Helms School of Government


Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MS)


Gregory Koehle


college, education, degree, citation, law enforcement, traffic enforcement


Law | Legal Studies


In demanding occupations, the preference for formal education is presumptive when improving competency and workmanship. This study assesses the correlation between college education and traffic enforcement performance within a local police department in Aberdeen, North Carolina. In this study, performance strictly refers to issued traffic citations and traffic enforcement. The research consisted of a secondary analysis (public records) using qualitative data. Data were collected to determine which officers issued the most traffic citations from the highway patrol unit from January to June 2021. Second, qualitative data were collected via an interview with one of the department officers to obtain demographic information (age, gender, race/ethnicity, highest level of education, and the number of years of employment) of each officer who had issued the most citations. This data was collected to determine if there was a plausible correlation between officer demographics used as confounding variables and the number of citations issued. Findings suggest that they all had a high school diploma among the identified officers who issued the most traffic citations each month. Study findings can inform policy, practice, and subsequent research.