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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 66040 Find in a Library
Title: CITY COUNCIL INTERVENTION IN POLICE ADMINISTRATION (FROM DETERMINANTS OF LAW-ENFORCEMENT POLICIES, 1979, BY FRED A MEYER JR AND RALPH BAKER - SEE NCJ-66037)
Author(s): G ABNEY; T P LAUTH
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF INTERVENTION BY CITY COUNCILS IN POLICE ADMINISTRATION WERE INVESTIGATED BY MEANS OF A SURVEY OF POLICE CHIEFS IN CITIES WITH A POPULATION OF OVER 50,000.
Abstract: ONLY SOME OF THE CITIES HAD IMPLEMENTED THE STANDARDS CONTEMPLATED BY THE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFORM MOVEMENT THAT AIMED AT REDUCING POLITICAL INFLUENCES OVER CITY GOVERNEMNT AGENCIES, INCLUDING POLICE DEPARTMENTS. EVEN IN REFORM CITIES, HOWEVER, CITY COUNCILS STILL RETAINED LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT. CONSTITUENT CASEWORK CONTINUED TO LEAD COUNCILPERSONS, IN MANY INSTANCES, TO INTERVENE IN POLICE ADMINISTRATION, ALTHOUGH IN A MORE CONSTRUCTIVE WAY. THE CONSEQUENCES OF SUCH INTERVENTION WERE ANALYZED BY SURVEYING 179 POLICE CHIEFS IN BOTH REFORM AND NONREFORM CITIES. DATA WERE GATHERED FROM THREE PERSPECTIVES, INCLUDING EFFECTS ON ADMINISTRATIVE POLICYMAKING, MANAGERIAL DECISIONS ABOUT REGULATION AND SERVICE DELIVERY, LIAISON WITH THE CITY COUNCIL. CITY COUNCIL INTERVENTION WAS ANALYZED ACCORDING TO THE ROLES PLAYED BY COUNCILPERSONS AS INFORMANTS (REQUESTING INFORMATION ON POLICE PROGRAMS), MEDIATORS (RELAYING CONSTITUENTS' COMPLAINTS ABOUT POLICE SERVICE DELIVERY AND ATTEMPTING MEDIATION), AND PROCURERS AS BEING THE LEAST CONSISTENT WITH THE PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND NEUTRALITY OF POLICE ADMINISTRATION. OTHER ADVERSE EFFECTS OF CITY COUNCIL INTERVENTION CITED BY THE SURVEY RESPONDENTS WERE DISTORTION OF POLICE PRIORITIES BY POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND DETERIORATION OF POLICE MORALE. ON THE OTHER HAND, SOME RESPONDENTS CITED POSITIVE EFFECTS RESULTING FROM THEIR EXCHANGES WITH COUNCILPERSONS IN THE FORM OF BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF POLICE POLICIES AND INCREASED SUPPORT. POLICE CHIEFS ALSO VIEWED THE MEDIATOR ROLE OF MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL AS THAT OF OMBUDSMEN IN RELAYING CONSTITUENTS' GRIEVANCES AGAINST POLICE AND THUS IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF POLICE SERVICE. FURTHERMORE, CITY COUNCIL INTERVENTION IN POLICE ADMINISTRATION WAS PERCEIVED BY SOME POLICE CHIEFS AS DEMOCRACY IN ACTION. THIS INTERVENTION REQUIRED ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE ELECTORATE FROM A PUBLIC AGENCY THROUGH THE MEDIATION OF ELECTED OFFICIALS. THE CONTACTS WITH POLICE CHIEFS SOUGHT BY COUNCILPERSONS ALSO HELPED REDUCE THE COMMUNICATION GAP CREATED BY THE REFORM MOVEMENT. (LGR)
Index Term(s): Complaints against police; Local government; Ombudsmen; Police chiefs; Police management; Political influences; Public administration
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66040

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