skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 43430 Find in a Library
Title: BIG-CITY POLICE
Author(s): R M FOGELSON
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 385
Sponsoring Agency: Harvard University Press
Cambridge, MA 02138
Sale Source: Harvard University Press
79 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: IMPACT OF TWO MAJOR POLICE REFORM MOVEMENTS ON THE SOCIAL MOBILITY OF ETHNIC GROUPS, THE DISTRIBUTION OF POLITICAL POWER, THE STRUGGLE FOR STATUS IN URBAN AMERICA, AND POLICE PROFESSIONALISM ARE EXPLORED.
Abstract: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PRESSURES WHICH LED TO WAVES OF POLICE REFORM IN 1890 TO 1930 AND AGAIN ABOUT 1940 TO 1970 NOT ONLY CHANGED THE AVERAGE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT INTO A CENTRALIZED, TRAINED GROUP OF PROFESSIONALS, BUT ALSO CHANGED THE CHARACTER OF THE AMERICAN CITY. BEFORE 1890, THE POLICE DEPARTMENT WAS AN ADJUNCT OF THE POLITICAL MACHINE. WARD BOSSES HIRED AND FIRED; THEREFORE, POLICE LOYALTY WAS TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD. MOST PATROL JOBS WERE POLITICAL REWARDS AND WENT TO IMMIGRANTS OR SONS OF IMMIGRANTS FROM THE IMMEDIATE AREA. LAWS WERE ENFORCED ON AN ETHNIC BASIS. THE COST OF THIS COMMUNITY CONTROL WAS WIDESPREAD CORRUPTION AND ABUSE. THE FIRST WAVE OF REFORM BEGAN ABOUT 1890 WHEN MIDDLE-CLASS CLERGYMEN, BUSINESS LEADERS, AND SOCIAL REFORMERS BEGAN A MOVE TO CENTRALIZE THE POLICE AND REMOVE POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS. A MILITARY MODEL WAS ADOPTED AND THE PHRASE 'WAR ON CRIME' COINED. BY 1930 MOST MAJOR POLICE DEPARTMENTS HAD ADOPTED THE CENTRALIZED BEAT APPROACH AND A CIVIL SERVICE SYSTEM WAS BEGINNING. A SECOND WAVE OF REFORM CAME FROM WITHIN POLICE DEPARTMENTS THEMSELVES. GREATER TRAINING, GREATER PROFESSIONALISM, AND GREATER STATUS FOR POLICE WERE THE CORNERSTONES OF THIS WAVE. THE EMERGENCE OF POLICE UNIONS, WHICH BECAME MAJOR POLITICAL POWER BLOCS, INCREASED THE FORCE OF THE MOVEMENT. A THIRD REFORM STARTED TENTATIVELY IN THE LATE 1960S. THIS MOVEMENT CALLS FOR RETURN OF POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE NEIGHBORHOODS. TO DATE, IT HAS MADE LITTLE HEADWAY BECAUSE POLICE COMMISSIONERS HAVE INCORPORATED ITS PROTESTS INTO THE EXISTING POLICE DEPARTMENT STRUCTURE THROUGH COMMUNITY RELATIONS BOARDS, COMMUNITY GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, AND OTHER INSTITUTIONALIZED DEVICES.
Index Term(s): Citizen associations; Corruption of public officials; Police reform; Political influences; Socioculture
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43430

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.