Jason Vibbart

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Political Science


Over the past twenty years, nothing has affected the way we structure, operate, and manage organizations more than the performance management movement. Performance management is a form of management in which an organization seeks to maximize its productivity by instituting a system of measures by which to gauge performance levels of each element of the organization. The aim of performance management is to achieve the goals of the organization as effectively and efficiently as possible. In the age of budget cuts that we live in today, performance management is being used more and more to help organizations effectively meet their objectives in an economically responsible manner.

Over the past several years, local governments have increasingly been faced with budget deficits. As it becomes apparent that there is not enough money available to fund necessary programs, and the funding is not forthcoming, local governments have been forced to reexamine themselves to find new ways to provide the essential services that they are obligated to provide. One of the results of this self-examination process has been the growth of performance management programs in many local governments and agencies.

One of the most expensive services that local governments provide is police service. As is the case in many local government agencies today, police departments are being asked to provide more services than ever before with less resources available to fund these new initiatives. Increasingly, local police departments are turning to performance management programs to maximize the effectiveness and the efficiency of the police services they are charged with providing. This paper will examine these performance management programs and look at the role this relatively new management concept is playing in local law enforcement agencies.