Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Fall 2008

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Political Science


In 1997, Deputy Chief David Beam conducted a job satisfaction study of the Marietta Police Department as part of his practicum for his MPA. In 2002, Lieutenant Todd VandeZande completed a follow-up study of job satisfaction at the Marietta Police Department also as part of his practicum for his MPA. Both of them used a survey instrument designed by Dr. Mark Dantzler. In the first study, the overall job satisfaction level of the Marietta Police Department had a mean score of 3.4 (Beam, 1997, 26). The survey contained 26 questions and although the overall job satisfaction level was satisfactory, many of the questions had mean scores indicating that improvement was needed. The second study showed marked improvement and the mean score rose to 3.8 for overall job satisfaction (VandeZande, 2002, 41). However, many of the questions had mean scores, which were unacceptable. The current study used the same survey instrument, which was used in the two previous studies. There were 63 completed surveys returned, which equaled a 51 percent response rate. In this survey, the mean score for overall job satisfaction was a 4.1. This is an exceptional score. The inference from these results is that overall; the officers who work at the Marietta Police Department are very satisfied with their job. This is great news for the officers, department and the citizens they serve. Fortunately, only two questions received a mean score considered to be borderline. These questions dealt with pay and the written promotional exam, both of which scored low on the previous two surveys. This would indicate that the Marietta Police Department must take action to correct deficiencies in both of these areas. The first area in need of improvement is the area of pay. Most police officers do not get into police work for the pay. In fact, most understand the pay of public servants is less than desirable. However, if police officers perceive that their pay does not compare well to other local agencies then pay does become a problem. The Marietta Police Department has done a fairly good job keeping the starting pay at a competitive level. However, they have fallen short as officers gain seniority and are promoted throughout the ranks. As such, the department should immediately conduct a pay study comparing the Marietta Police Department to other comparable departments throughout the metro area. This comparison should closely examine the pay of officers for their years of service and at different ranks and compare those to other departments. In addition, the City of Marietta should treat the pay of police officers differently than the rest of the city employees. The other area in need of improvement is the promotional exam. It appears that most of the respondents viewed the whole promotional process when answering this question based on several comments. The whole promotional process is in need of an overhaul. A committee should be formed to study the promotional process, come up with recommendations and make the necessary changes. This would address an area which has been a subject of concern for a long time. Other recommendations include completing a job satisfaction survey routinely, increasing tuition reimbursement amounts and analyzing exit interviews to determine, more accurately, why officers leave the department.