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NCJ Number: 66039 Find in a Library
Title: COMPARISON OF ORGANIZATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES ON ARREST POLICIES (FROM DETERMINANTS OF LAW-ENFORCEMENT POLICIES, 1979, BY FRED A MEYER JR AND RALPH BAKER - SEE NCJ-66037)
Author(s): C SWANSON
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: COMMUNITY CHARACTERISTICS (ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES) AND POLICE DEPARTMENT CHARACTERISTICS (ORGANIZATIONAL INFLUENCES) ARE COMPARED AS DETERMINANTS OF POLICE BEHAVIOR, ESPECIALLY IN ARREST DECISIONMAKING POLICIES.
Abstract: CHARACTERISTICS OF COMMUNITIES SERVED BY POLICE DEPARTMENTS DETERMINE, TO A SIGNIFICANT DEGREE, THE BEHAVIOR, OR POLICING STYLE, OF BEAT PATROL OFFICERS, AND INFLUENCE THEIR ARREST DECISIONMAKING PROCESSES. THIS IS TRUE UNLESS THE OFFICERS' DISCRETION IS SEVERELY RESTRICTED BY DEPARTMENTAL POLICIES AT THE MANAGERIAL LEVEL. BEAT PATROL OFFICERS, WHO ARE IN DAILY CONTACT WITH THEIR COMMUNITIES, GENERALLY TEND TO APPEASE PARTICULARISTIC DEMANDS OF LOCAL RESIDENTS. IN COMMUNITIES WITH 'PUBLIC-REGARDING' VALUES AND PREFERENCES, OFFICERS TEND TO MAKE MORE ARRESTS FOR BOTH PART I AND PART II CRIMES (I.E., VIOLENT AND PROPERTY CRIMES, AND VICTIMLESS OFFENSES). BY THE SAME TOKEN, COMMUNITIES WITH A 'PRIVATE-REGARDING' ETHOS (I.E., WHERE CITIZENS REGARD CERTAIN TYPES OF CONDUCT AS STRICTLY PRIVATE MATTERS AND DO NOT REPORT THEM TO THE POLICE) ARREST RATES WILL BE LOWER. OTHER FACTORS, SUCH AS THE OFFICERS' PERCEPTIONS OF COMMUNITY EXPECTATIONS, AFFECT THE WAY IN WHICH THE LAW IS ENFORCED IN ANY COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT. ALSO INFLUENTIAL ARE THE COMMUNITY'S RACIAL COMPOSITION, PREVALENCE OF CERTAIN AGE GROUPS, AND POLITICAL CLIMATE. NONPROFESSIONAL POLICE OFFICERS (BEAT PATROL) ARE REALLY ADMINISTRATIVE GENERALISTS, WHO, WHEN GIVEN SUFFICIENT DISCRETION, ARE GUIDED BY PRAGMATIC CONSIDERATIONS AND ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINANTS. MANAGEMENT-LEVEL OFFICIALS IN POLICE DEPARTMENTS, ON THE OTHER HAND, ARE PROFESSIONALS, OR SPECIALISTS, AND ARE LESS INFLUENCED BY ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS; THEY ARE GUIDED BY THE RULE OF LAW AND GENERATE MORE ARRESTS FOR BOTH PART I AND PART II OFFENSES (ESPECIALLY THE LATTER). SOME POLICE DEPARTMENTS ARE COMMUNITY-RELATIONS ORIENTED AND RESPONSIVE TO CITIZENS' PREFERENCES AND VALUES, AND ALLOW BEAT PATROL OFFICERS IN THEIR JURISDICTION A GREAT DEAL OF DISCRETION. OTHER POLICE DEPARTMENTS ARE DEFINED AS TASK-ORIENTED; I.E., CONCERNED WITH PROCEDURES, METHODS, TECHNIQUES, AND HARDWARE, OR EQUIPMENT. FOOTNOTES AND A LIST OF BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES ARE APPENDED. (LGR)
Index Term(s): Arrest and apprehension; Community relations; Community support; Police decisionmaking; Police discretion; Police management; Police organizational structure
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66039

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