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NCJ Number: 51919 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: POLICE - UNDER FIRE, FIGHTING BACK
Journal: US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT  Volume:84  Issue:13,  Dated:(APRIL 3, 1978)  Pages:37-45
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: US News and World Report
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: US News and World Report
Washington, DC 20037
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE EFFECTIVENESS OF POLICE OFFICERS IS STUDIED WITH RESPECT TO TRAINING, JOB PERFORMANCE, RESPONSIBILITIES, MINORITY REPRESENTATION, UNIONIZATION, AND RIGHTS. FUTURE TRENDS ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH CURRENT PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE POLICE PROFESSION IS POSITIVE, THE INABILITY OF SOME POLICE DEPARTMENTS TO COPE WITH THE SOCIAL UNREST OF THE 1960'S PROMPTED AN EXAMINATION OF THE POLICE OFFICER'S ROLE IN SOCIETY. THE RESULT WAS A MOVEMENT TO CHANGE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS INTO SERVICE WORKERS RESPONSIBLE FOR HANDLING A BROAD RANGE OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS. POLICE INSTRUCTION NOW ENCOMPASSES THE FOLLOWING: (1) THE USE OF COMPUTERS IN CRIME ANALYSES; (2) PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL FACTORS AFFECTING COMMUNITY RELATIONS; (3) THE USE OF 'TEAM POLICING' IN WHICH OFFICERS AND SPECIALISTS WORK TOGETHER IN A SPECIFIED GEOGRAPHIC AREA; AND (4) LEGAL TRAINING TO DETERMINE THE RELEVANCE OF GATHERING CERTAIN EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT CONVICTIONS. A RAND CORPORATION SURVEY FUNDED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, REVEALED THAT DETECTIVES' WORK WHICH CONSISTS LARGELY IN REVIEWING REPORTS, DOCUMENTING FILES, AND INTERVIEWING VICTIMS, COULD BE SHIFTED IN ORDER TO AFFECT MORE PRODUCTIVITY. POLICE COMPETENCE HAS BEEN CRITICIZED ON THE FOLLOWING FACTORS: THE FAILURE OF THE ARRESTING OFFICER TO FIND SUFFICIENT WITNESSES AND EVIDENCE TO INSURE CONVICTIONS; AND A A LACK OF EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE ORGANIZED CRIME AND WHITE-COLLAR CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES. SCANDALS INVOLVING POLICE OFFICERS IN IMPROPER ARRESTS, EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE, CORRUPTION, AND OTHER WRONGDOINGS, HAVE RECEIVED INCREASED PUBLIC ATTENTION. THE LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE ADMINISTRATION HAS PROVIDED FUNDS TO CITIES TO ESTABLISH PROGRAMS THAT ELEVATE THE ROLE OF THE POLICE OFFICER. THROUGH THE HELP OF UNIONIZATION AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ARE NOW DEMANDING BETTER SALARIES AND FRINGE BENEFITS BASED ON THE DANGEROUSNESS OF THEIR WORK, IRREGULAR HOURS, PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS, AND THE BROAD SCOPE OF THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES. DEFENSE IN DISCIPLINARY CASES IS GAINING SUPPORT AS PART OF A DRIVE FOR POLICE RIGHTS IN CHALLENGING POLITICAL INFLUENCES IN MATTERS PERTAINING TO INTERNAL ORGANIZATION. THE FOLLOWING FUTURE TRENDS ARE BECOMING APPARENT: APPLICANTS FOR POLICE FORCE JOBS ARE INCREASING; HIRING EMPHASIS IS BEING PLACED ON KNOWLEDGE AND TRAINING AND URBAN POLICE DEPARTMENTS ARE DECREASING IN SIZE WHILE SUBURBAN DEPARTMENTS ARE EXPANDING. INSUFFICIENT REPRESENTATION OF MINORITIES AND WOMEN HAS LED TO THE CONCLUSION THAT POLICE DEPARTMENTS ARE OCCUPATIONAL FORCES INSENSITIVE TO THE NEEDS AND CONCERNS OF THE COMMUNITY. CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS AND THE UNITED STATES JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HAVE FILED SUITS AGAINST POLICE EXECUTIVES VIOLATING CIVIL RIGHTS LAW PERTAINING TO THE HIRING OF MINORITIES. (JCP)
Index Term(s): Complaints against police; Management; Police agencies; Police community relations; Police effectiveness; Police internal investigations; Police personnel; Police responsibilities; Unions
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51919

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