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NCJ Number: 65747 Find in a Library
Title: EVALUATING TV (TELEVISION) IMPRESSIONS OF LAW-ENFORCEMENT ROLES (FROM EVALUATING ALTERNATIVE LAW-ENFORCEMENT POLICIES, 1979, BY RALPH BAKER AND FRED A MEYER, JR SEE NCJ-65735)
Author(s): J H CULVER; K L KNIGHT
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: POLICE TELEVISION SHOWS GIVE THE PUBLIC FALSE EXPECTATIONS AND OPINIONS OF THE POLICE BY PORTRAYING THEM AS SUPERHEROES, PRONE TO SOLVE PROBLEMS WITH VIOLENCE.
Abstract: BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE HAVE LITTLE CONTACT WITH THE POLICE AND TELEVISION IDEALIZES THEM, CITIZENS ARE ALIENATED WHEN THEIR FALSE EXPECTATIONS ARE NOT FULFILLED. ALTHOUGH TELEVISION MAY ALSO PORTRAY THE POLICE AS BUMBLERS, POLICE VETERANS CLAIM THE MORE COMMON, EXTREMELY EFFICIENT TELEVISION TYPE IS INACCURATE AND FAVOR EMPHASIZING THE HUMANITY OF POLICE. IN ADDITION, POLICE SHOWS EMPHASIZE ACTION AND CRIMINAL APPREHENSION AND IGNORE CRIME PREVENTION AND OTHER POLICE WORK. OFTEN POLICE EDUCATION IS DEBUNKED IN FAVOR OF EXPERIENCE. MOREOVER, TELEVISION POLICE ARE LESS SUSCEPTIBLE TO POLITICS THAN ARE REAL POLICE. OTHER INACCURACIES INCLUDE THE PORTRAYAL OF MINORITY POLICE, OVEREMPHASIS ON VIOLENCE AND TECHNICAL SOPHISTICATION TO SOLVE CRIME, INCONSEQUENTIAL HELP GIVEN POLICE BY CITIZENS, TOO-GREAT SUCCESS IN APPREHENDING CRIMINALS, IMPROBABLE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND CONTEMPT SHOWN BY TELEVISION POLICE FOR SUSPECTS' CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. TELEVISION ALSO GIVES A SIMPLISTIC VIEW OF THE RELATIONS BETWEEN JUDGES, LAWYERS, PROSECUTORS, AND POLICE. ALL MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE ARE BLAMED ON OTHERS, WHILE IN REALITY ALL FOUR CONTRIBUTE. CONVERSELY, ALL IMPORTANT CRIME-SOLVING WORK IS WRONGLY ASCRIBED TO THE POLICE. TELEVISION POLICE SHOWS ALSO TEACH VIOLENCE AS A PROBLEM SOLVER AND IGNORE PLEA BARGAINING (THROUGH WHICH 90 PERCENT OF ALL U.S. CRIMINAL CASES ARE RESOLVED). BUT NOT ALL INACCURACIES OF POLICE SHOWS HAVE NEGATIVE RESULTS, AND PUBLIC AWARENESS OF POLICE OBSTACLES MAY LEAD TO INCREASED RESPECT FOR LAW-ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS. NOTES AND TABLES ARE INCLUDED. (PAP)
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Evaluation; Police community relations; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public education; Role perception; Television programming; Violence on television
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