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NCJ Number: 63152 Find in a Library
Title: POLICE, POLICE UNIONS, AND THE FUTURE
Journal: QUEENSLAND POLICE JOURNAL  Volume:20  Issue:6  Dated:(JUNE 1978) P 45-56, AND CONTINUED IN (JULY 1978)  Pages:40-43
Author(s): B SWANTON
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 16
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: TRENDS IN PERSONNEL ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOR AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE ARE PROJECTED FOR AUSTRALIAN POLICE AGENCIES, AS ARE TRENDS IN UNIONIZATION.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH AUSTRALIA HAS HAD ONLY ONE POLICE STRIKE (1923), MORE ARE LIKELY TO OCCUR IN THE FUTURE. EVIDENCE OF A GROWING ALIENATION BETWEEN THE POLICE RANK AND FILE AND THE ADMINISTRATVE HIERARCHY POINTS TO THIS LIKELIHOOD. STRIKES WILL PROBABLY OCCUR IN CONTRADICTION WITH THE WISHES OF POLICE UNION EXECUTIVES. AUSTRALIAN POLICE ARE UNDERGOING THE SAME FRUSTRATIONS THAT STRIKING POLICE IN OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE EXPERIENCED, ALBEIT ON A SMALLER SCALE. THE FAILURE OF WAGES TO KEEP UP WITH THE RISING COST OF LIVING, THE STRESSFUL WORKING CONDITIONS, AND THE DEMAND THAT PERFORMANCE IMPROVE WHILE STATUS AND PAY REMAIN LOW ARE JUST SOME OF THE FACTORS CREATING DISSATISFACTION IN THE RANK AND FILE. POLICE EDUCATION, ALONG WITH GREATER PROFESSIONALISM, ARE ALSO FACTORS. A MAJOR COMPLAINT OF LINE OFFICERS INTERESTED IN POLICING AS A CAREER AND USED TO A BUSINESSLIKE RATHER THAN MILITARY ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE IS VERY LITTLE OFFICER INPUT REGARDING DECISIONS ON DEPARTMENTAL POLICY. OFFICERS ARE RESTIVE UNDER A COMMAND STRUCTURE THAT REQUIRES OBEDIENCE WITHOUT MEANINGFUL PARTICIPATION IN THE FORMULATION OF POLICIES THEY ARE COMPELLED TO FOLLOW. THE ALIENATION IS LIKELY TO INCREASE AS THE LEVEL OF POLICE EDUCATION AND TRAINING INCREASES AND SOUGHT-FOR PROFFESSIONALIZATION EMERGES. FURTHER, COMPUTERIZED DATA PROCESSING IS PRODUCING A TREND TOWARD STANDARDIZATION IN POLICE RECORDKEEPING AND POLICE FUNCTIONS. SUCH STANDARDIZATION WILL INCREASE UNIFORMITY AND DIMINISH DISCRETION, WHILE PROFESSIONALIZATION GENERALLY PRODUCES THE URGE FOR MORE AUTONOMY AND DISCRETIONARY BEHAVIOR. TEN REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Australia; Police attitudes; Police information systems; Police management; Police personnel; Police unions; Professionalization; Trend analysis
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63152

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