Proposed Bill to Change Required Age, Education for California Cops has Merit

National and California studies by Christine Gardiner, professor of criminal justice at Cal State Fullerton, show college-educated officers are better at documenting investigation, more technology efficient, and may be less resistant to organizational change.
21-Dec-2020 05:45:48 PM EST

"My research has found that college-educated officers are better at documenting the investigative process. Having officers that can produce precise, informative, and accurate reports translates to better investigations, higher court case filings, fewer evidentiary constitutional challenges, fewer false confessions or wrongful convictions, or more successful prosecutions. Additionally, police managers stated that college educated officers are better able to use technology efficiently and may be less resistant to organizational change and more open to new policing methods as well as better problem solvers. These are important considerations given today's emphasis on intelligence-led and evidence-based policing strategies."

“Increasing education requirements for officers is a promising idea to further professionalize police and improve the practice of policing,” Gardiner says. “Changing education standards at the state level is smart because most agencies set their minimum standards equivalent to state standards and because it will level the playing field for all agencies in the state. It is important to provide financial backing to ensure future officers from all backgrounds can afford to enroll in college and agencies can afford to pay them.”

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