Off-campus ETSU users: To download "Campus Only" theses, please use the following link to log in to our proxy server with your ETSU username and password.

Non-ETSU users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice and Criminology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Larry S. Miller, John T. Whitehead, Dennis Hamm


With the demands for efficiency and accuracy being placed on the police by the public, the law enforcement community must adapt to a higher standard. Most sheriff's and police chiefs assume that the more formal education that a police officer attains, the more effective and efficient the officer will become at serving the public in various ways. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of formal education on police officer's beliefs toward the public, their department's administrative policy and the practice of crime fighting in general.

This study analyzed a group of deputy sheriffs, under the rank of lieutenant, in the Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, Tazewell and Washington County Virginia Sheriff's Offices. The sample was divided into three groups - deputies with high school/GED, deputies with some college (1 to 2 years), and deputies with a college degree. Data were collected on a select group of law enforcement officers in Southwest Virginia by means of a survey instrument that was distributed to either the chief deputy or sheriff of each county. This study showed a weak correlation between education levels and police officer's attitudes toward personnel issues, public relations and crime fighting.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.