Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice

First Committee Member

William H. Sousa, Chair

Second Committee Member

Tamara Madensen

Third Committee Member

Richard McCorkle

Graduate Faculty Representative

Anna Lukemeyer

Number of Pages



Beginning in November, 2007, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department implemented organizational changes to the Financial/Property Crimes Bureau by decentralizing all property crime detectives. Although no previous research was found on the decentralization of police detectives specifically, there is existing research on similar concepts that suggest at least two benefits of decentralizing police detectives: improved communication with patrol officers and increased efficiency of investigations. With these benefits in mind, the current study examines the following hypotheses: hypothesis 1: decentralizing property crime detectives will lead to improved quality of communication between property crime detectives and patrol officers; hypothesis 2: decentralizing property crime detectives will lead to greater efficiency of property crime investigations.

This research will assume a quasi-experimental design with the Southeast Area Command (SEAC) being the experimental group by having detectives decentralized to an area command level and the Southwest Area Command (SWAC) being the comparison group, their detectives remaining at the centralized bureau level. The experimental condition began on November 1, 2007 and continued for 8 months, terminating on June 30, 2008 when SWAC was decentralized, ending the department wide reorganization and decentralization of property crimes detectives.

Secondary data in the form of a survey that was administered to patrol officers and performance indicators from the area command and detective levels were received from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. These data were used to evaluate the impact that the decentralization had on communication between detectives and officers and the efficiency of property crime investigations.


Criminal investigation; Criminal justice; Administration of; Criminology; Organizational behavior; Organizational change; Police administration


Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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