Line Police Officer Knowledge of Search and Seizure Law [electronic resource] : An Exploratory Multi-city Test in the United States, 1986-1987 / John Madison Memory

Data file
ICPSR version
Ann Arbor, Mich. : Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1996.
3 data files + machine-readable documentation (text) + SAS data definition statements + SPSS data definition statements + data collection instruments


Restrictions note
Use of these data are restricted to Princeton University students, faculty, and staff for non-commercial statistical analysis and research purposes only.
Summary note
This data collection was undertaken to gather information on the extent of police officers' knowledge of search and seizure law, an issue with important consequences for law enforcement. A specially-produced videotape depicting line duty situations that uniformed police officers frequently encounter was viewed by 478 line uniformed police officers from 52 randomly-selected cities in which search and seizure laws were determined to be no more restrictive than applicable United States Supreme Court decisions. Testing of the police officers occurred in all regions as established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, except for the Pacific region (California, Oregon, and Washington), since search and seizure laws in these states are, in some instances, more restrictive than United States Supreme Court decisions. No testing occurred in cities with populations under 10,000 because of budget limitations. Fourteen questions to which the officers responded were presented in the videotape. Each police officer also completed a questionnaire that included questions on demographics, training, and work experience, covering their age, sex, race, shift worked, years of police experience, education, training on search and seizure law, effectiveness of various types of training instructors and methods, how easily they could obtain advice about search and seizure questions they encountered, and court outcomes of search and seizure cases in which they were involved. Police department representatives completed a separate questionnaire providing department characteristics and information on search and seizure training and procedures, such as the number of sworn officers, existence of general training and the number of hours required, existence of in-service search and seizure training and the number of hours and testing required, existence of policies and procedures on search and seizure... Cf.:
Title from ICPSR DDI metadata of 2004-10-30.
Type of data
3 data files + machine-readable documentation (text) + SAS data definition statements + SPSS data definition statements + data collection instruments
Time and place of event
Start: 1986; and end: 1987.
Geographic coverage
United States
Funding information
U.S. Department of Justice. National Institute ofJustice. 85-IJ-CX-0071 and OJP-87-M-304
System details
Mode of access: Intranet.
Methodology note
  • Data source: Police officers, judges, prosecutors, police trainees, and college and university students who answered test questions during a videotaped presentation, and additional questionnaires completed by the police officers, judges, and police department representatives.
  • Data source: self-enumerated questionnaires and test responses to situations shown in a videotape
  • Universe: All police officers in states where the search and seizure laws are no more restrictive than the United States Supreme Court decisions.
Part 1: Police Data; Part 2: Judges Data; Part 3: Comparison Data; Part 4: Codebook and User Guide for All Parts; Part 5: SAS Data Definition Statements for Police Data; Part 6: SAS Data Definition Statements for Judges Data; Part 7: SAS Data Definition Statements for Comparison Data
Other format(s)
Also available as downloadable files.
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Supplementary Information