Police auxiliaries in Australia: Police liaison officers and the dilemmas of being part of the police extended family

Adrian Cherney, Wing Hong Chui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Studies on security governance have highlighted that internationally there has been the pluralisation of police roles and functions. One feature of these developments has been the emergence of dedicated quasi-police personnel, termed police auxiliaries. Public police agencies have been instrumental in supporting the growth of police auxiliaries, promoting their adoption as part of broader police reforms to improve the engagement of ethnic minority groups. One example of these trends in Australia has been the emergence of police liaison officers (PLOs). This paper draws upon research into a PLO programme in the Australian State of Queensland in order to explore the intra-organisational features of auxiliarisation. Data from qualitative interviews are analysed to highlight that while police auxiliaries do make an important contribution to improving police community engagement, they face their own dilemmas and challenges that occur from being part of the police extended family. One relates to role conflict arising from a conflicting sense of accountability to the police and the wider community. This is particularly pronounced for police auxiliaries who are of an ethnic/racial background.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-297
Number of pages18
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Auxiliarisation
  • Plural policing
  • Police liaison officers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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