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NCJ Number: 158102 Find in a Library
Title: Rethinking Detective Management or, Why Investigative Reforms Are Seldom Permanent or Effective (From Quantifying Quality in Policing, P 167-184, 1996, Larry T Hoover, ed. -- See NCJ-158093)
Author(s): J E Eck
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
Washington, DC 20036
Sale Source: Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 930
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines some of the developments in investigative reform, with a focus on the role of detectives.
Abstract: The author discusses how plainclothes investigations have gone through cycles of popularity and decline. In the last 25 years, research has examined the productivity of detectives, including the goals of investigations, changes police officials have made in investigative operations, and changes in the management of criminal investigation. The author concludes that the reforms have severe limitations; these limitations are summarized with three laws of investigations. The first law of investigations is that reliance on cheaply obtained information results in few solutions, but to obtain many solutions, investigators must obtain expensive information. The second law of investigations is that the direction of all investigations is largely out of the investigators' control; and the more control that is desired, the more expensive the investigation will become. The third law of investigations is that the circumstances that call for specialization also call for decentralization, and the circumstances that require centralization require despecialization. A recurring theme of this paper is that the management of criminal investigations involves conflicting difficulties; addressing one almost ensures that the other will get worse, thus forcing change in another direction. 37 references
Main Term(s): Police management
Index Term(s): Investigative techniques; Police resource allocation; Undercover activity
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