Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Public Administration and Policy

Content Description

1 online resource (iii, 122 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Patricia Strach

Committee Members

Ellen V. Rubin, Jennifer Dodge


Civil service, Police

Subject Categories

Public Administration


The civil service exam was created in the late 19th century to reform the hiringprocess for public officials, focusing on merit (skills and expertise) versus political patronage and other partisan factors. While much of the 20th century focused on redesigning the civil service organizations, exam redesign still remains an important next step that is infrequently considered. In the case of police departments, while other issues arise in recruitment efforts, the civil service exam has been noted by interviewees as the biggest barrier to redesign efforts in accordance with 21st Century Policing goals. Through in-depth interviews of current police chiefs and civil service administrators in New York State, this study asks to what degree the civil service exam in its current design is reflects current police responsibilities and properly determines officer fit. This study uses the Organizational Process Model and Local Knowledge as theoretical frameworks to explain organizational processes and issues that design the entrance exam and determine how police departments and civil service understand fit.