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NCJ Number: 65905 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: POLICE WORK WITH TRAFFIC LAW VIOLATORS (FROM POLICE BEHAVIOR - A SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE, 1980, BY RICHARD J LUNDMAN - SEE NCJ-65902)
Author(s): R J LUNDMAN
Corporate Author: Oxford University Press, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Oxford University Press, Inc
New York, NY 10016
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Washington, DC 20203
Grant Number: R09 NH17917-02
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS STUDY OF POLICE WORK WITH TRAFFIC LAW VIOLATORS SUGGESTS THAT THE POLICE EXERCISE OF DISCRETION IS A FUNCTION OF RELATIONS BETWEEN ORGANIZATIONAL NORMS AND EMPLOYEE CONCERNS WITH AUTONOMY.
Abstract: TRAFFIC STOPS AND CITATIONS FOR OFFENSES ARE AN INTEGRAL ELEMENT OF THE WORK EXPECTATIONS SURROUNDING UNIFORMED, MOTORIZED POLICE OFFICERS. POLICE ADMINISTRATORS, TO ASSURE EFFICIENCY, OFTEN ESTABLISH CITATION QUOTAS FOR PATROL OFFICERS DIRECTING THEM TO ISSUE A CERTAIN NUMBER OF TRAFFIC TICKETS DURING A SPECIFIED TIME. MOREOVER, ORGANIZATIONAL NORMS EMPHASIZING DIFFERENTIAL TREATMENT OF CERTAIN TYPES OF CITIZENS ALSO APPEAR TO PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN POLICE WORK WITH TRAFFIC LAW VIOLATORS. TO TEST THESE THESES, A 15-MONTH PARTICIPANT-AS-OBSERVER STUDY OF POLICE-CITIZEN ENCOUNTERS WAS CONDUCTED IN A MIDWESTERN CITY OF MORE THAN 500,000. OFFICERS WERE OBSERVED IN RANDOMLY SELECTED PATROL CARS FOR FULL SHIFTS AND CITIZEN/POLICE INTERACTION CONTENT ANALYZED AND CODED. ENCOUNTERS SELECTED FOR ANALYSIS MET FOUR CRITERIA; THE OFFENSE WAS A MOVING VIOLATION; MOTORISTS POSSESSED A VALID DRIVER'S LICENSE; DID NOT HAVE OUTSTANDING WARRANTS AND WERE SOBER. A TOTAL OF 293 OF THE 1,978 ENCOUNTERS OBSERVED MET THE CRITERIA. FINDINGS SHOWED THAT PATROL OFFICERS RESISTED QUOTA DEMANDS DURING THE FIRST HALF OF EACH MONTH, MADE FEWER TRAFFIC STOPS, AND ISSUED FEWER CITATIONS. THEY ALSO ACTED APART FROM ORGANIZATIONAL NORMS BY NOT TREATING MINORITIES OR POWERLESS AND DISREPECTFUL CITIZENS DIFFERENTIALLY. DURING THE LATTER HALF OF THE MONTH, HOWEVER, PATROL OFFICERS MADE MORE TRAFFIC STOPS, ISSUED MORE CITATIONS, AND FOLLOWED ORGANIZATIONAL NORMS BY ARRESTING MORE BLACKS, ADOLESCENTS, AND LOWER-CLASS OR DISRESPECTFUL CITIZENS. RESULTS SUPPORTED THE THESIS THAT POLICE EXERCISE OF DISCRETION APPEARS TO BE A FUNCTION OF RELATIONS BETWEEN ORGANIZATIONAL NORMS AND EMPLOYEE CONCERNS WITH AUTONOMY. REFERENCES ARE GIVEN, AND TABULAR DATA INCLUDED. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Motor patrol; Patrol; Police decisionmaking; Police discretion; Police organizational structure; Police personnel; Sociology; Traffic control and direction
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS PAPER WAS PRESENTED AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, NEW YORK, AUGUST, 1976
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65905

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