Review of the Police Liaison Officer Program in Queensland

Cherney, Adrian and Chui, Wing Hong (2009) Review of the Police Liaison Officer Program in Queensland Queensland: University of Queensland and the Queensland Police Service

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Author Cherney, Adrian
Chui, Wing Hong
Title of report Review of the Police Liaison Officer Program in Queensland
Publication date 2009-05-29
Year available 2009
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Publisher University of Queensland and the Queensland Police Service
Place of publication Queensland
Start page 1
End page 36
Total pages 36
Language eng
Subjects 160205 Police Administration, Procedures and Practice
160504 Crime Policy
C Society
940404 Law Enforcement
940402 Crime Prevention
Abstract/Summary This project was undertaken in 2006/07 in collaboration with the Queensland Police Service. The overall aim of the project was to conduct a qualitative review of the Queensland Police Liaison Officer (PLO) program. The emphasis of the study was to understand how PLOs effectively facilitate police/community collaboration, the challenges they face in engaging external community groups and their overall level of job satisfaction with the PLO position. Another aim was to identify any implementation problems associated with the PLO program and to record examples of how PLOs improve the overall functioning of the QPS relating to facilitating police/community relations. The identification of possible problems and success stories was a key objective of this study. Section 2 of this report provides background information on the PLO program. Section 3 outlines the research design and provides demographic data on the interview sample. The method of data collection and analysis is described as well as limitations of the research design. Section 4 outlines key results of the research. The main aim has been to highlight consistencies in the data. This helps to improve the reliability of the qualitative interview results. When there is consistency across interview data it strengthens the validating of any conclusions. However in some instances cases that contradict consistent themes are highlighted. This is important in the examination of possible rival explanations relating to particular issues. The consideration of both consistent and inconsistent findings is particularly pertinent in the current study given PLOs expressed quite diverse opinions and experiences. This occurred between PLOs of similar racial/ethnic backgrounds and across the interview sample as a whole. Despite this diversity there were common themes that anchored the experiences of PLOs within the QPS. The evidence presented here indicates that there exist some minor problems with the administration of the PLO program. A number of the problems identified in this report should be regarded as unintended consequences of having designated liaison roles whose remit is to engage culturally and ethnically diverse communities. Since this research was conducted in 2006/07 the QPS has undertaken an evaluation of PLO role descriptions, activities, training, remuneration, career development and existing support mechanisms. The aim has been to strengthening the PLO program. This project illustrates that PLOs face a challenging task and it is important they receive support from senior police, with their role promoted to uniform staff. As a resource PLOs help break down language and cultural barriers, facilitate greater levels of community collaboration in addressing crime and safety problems, and encourage people to identify issues of local concern and become involved in working towards solutions. While the notion of community liaison and engagement is difficult to quantify and measure, the PLO experience as discussed in this report indicates that much of the hard work of PLOs goes unrecognised, with their activities contributing both directly and indirectly to the effectiveness of sworn uniform staff.
Keyword Police Liaison Officer s
police and community relations
policing of ethnic communities
Queensland Police Service
Q-Index Code AX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code

Document type: Research Report
Collection: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Publications
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Created: Thu, 25 Jun 2009, 22:26:26 EST by Dr Adrian Cherney on behalf of School of Social Science