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NCJ Number: 201379 Find in a Library
Title: Preserving Institutional Memory in Australian Police Services
Author(s): Benoit Dupont
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Date Published: February 2003
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Publication Number: ISBN 0 642 24292 5
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This document reports the preliminary findings of an oral history project on changes in policing in Australia.
Abstract: Police organizations are not limited to their traditional crime detection and law enforcement functions anymore. The increased demands for improved services and community consultation have played a significant role in the new complexity in policing. Police commissioners play a central role in the definition of goals and objectives that satisfy governments and civil society. Their leadership exerts a strong influence on the structure of the organization. The publication of personal memoirs has been a long tradition among police leaders. Ten active and retired police commissioners were interviewed. The questions covered a broad range of issues, including career paths, values, motivations and disappointments, training and selection processes, and their relationships with governments, unions, and other stakeholders of the criminal justice system. Themes such as police integrity, and change in management techniques were also explored. The results of the project showed that, although their career paths differed significantly, the average commissioner was appointed at the age of 51 years and retired 8 years later. The interviewees were all male. Very few of the commissioners joined the police with formal qualifications, some of them having left school at a very young age. Most of them demonstrated a strong commitment to academic studies once they had reached the commissioned officer level. Most of the participants agreed that policing had become the subject of intense political pressures over the past 20 years. It was generally agreed that commissioners and police associations were part of a “love-hate relationship” that seemed impossible to transcend. Media reporting was often experienced as heavily biased, often manipulated by interest groups and generally opposed to any form of change. Commissioners have become inescapable public figures that need to develop relevant skills. The management of police integrity has been one of the major problems faced by police commissioners in the past two decades. An ongoing oral history program would be an innovative tool for the national dissemination of best practices in policing and police management. 33 references
Main Term(s): Police management; Police research
Index Term(s): Administrative planning; Police chiefs; Police command and control; Police internal affairs; Police organizational structure; Police staff management
Note: Australian Institute of Criminology Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 245
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