Police-Sponsorship Networks: Benign Ties or Relations of Private Influence?


This article examines relational ties between private sponsors and public police departments based on sponsorship of Canadian and international policing conferences and galas. Using network analysis and descriptive statistics, we investigate ties among 375 sponsors and 16 law enforcement conferences and galas held in 2015 in Canada, the US, and the UK. Of 16 police conferences and galas, 13 are connected via common sponsors. We discern trends in the industry sector, sub-sector, and country of sponsoring entities. In the discussion, we develop an agenda for future research and debate concerning the influence private sponsorship may have on the actions of police and civilian officials comprising four areas: gifts and ambiguous exchange, network embeddedness, analogical comparison, and trade secrecy.

Policing & Society, 28(5)