Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Human Resource Mgt


Human Resource Management

First Advisor

Maria T. Poindexter


There are many individuals that apply for police officer positions. Some of those hired find the job challenging and rewarding, others leave unexpectedly. The newly hired that separate from the organization early in their career can have a negative impact on the police department. It is believed many of newly hired officers that leave unexpectedly may have not had an accurate perception of what the job entailed from the beginning. To gauge where police applicants from their perceptions of police work, newly hired police officers in Fairfax County were surveyed. The study was designed to take into account common perceptions of police work prior to and after police employment. The findings suggest the media, movies, television and family affect a person's perception of police work to some degree. To overcome inaccurate perceptions of police work, police officials need to form greater partnerships with adolescent children, and other potential police applicants.