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GSLC Alumnus Publishes Dissertation on Knowing How the Law Impacts African American Males’ Perceptions of Police Encounters

PhD in Leadership and Change alumnus Dr. Glynell Horn, Jr. published his dissertation entitled A History of Distrust: How Knowing the Law Impacts African American Males’ Perceptions of Police Encounters. This study is unique because, unlike previous research, this study focuses solely on African American males that reside in disenfranchised communities that are most at risk for experiencing negative encounters with law enforcement. The overall purpose of this mixed-methods action research study was to enhance participants’ knowledge of Texas law.

From its inception, American Law Enforcement was built from a racially motivated system in which African Americans were subject to discriminatory treatment. Unfortunately, that treatment still persists in modern-day policing, which is highlighted by the deaths of Eric Garner and George Floyd to name a few. There is no surprise that law enforcement needs to improve trust with the African American community; however there is a dire need for a new approach.

Research findings suggest that an educational intervention did significantly shift participants’ perceptions regarding police-civilian encounters in a positive direction. However, participant responses suggest that knowing the law brings police conduct into question; and indeed, knowing the law seemed to result in research participants trusting police even less. Law enforcement agencies can use this action research study to improve relationships with the African American community.

Dr. Horn is a dedicated law enforcement professional and public safety executive with 15 years of progressive experience with the municipal police department in Stafford, Texas. The Stafford Police Department also provides police services for the Stafford Municipal School District, which is the only municipal school district in Texas. He began his career as a patrol officer and quickly rose through the ranks to his current role as Assistant Chief of Police.

As a firm believer in the importance of strong organizational culture, Dr. Horn is committed to building transparent environments that promote employee development and inspire trust in leadership. His motto is “Productivity Inspires Credibility.” He sets a positive example by embodying this ideal. Also, he is dedicated to fostering employee success by improving training, providing professional development opportunities, creating consistent evaluation processes, and seeking input from superiors and subordinates.

Read more about Dr. Horn and his dissertation here.