Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ)


Criminal Justice, Criminology, & Forensics

First Advisor

Matthew Hickman

Second Advisor

Pete Collins

Third Advisor

Joe Nguyen


Over the last century, police oversight offices emerged to address police misconduct and promote public confidence, including four oversight offices within King County. Although oversight offices are intended to represent the interests of the public, they rarely or irregularly solicit public opinion. An online survey was developed to answer the general research question, “What are the public’s priorities for police oversight in King County?” and it appears to be the first attitudinal survey of its kind in the United States. A total of 1,700 survey responses were recorded, of which 1,110 were completed with 60% or higher item response by King Countybased respondents. Results reveal that the issues of most importance to the public of King County are: ensuring the public receives timely, accurate updates about a case following a deadly force incident (52%); tracking trends in police use of force (52%); providing general support and guidance to families following a use-of-force incident (47%); and monitoring the development and implementation of police training curricula (47%). An overwhelming majority of respondents believe that the use of dash or body cameras will improve the quality of policing and police accountability (74%). The study also gauged public experiences with oversight. Statistical testing confirms significant relationships between experience with oversight and gender, race, age, political identity, and having familial ties to law enforcement.