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NCJ Number: NCJ 245992  Add to Shoppping Cart  
Title: Challenge of Policing in a Democratic Society: A Personal Journey Toward Understanding
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Charles H. Ramsey
Corporate Author: Harvard University
John F Kennedy School of Government
Program in Criminal Justice Policy Management
United States of America
Date Published: 06/2014
Page Count: 16
  Annotation: This paper, authored by the Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, presents some of the lessons he learned about the responsibilities of policing in a democracy from his visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
Abstract: The lessons he learned focused on one of the phrases in the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics: “to protect the Constitutional rights of all people to liberty, equality, and justice.” His reflections feature three photographs he viewed in the Holocaust Memorial Museum. One photo shows a police officer and a Nazi militia soldier walking together with one holding the leash of a muzzled dog. This stirred the realization that the police in Nazi Germany were not just passively permitting atrocities by agents of the Third Reich. Jews and other minorities were terrorized by Nazi supporters without police interference and often with police support. A second photo that made a deep impression on the author was of a lone prisoner who has just been liberated from Buchenwald. He is sitting, eating rice from a bowl, looking up at the photographer with eyes that tell a story, not of liberation, but perhaps the remnants of emotional pain, anguish and resignation. The police come in contact with many people whose lives have been shaped by abuse, poverty, and various victimizations, even in America. Although police cannot prevent nor resolve all of these adverse circumstances they can counter certain threats to public welfare, such as crime, disorder, and unlawful discrimination. The third photograph shows a group of Nazi soldiers standing around a man who is on his knees as one of the soldiers points a pistol at the back of his head. In every phase of their work, police officers are called to protect the rights of all people against from abuse and victimization, even by other police officers.
Main Term(s): Police responsibilities
Index Term(s): Professional conduct and ethics ; Human rights ; Police work attitudes ; Human rights training
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: New Perspectives in Policing Bulletin.
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