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NCJ Number: 43704 Find in a Library
Title: RECONSIDERING THE POLICE ROLE - A CHALLENGE TO A CHALLENGE OF A POPULAR CONCEPTION
Journal: CANADIAN JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY AND CORRECTIONS  Volume:19  Issue:4  Dated:(OCTOBER 1977)  Pages:331-345
Author(s): C D SHEARING; J S LEON
Corporate Author: Canadian Criminal Justice Assoc
Canada
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Canadian Criminal Justice Assoc
Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 4X9
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: MISCONCEPTIONS REGARDING THE ROLE OF THE POLICE ARE POINTED OUT IN AN ANALYSIS OF THE DEBATE OVER THE SOCIAL WORK FUNCTION VERSUS THE LAW ENFORCEMENT FUNCTION OF POLICE.
Abstract: THE BELIEF THAT POLICE ON PATROL SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME PERFORMING SOCIAL WORK ACTIVITIES HAS BECOME INCREASINGLY WIDESPREAD AND UNDERLIES THE DEBATE OVER WHAT THE POLICE IDEALLY SHOULD BE DOING WITH THEIR TIME. SOME ARGUE THAT THE 'AMATEUR SOCIAL WORKER' ASPECTS OF THE POLICE ROLE DETRACT FROM THE MORE APPROPRIATE FUNCTIONS OF CRIME FIGHTING AND LAW ENFORCEMENT. OTHERS CLAIM THAT SUPPORTIVE AND CONTROL FUNCTIONS SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED AS EQUALLY LEGITIMATE COMPONENTS OF THE POLICE ROLE. THE CONCEPT OF ROLE ON WHICH THE DEBATE TURNS DOES NOT MEET GENERALLY ACCEPTED REQUIREMENTS FOR A THEORETICAL APPROACH TO ANALYZING SOCIAL ACTION. IN ESSENCE, THE DEBATE HAS FOCUSED ON WHAT POLICE SHOULD DO AND ON WHAT THEY ACTUALLY DO BUT HAS FAILED TO CONSIDER WHAT THE POLICE CAN DO AND WHAT THEY HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO DO. A REVISED CONCEPT OF THE POLICE ROLE TAKES INTO ACCOUNT THE OVERLOOKED ELEMENTS OF MEANS AND NORMS RELATED TO ACHIEVING MEANS, FOCUSING ON THOSE ASPECTS OF THE POLICE ROLE THAT MAKE IT UNIQUE. POLICE CAPABILITY (DEFINED BY SPECIAL ACCESS TO PHYSICAL FORCE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AS RESOURCES FOR USE IN DEALING WITH PROBLEMS) AND POLICE LICENSE (THE AUTHORITY TO USE THESE RESOURCES) ARE VIEWED AS DEFINITIVE OF THE POLICE ROLE. A LIST OF REFERENCES IS PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Police responsibilities; Police social services; Theory
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43704

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