The detailed study of officer experience has received relatively little attention within the policing literature despite it being integral to nearly every facet of their role. Drawing on survey data (N = 691 officers), the current study examines how the unique work experiences of officers (i.e., shifts, crime areas, duty assignments, in-service trainings) are related to their perceptions of confidence (i.e., self-efficacy) in the ability to perform different job-related tasks. Results revealed that more tenured officers, having worked a greater number of shifts, and those who completed increased in-service trainings had significantly higher confidence in performing both law enforcement and order-maintenance/service-oriented duties. Several other officer characteristics were also found to have varying levels of significance in relation to their confidence. Overall, the findings support the inclusion of more nuanced measures of officer experience, as well as the potential applicability of self-efficacy theory within policing research moving forward.
- law enforcement
- officer experience
- police work
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine