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NCJ Number: 64492 Find in a Library
Title: POLICE ACTION IN THE DRUG SECTOR - PROBLEMS OF ORGANIZATION - RESOLUTION OF UNCERTAINTY
Journal: QUADERNI DI CRIMINOLOGIA CLINICA  Volume:19  Issue:2  Dated:(APRIL-JUNE 1977)  Pages:137-196
Author(s): P K MANNING
Corporate Author: Ministero di Grazia E Giustizia
Italy
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 60
Sponsoring Agency: Ministero di Grazia E Giustizia
Rome, Italy
Type: Statistics
Format: Article
Language: Italian
Country: Italy
Annotation: BASED ON A SURVEY OF DRUG LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS IN THREE UNITED STATES POLICE DEPARTMENTS, THIS STUDY ANALYZES THE ORGANIZATIONAL PROBLEMS AND THE UNCERTAINTIES AND AMBIGUITIES FACING POLICE OFFICERS IN THE DRUG SECTOR.
Abstract: THE SPECIAL PROBLEMS OF DRUG LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS IN THE ABSENCE OF CLEARCUT POLICE GUIDELINES AND OF CRIMINAL LAWS DEFINING ALL TYPES OF DRUG OFFENSES AND FIXING CULPABILITY DEGREES AND PENALTIES ARE HIGHLIGHTED. INFORMATION GAINED THROUGH PERSONAL INTERVIEWS WITH POLICE OFFICERS IN A MIDSIZED CITY, A LARGE METROPOLITAN AREA, AND SUBURBS IS CORROBORATED WITH EXTENSIVE QUOTATIONS FROM LITERATURE IN THE FIELD. THE INTERVIEWS DEPLORED THE UNCERTAINTIES AND AMBIGUITIES WHICH PLAGUE THE DRUG LAW ENFORCEMENT SECTOR, WHERE PRACTICALLY EVERY ASPECT OF POLICE WORK IS LEFT TO THE INDIVIDUAL OFFICERS' DISCRETION AND THEIR PERCEPTION OF CONSTANTLY SHIFTING PUBLIC ATTITUDES, POLITICAL TRENDS, AND JUDICIAL RULEMAKING. THE DRUG LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS STATED THAT THE DELIBERATE INFORMALITY AND LACK OF PRECISION IN THE UNWRITTEN DIRECTIVES THEY RECEIVE FROM THEIR SUPERIORS FOR DETERMINING HOW FAR THEY CAN GO IN USING INFORMERS, ENTRAPMENT, DRUG SEIZURES, AND RULES OF EVIDENCE HINDER THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THEIR OPERATIONS. MOREOVER, THE LACK OF RELIABLE INTERNATIONAL AND NATIONAL DRUG CRIME STATISTICS MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO MEASURE THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF THEIR WORK. THE SUBJECTS SURVEYED ADMITTED UNCERTAINTY ABOUT THEIR OWN ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTIONS OF DRUG OFFENSE SERIOUSNESS AND DANGEROUSNESS AND ABOUT THE GOALS THEY ARE EXPECTED TO PURSUE IN MAKING DRUG ARRESTS (RECIDIVISM DETERRENCE OR PREVENTION HARASSMENT). THEY ALSO EMPHASIZED DETECTION PROBLEMS, SINCE THE MAJORITY OF DRUG TRANSACTIONS AND DRUG RELATED CRIMES TAKE PLACE IN PRIVATE SURROUNDINGS, NOT ON STREET CORNERS, WHERE OBVIOUS DRUG DEALINGS REPRESENT ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG. DRUG LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS EXPRESSED FRUSTRATION AT HAVING THEIR CAREFULLY BUILT CASES REJECTED OR ACQUITTED IN COURT BECAUSE OF UNFORESEEABLE TECHNICALITIES ARISING FROM THE UNCERTAIN OF UNSTRUCTURED MANNER IN WHICH POLICE OPERATIONS ARE CONDUCTED IN THIS FIELD. THEY ALSO CITED UNNECESSARILY HIGH COSTS OF DRUG LAW ENFORCEMENT. STATISTICAL TABLES, ORGANIZATIONAL CHARTS, DESCRIPTIVE CONFIGURATION OF VARIOUS ASPECTS OF DRUG LAW ENFORCEMENT, AS WELL AS ITALIAN, FRENCH, ENGLISH, SPANISH, AND GERMAN SUMMARIES OF THE STUDY AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE APPENDED. --IN ITALIAN.
Index Term(s): Crime Statistics; Drug abuse; Drug law enforcement; Drug law enforcement units; Drug law offenses; Entrapment; Informants; Judicial rulemaking; Police attitudes; Police decisionmaking; Police discretion; Police intelligence operations; Police organizational structure; United States of America
Note: SUMMARIES IN ITALIAN, FRENCH, ENGLISH, SPANISH, AND GERMAN
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64492

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