Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Stephanie Seguino Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Helen Scott Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Alec Ewald Ph.D.


police, police unions, violence, florida, budgets, defund


Contemporary critiques of police unions typically highlight the unions’ abilities to obstruct accountability and reform processes. This paper examines police unions from an alternate perspective, focusing on how they cause harm by expanding the institution of police. Through a review of the concepts, history, and contemporary impacts of policing, I interpret the police as fundamentally an institution of violent oppression. I use this assessment to reframe the harmful impacts of police unions as organizations that expand their institutional power by using collective bargaining power to increase police funding. To extend this evaluation, I conduct an empirical analysis of the impact of collective bargaining on law enforcement budgets in Florida. Using fixed-effects regression analysis, I find that the introduction of collective bargaining rights led to a 29.5% increase in sheriffs’ office budgets and a 1.3% increase in the proportion of law enforcement budgets of total jurisdiction budgets.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.