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NCJ Number: 51342 Find in a Library
Title: LEGAL ISSUES IN LAW ENFORCEMENT (FROM FUTURE OF POLICING, 1978, BY ALVIN W COHN - SEE NCJ-51338)
Author(s): L W SHERMAN
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE INFLUENCE OF LAW ON THE FUTURE OF POLICING IS DISCUSSED. TRENDS IN CRIMINAL AND PROCEDURAL LAW CONCERNING IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICE WORK AND POLICE LEGAL AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: CHANGES IN LAW ENFORCEMENT CAN BE PREDICTED ASSUMING CERTAIN CHANGES IN THE LAW. THE SCOPE OF CRIMINAL LAW THAT THE POLICE ARE MANDATED TO ENFORCE WILL PROBABLY ALTER AND, SINCE LAWS CREATE POLICE TASKS TO BE PERFORMED, CHANGING LAWS WILL CREATE CHANGES IN TASKS. BASIC CHANGES THAT WILL PROBABLY OCCUR ARE A STEADY REPEAL OF LAWS GOVERNING PRIVATE MORALITY AND AN INCREASE IN LAWS GOVERNING BEHAVIOR THAT AFFECTS OTHERS SUCH AS SMOKING, DOG CONTROL, AND DRUNKEN DRIVING. FEWER MORALITY LAWS SHOULD REDUCE CORRUPTING INFLUENCES ON POLICE, FREE POLICE RESOURCES FOR OTHER TASKS, AND RELEASE POLICE FROM THE NEED TO USE CONTROVERSIAL METHODS OF DETECTION AND APPREHENSION. HOWEVER, THE INCREASE IN LAWS CURBING HARMFUL OR ANNOYING BEHAVIOR MAY CAUSE MORE ANTAGONISM AGAINST POLICE AND CREATE PROBLEMS CONCERNING THE LEGITIMACY OF POLICE AUTHORITY. THE LEGAL AUTHORITY OF POLICE TO GAIN ACCESS TO INFORMATION ON VIOLATIONS AND VIOLATORS IS LIKELY TO CHANGE. MOST PROACTIVE INVESTIGATION OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES OCCURS IN CASES OF PERSONAL IMMORALITY AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE. AND THESE CATEGORIES WILL BE AFFECTED BY LEGAL CONSTRAINTS ON INFORMATION GATHERING. THERE MIGHT BE AN INCREASE IN POLICE CORRUPTION, A TENDENCY FOR POLICE TO FABRICATE CRIMES, AND AN IMPROVEMENT IN POLICE EFFECTIVENESS REGARDING VICE CONTROL. LEGAL CONSTRAINTS ON INFORMATION GATHERING MAY ALSO INCREASE POLITICAL VIOLENCE. A CHANGE IN THE SCOPE OF POLICE EXECUTIVES' LEGAL AUTHORITY TO CONTROL OFFICERS IS PREDICTED. THE GROWING POWER OF POLICE UNIONS HAS NARROWED LEGAL AUTHORITY TO DISCIPLINE OFFICERS AND TO SET ENFORCEMENT PRIORITIES. POLICE ORGANIZATIONS ARE LIKELY TO BE RUN ACCORDING TO THE PREFERENCES OF OFFICERS, RESULTING IN MORE OFFICER AUTONOMY IN DECISIONMAKING AND LESS PUNISHMENT OF OFFICERS FOR DEALING WITH CITIZENS IMPROPERLY. A CHANGE IN THE NATURE OF LEGAL CONSTRAINTS ON POLICE PERSONNEL PRACTICES IS ALSO LIKELY. INCREASED REGULATIONS ASSURING EQUALITY IN OPPORTUNITY AND NEW LAWS AFFECTING PERSONNEL PRACTICES SUCH AS PROMOTION STANDARDS AND RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYMENT CAN BE EXPECTED. BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--DAG)
Index Term(s): Decriminalization; Discipline; Law enforcement; Laws and Statutes; Legislation; Police corruption; Police internal affairs; Police internal organizations; Police legal limitations; Police management; Police personnel; Police responsibilities; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Unions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51342

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