The Career Paths of Local Police Officers and Its Influence on Local Policies --- with a Reference to Those of Senior Female Officers

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Distributed Paper
Naoko YOSHIDA, University of Kyoto-Sangyo, Japan
The Japanese police offers numerous training courses to its sworn officers and civilians at a national police academy, seven reginal police schools and 47 local police schools, ranging from entry trainings for probation officers to a course for officers who is to be promoted to a head of a small police station. However, there is no training course for the officers who aspire to be bureau heads and above, which are top management posts. For example, Tokyo Metropolitan Police has 102 police stations while there are as few as eight bureau heads posts above which are Chief Commissioner and Vice Chief of the force. Recently, it has become a standardized practice that a police officer who aims at ascension to those top posts in the local force has to be seconded to the National Police Agency, a non-operational regulatory agency in a central administration for two to three years. Subsequently, the number of secondments rose from 298 in 2002 to 826 in 2014. The presenter conducted questionnaire survey and face-to-face semi-constructed interviews with senior local police officers between 2009 and 2011 to explore their experience during the secondment and its influences on their understandings on their professional roles. Through the analysis of research results, it emerges that through secondment experiences senior local police officers have evolved into not so much as skilled police officers as super bureaucrats in the Weberian sense. They do not view themselves as police officers but rather administrative officials who live in a quasi-political world. This transition seems to have impacted on the relationship between local police forces and the National Police Agency, policing style, and police recruitment. The discussion touches upon the career paths of senior female police officers, who account for only 1 % of senior ranks.