Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Julie McCann, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Trish Lichau, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michael Hollis, Ph.D.


This multi-case study examined the experiences of leadership in police departments currently focused on implementation of reform through the lens of procedural justice. The study collected the experiences of six leaders in a single department who have leadership responsibilities over other officers. The study sought to understand the common challenges, barriers and elements that contributed to the success of shifting paradigms and behaviors in a department focused on building trust and legitimacy with the community they serve. Based on interview data, the participants in this study identified key areas of consideration for the implementation of procedurally just reform. The four key areas included the importance of formalized education, the role of character, the need for on-the-job modeling, and finally the consideration of time in the realization of reform efforts. The identified themes create an understanding of the most important elements in creating a strategy for reform implementation. The themes are reflective of the identified need for officers to understand and ultimately adopt procedural justice as a foundational principle for policing. The experience of subjects in this study further supports and enhances the recommendations made by the 2015 President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and provides firsthand accounts of the movement from policy recommendation to action.

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