Doctor of Philosophy
Political Science, Public Administration and Public Policy
Date of Defense
Todd Swanstrom, PhD
St. Louis County, Missouri is a fragmented suburban area, covering 505 square miles, with ninety separate municipalities. Fifty-six municipalities maintain in-house police departments, while thirty-four contract police services from other governments. Previous research concerning interjurisdictional collaboration efforts has been rooted in the rational choice theory. However, the rational choice theory alone does not explain why some municipalities do or do not enter into contracts for police services. The purpose of this work is to examine police contracting decisions in St. Louis County, specifically the drivers behind contracting discussions and decisions in five sample municipalities in St. Louis County. The five case studies were examined utilizing theories from the policy process literature, namely focusing events and changes in image and venue. Decisions were also examined utilizing Wilson’s typology of police styles. Of the case studies that resulted in a police contract, a change in both venue and image occurred. In the case studies that did not result in a police contract, a change in image and venue related to matters of policing did not occur. Therefore, it was determined that changes in image and venue as well as a focusing event on police were necessary for successful decisions to contract police services.
Karr, Alan W., "Police Contracting in St. Louis County: Focusing Events and Changes in Image and Venue in Five Case Studies" (2016). Dissertations. 126.