University of Missouri - Saint Louis

The Graduate School


An oral examination in defense of the dissertation for the degree

Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Hyon Namgung
M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice, May, 2010, University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA
M.A. in Public Administration and Public Policy, March, 2003, University of Exeter, UK
B.A. in Public Administration, March, 1997, March, Korea National Police University, Korea

How Do Specialized Units Affect the Outputs of Police Organizations?: Investigating the Effect of Community Policing Units on Community Policing Activities in Local Police Departments



A review of modern police history shows the increased division of labor within the police agencies. However, police organizations are often criticized for creating specialized police units when they are faced with specific problems or are under criticism of not effectively tackling local problems. Other criticisms include that potential inter-unit conflicts or indifference of officers from other units may hinder program implementation by specialized units. Thus, the present study looked into the change of specialized units within police departments between 2000 and 2007. Also, this research examined whether creation of specialized community policing units (CP Units) affects the change of community policing activities performed by police agencies.

The results show that wide variations existed in the operation of specialized police units among police agencies. Specifically, the increase of some specialized units (e.g., cyber-crime, hate crime, missing child, and terrorism unit) seems to reflect social changes and police departments’ responses to tackle diverse problems arising from such changes. Also, linear panel analysis indicates that police agencies with CP Units were more likely to produce outputs in each element of community policing (i.e., community engagement, problem solving, and organizational transformation). In other words, the creation of specialized units may lead to increase of outputs that the units are intended to produce.


Date: November 13, 2013

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Place: Jim Short Conference Room, 325 Lucas Hall


Defense of Dissertation Committee


David Klinger, Ph.D. (Advisor)

Robert J. Bursik, Jr., Ph.D.


Finn-Aage Esbensen, Ph.D.

Edward Maguire, Ph.D.