Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Joshua Hinkle

Second Advisor

Dr. Dean Dabney

Third Advisor

Dr. Thaddeus Johnson


Police violence in the United States has reignited calls for police reform in the past 10 to 15 years. Violent encounters captured on video have reinforced the claims that the current state of the American police needs to be reexamined, given how widespread reform efforts have been published and varied efforts to embrace reform have been implemented. Common reform themes have focused on police transparency, accountability, and training. Some research has examined citizen encounters or the role that community has in a community policing framework. However, citizen complaints have not been utilized or systematically examined as much as they could be. Part of the issue stems from the lack of data or quality of data that is available. This thesis examines citizen complaint data against officers in the New York City Police Department alongside a review of police reformist literature to highlight the gaps in prior research to discuss how reform efforts can benefit from the use of citizen complaint data.

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