The extent to which police officers obey instructions and policies is of permanent concern to police leaders and the community. This is especially the case when it comes to preventing police misconduct, such as the use of excessive force. In the current study we examined officer compliance from a procedural justice and social exchange perspective. Using data collected among 536 police officers of the Metropolitana Police in Buenos Aires, we explored to what extent internal procedural justice and trust are related to: (1) officer compliance with supervisors and policies; and (2) officer endorsement of regulations on the use of force. The results indicate that perceptions of fair treatment by supervisors and trust in supervisors are positively associated with (stated) compliance. Our findings suggest that a procedural justice approach may facilitate the implementation of police policies and contribute to preventing police violence.

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Criminology and Criminal Justice
Erasmus School of Law

Haas, N. E., Van Craen, M., Skogan, W. G., & Fleitas, D. M. (2015). Explaining officer compliance: The importance of procedural justice and trust inside a police organization. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 15(4), 442–463. doi:10.1177/1748895814566288