1st Edition

Organizational Change in an Urban Police Department Innovating to Reform

By Brenda J. Bond-Fortier Copyright 2020
    204 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    204 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This in-depth case study of a mid-sized police department captures the dynamics, struggles, and successes of police change, revealing the positive organizational and community outcomes that resulted from a persistent drive to reinvent public safety and community relationships. The police profession in the United States faces a legitimacy problem. It is critical that police are prepared to change constantly, be adaptive, and adopt openness to self-reflection and external comparison, moving beyond their comfort zone to overcome the inevitable cultural, structural, and political obstacles. Using previously unpublished longitudinal data examining a 25-year period, Bond-Fortier offers a rich account of the complexity of police management and change within one particular mid-sized city: Lowell, Massachusetts.

    The multidisciplinary lens applied provides crucial insights into how and why police organizations respond to a changing environment, set certain goals, and make decisions about how to achieve those goals. The book analyzes the community and organizational forces that stimulated change in the Lowell Police Department, describes the changes that enabled the department to achieve national model status, and builds a nexus between influencing forces, interdisciplinary theory, and the creation of an adaptive 21st-century police organization. 

    Organizational Change in an Urban Police Department: Innovating to Reform is essential reading for academics and students in criminal justice, criminology, organizational studies, public administration, sociology, political science, and public policy programs, as well as government executives, crime policy analysts, and public- and private-sector managers and leaders engaged in professional development and leadership courses.

    1: Introduction

    2: The State of American Policing and Crime as the 21st Century Approached

    3: Organizational Change

    4: The Study and Its Setting: Lowell, Massachusetts

    5: Political Will and Leadership

    6: Establishing Meaningful Partnerships

    7: Aligning the Organization to Achieve Community Safety Goals

    8: The Connection between Policy and Vision in Lowell

    9: On Becoming a Model Community Policing Agency: Lessons Learned 


    Brenda J. Bond-Fortier, PhD is Associate Professor of Public Administration in the Institute for Public Service at Suffolk University. Trained in criminology, community social psychology, and social policy, she specializes in research on organizational change in criminal justice, systematic and collaborative approaches to organizational and community challenges, and the development, implementation, and evaluation of public safety policies and practices. She has conducted research across the United States, published her work in prestigious journals, and been cited in major media outlets. Bond-Fortier is a nationally respected and recognized policing scholar who is valued by practitioners and policymakers for her participation and contributions to police practice. She serves as a Subject Matter Expert for the US Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance Strategies for Policing Innovation initiative, and is a Senior Research Fellow for the National Police Foundation. Bond-Fortier previously worked as a practitioner, serving as strategic development and resource advisor for the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) and the Director of Research and Development for the Lowell Police Department.