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									Gathering Research Data                                   1

                          Gathering Research Data Paper


                              University of Phoenix
GATHERING RESEARCH DATA PAPER                                                                       2

                                  Gathering Research Data Paper

       Looked upon as honorable individual’s who protect the community from harms way are

those who fulfill the position of being a law enforcement official. Police officer’s dedicate

themselves to striving in protecting and representing their community with the service in which

they provide. Putting their lives at risk during the hours of work and aside from the career life

these individual’s live like any other person. Much of their time is spent out on the streets

patrolling and when they are not they find themselves in court being pressed for information

from lawyers regarding cases. Emphases of this paper is to provide some of the data information

on why people choose to become a law enforcement official.

Why a Law Enforcement Official?

       Many may believe that officer’s take on the career to follow another family member’s

foot steps. To specifically conclude on this matter the information in which will need to be

attained will be through the process of intense researching online and via telephone interviewing.

The first thought in which must be received is defining why individual’s choose the career of

becoming a police officer. According to Nicole A. (2007) it has been noted that many officer’s

become involved in law enforcement due to family tradition. Having the desire to follow parent’s

footsteps in the same career path has been noted as being a huge reason. Many individual’s feel

that if they do not carry on the family tradition they will be looked down upon. Another reason

the editor mentions why people become officers is for personal justice (A, Nicole, 2007). If

something terrible has happened towards a loved one or close friend it has been found that they

join the force for personal justice. Trying to deter the crimes that have caused the grief within

their lives is their primary focus. It has also been noted by Nicole (2007) that some like the

adrenaline rush that comes with the job.
GATHERING RESEARCH DATA PAPER                                                                           3

        To begin the telephone interview the conversation will be with Sergeant Samuel Massey

with the Oak Island Police Department in North Carolina. A common question in which many

have is “why become an officer, and what career choice would they have done otherwise?”

Sergeant Massey responds by stating “he has grown up only knowing law enforcement.” “His

father was an officer for many years’s before the family started their own private investigating

company.” “Still involved with the family business I also wanted to do a little more with law

enforcement and became an officer over twenty-years ago.”

        The interview proceeded by asking what is his favorite part of his job that he desires the

most? Per Sergeant Massey his answer was short but to the point with a response of “serving and

protecting our community.” Some may wonder what an officer feels may be their most

challenging part of their job what would your answer be? “There are many challenges that come

with this job but as an officer you must accept these challenges and move on.” On this note the

interview proceeded by asking him what is feared most by an officer? Per Sergeant Massey

“there are many fearful things’ that come with the job however, if I had to define one thing it

would be the life of an innocent person being taken due being in the wrong place at the wrong

time.” “This has happened within our county already and it not only strongly affects the officer

involved but all officers within.” The interview proceed by asking if he felt officer’s today have

proper training to be a successful officer? “I do believe the training in which the State of North

Carolina requires and the follow-up continuing education credits needed to keep up-to-date on

skills is exceptional.” “I do not feel that change is necessary at this time.” “I can’t speak for all

areas but I can speak for this particular state.”

        With the above questioned asked there were many other questions that prevailed but

Sergeant Massey needed to leave out for a call. With these answer’s it clearly allows many to
GATHERING RESEARCH DATA PAPER                                                                       4

understand where an officer comes from when it comes to why they choose the career in which

they do.

Qualitative versus Quantitative Research

       When it comes to the distinction in regards to qualitative research versus quantitative

research is that qualitative creates a hypothesis and quantitative tests the hypotheses (Hagan,

2010, Ch 1 p.15). Qualitative research provides solid information that is designed for

individual’s who are observing on different levels. Qualitative research generally will depend on

the following methods in regards to how the information is attained; participant observation,

non-participant observation, field notes, reflexive journals, structured interviews, semi-structured

interviews, unstructured interviews, and an analysis of the material and documents obtained

(Marshall, 2006). When analyzing this method it is evident that within the criminal justice

system this method is applied.


       In the criminal justice system confidentiality is extremely important in many areas

including the conduction of research. Many times when research requires the interview of an

individual the guarantee that the information will remain confidential is imperative. Most of the

time confidentiality may not just be viewed as ethical but in fact it is the governing law.


       Having the knowledge as to where officer’s stands, in regards as to why they choose the

careers in which they do has been attained through basic research within this essay. Many

questions were asked in regards to their career through the process of research and the interview

process with Sergeant Samuel Massey. It is evident that research is imperative and as long as
GATHERING RESEARCH DATA PAPER                                                                 5

research is kept within the parameters of the law, the information that is obtained will be

justifiable to use later if necessary.
GATHERING RESEARCH DATA PAPER                                                              6


A, Nicole. Reasons Why People Become Police Officers (2007). Retrieved October 12, 2010



Hagan, F. Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology (2010). Retrieved October

       12, 2010 from Ch 1 p15

Marshall. Data Collection Methods (2006). Retrieved October 12, 2010 from

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