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NCJ Number: 66043 Find in a Library
Title: POLITICS OF POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY - A TEST OF THE BUREAUCRATIC-STATE APPROACH TO POLITICAL CHANGE IN MACHINE CITIES (FROM DETERMINANTS OF LAW-ENFORCEMENT POLICIES, 1979, BY FRED A MEYER JR ... - SEE NCJ-66037)
Author(s): R KAHN
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: Ford Foundation
New York, NY 10017
Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Oberlin College
Oberlin, OH 44074
Russell Sage Foundation
New York, NY 10065
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE REPLACEMENT OF THE PARTY MACHINE POWER STRUCTURES WITH BUREAUCRATIC CITY-STATES IS EXPLORED IN TERMS OF ITS IMPACT ON POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY.
Abstract: THIS STUDY OF THE VALIDITY OF THE BUREAUCRATIC-STATE THEORY IS BASED ON RESEARCH CONDUCTED IN NEW YORK CITY, PHILADELPHIA, AND CHICAGO. PHILADELPHIA AND NEW YORK HAVE WEAKER PARTY ORGANIZATION (I.E., POLITICAL MACHINE POWER STRUCTURE) THAN CHICAGO, STILL A STRONG MACHINE CITY. IN CONTRAST TO THE EXPECTATIONS OF BUREAUCRATIC-STATE THEORISTS, CITIES WITH WEAK MACHINE REGIMES DO NOT NECESSARILY HAVE POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY POLICIES AND POLITICS MORE FAVORABLE TO POLICE ORGANIZATIONS THAN DO STRONG-MACHINE CITIES. ALSO CONTRARY TO EXPECTATIONS, CITIES WITH WEAK POLITICAL MACHINES AND WITH CITY OFFICIALS EXPECTED TO BE LESS SENSITIVE TO CITIZENS' AND PRIVATE INTERESTS' VIEWS THAN IN STRONG MACHINE CITIES WHOSE OFFICIALS DEPEND ON THE POPULAR VOTE FOR THEIR JOBS ENACTED POLICIES UNFAVORABLE TO POLICE ORGANIZATIONS. THESE POLICIES INCLUDED CENTRALIZATION OF, AND CIVILIAN PARTICIPATION IN, THE POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY PROCESS. IF CITIES WERE RATED IN DECREASING ORDER OF MACHINE STRENGTH, CHICAGO WOULD COME FIRST, PHILADELPHIA WOULD BE A DISTANT SECOND AND NEW YORK CITY WOULD BE EVEN FURTHER BEHIND. YET CHICAGO PROVED TO BE THE CITY WITH THE LONGEST AND STRONGEST RESISTANCE TO CITIZENS' DEMANDS FOR POLICE CENTRALIZATION AND CITIZENS' PARTICIPATION IN THE POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY PROCESS. THE MAYOR OF CHICAGO DID NOT EXERCISE GREATER LEADERSHIP AND DISPATCH IN RESPONSE TO CITIZENS' DEMANDS THAN DID MAYORS IN THE REFORM CITIES OF NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA. THIS STUDY CITES COMPLEXITIES, AS WELL AS SEEMING CONTRADICTORY ELEMENTS, IN TRYING TO THEORIZE PREDICTABLE RELATIONS BETWEEN POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY POLITICS AND THE STRENGTH OF POLITICAL MACHINES (OR THE LACK THEREOF) IN CITY POWER STRUCTURES. AMONG THE COMPLEXITIES INVOLVED IS THE FACT THAT CONFLICTS OVER PRINCIPLES, RATHER THAN PRAGMATISM AND ELECTORAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL INTERESTS, NARROWLY DEFINED, PREVAILED AS DETERMINANTS OF THE BEHAVIOR OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS. STILL USING THE CHICAGO EXAMPLE, ITS MAYOR HAD A STRONG IDEOLOGICAL AVERSION TO CITIZENS' CONTROL OVER THE POLICE, ESPECIALLY BY GROUPS HE REGARDED AS RADICAL AND DANGEROUS. IDEOLOGICAL INTERESTS, NO MATTER HOW IRRATIONAL AND COUNTERPRODUCTIVE FROM A PERSONAL INTEREST VIEWPOINT, SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE POLITICS OF POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE CITIES. COMPREHENSIVE EXPLANATORY NOTES AND REFERENCES ARE APPENDED. (LGR)
Index Term(s): Accountability; Local government; Police management; Political influences
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66043

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