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: 64012 Find in a Library
Title: POLICE AND THE PUBLIC - IMAGES AND REALITIES
Journal: REVUE INTERNATIONALE DE CRIMINOLOGIE ET DE POLICE TECHNIQUE  Volume:32  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY-MARCH 1979)  Pages:21-30
Author(s): D SZABO
Corporate Author: Revue Internationale de Criminologie et de Police Technique
Switzerland
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Revue Internationale de Criminologie et de Police Technique
1211 Geneve 4, Switzerland
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: Switzerland
Annotation: FUNCTIONS OF THE POLICE IN SUCH DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES AS CANADA, CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PUBLIC SERVED BY THE POLICE, POLICE DISCRETIONARY POWERS, AND POLICE ORGANIZATION MODELS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POLICE ARE PROMOTION OF CRIME PREVENTION, PROTECTION OF SOCIETY FROM CRIMINAL UNDERTAKINGS, CULTIVATION OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND HUMAN FREEDOM WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF EXISTING LAW, AND COLLABORATION WITH SPECIAL PRISONER REHABILITATION AGENCIES. THE PREVENTIVE ROLE IS SEVERELY LIMITED IN DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES, AS THE ACTIONS OF POLICE TEND TO BE REACTIVE. IN PRACTICE, 80 TO 90 PERCENT OF POLICE TIME IS DEVOTED TO SOCIAL SERVICES, NOT CRIME CONTROL. OTHER FUNCTIONS RELATE TO REDUCING THE NUMBER OF INJURIES AND THE EXTENT OF PROPERTY DAMAGES, SETTLING FAMILY DISPUTES, AND APPLYING LAWS TO PUBLIC MORALITY. LAWS ARE FREQUENTLY UNCLEAR, REQUIRING POLICE TO DECIDE WHICH STEPS TO TAKE, AND THE PARTICULAR COURSE IS OFTEN DETERMINED BY PUBLIC REACTION AS WELL AS BY THE EXTENT OF INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM THE PUBLIC. POSSIBLE ABUSES OF POLICE DISCRETIONARY POWERS COULD BE LIMITED BY INCREASED POLICE PROFESSIONALISM AND BY CONTROL OF POLICE POWER. DIFFERENT DEGREES OF POLICE PROFESSIONALIZATION HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED. THE LEGALIST MODEL IS SUCH THAT ALL INCIDENTS ARE CONSIDERED CASES OF APPLICATION OF LAW, POLICE ARE CENTRALIZED, A UNIFORM MORAL CODE IS ASSUMED, AND THE OFFICER IS VIEWED AS A PASSIVE INSTRUMENT OF LAW. THE SERVICE MODEL IS CHARACTERIZED BY A SYSTEMATICALLY REPRESSIVE APPLICATION OF LAW. BY POLICE PREOCCUPATION WITH RATINGS OF THE PUBLIC, BY SOLIDARITY AMONG OFFICERS, AND BY MAINTENANCE OF ORDER THROUGH DIVERSE ACTIVITIES. FINALLY, THE SURVEILLANCE MODEL, WHICH IS TYPICAL IN NORTH AMERICA, EMPHASIZES INTERVENTION ONLY FOR EXTREME CASES, RESOLUTION OF CASES THROUGH RECONCILIATION OF ADVERSARIES, CONSIDERATION OF COMMUNITY POWER STRUCTURES, USE OF ALTERNATIVE PUNISHMENTS, NONPROFESSIONAL POLICE OFFICERS, AND MAINTENANCE OF ORDER RATHER THAN APPLICATION OF LAW. --IN FRENCH. (KMD)
Index Term(s): Canada; Community support; Police community relations; Police discretion; Police organizational structure; Police responsibilities; Police social services; Professionalization; Public Attitudes/Opinion
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64012

*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.