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NCJ Number: 66045 Find in a Library
Title: FEDERAL IMPACT ON LOCAL LAW-ENFORCEMENT POLICY REEVALUATING EXPECTATIONS (FROM DETERMINANTS OF LAW-ENFORCEMENT POLICIES, 1979, BY FRED A MEYER JR AND RALPH BAKER - SEE NCJ-66037)
Author(s): L J COHEN
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS STUDY FOCUSES ON THE ROLE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN BRINGING ABOUT INNOVATIONS IN POLICE POLICIES AND EXAMINES THE IMPORTANCE OF POLICE ATTITUDES (CULTURE) IN RESISTING ATTEMPTS TO IMPOSE CHANGES.
Abstract: DESPITE OVERALL DISAPPOINTMENT WITH THE FEDERAL PRESENCE IN LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT POLICYMAKING SINCE THE 1967 OMNIBUS CRIME CONTROL ACT, LEAA IS STILL REGARDED AS A POTENTIALLY EFFECTIVE MECHANISM FOR POLICE POLICY INNOVATIONS THROUGH INCREASED FEDERAL SPENDING. THIS STUDY APPLIES AN ORGANIZATIONAL FOCUS TO THE PROBLEM OF IDENTIFYING OBSTACLES TO A SIGNIFICANT FEDERAL ROLE IN CHANGING THE LAW ENFORCEMENT POLICIES OF LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS. THREE MAIN AREAS OF CONCERN IN A DEPARTMENT'S CONSIDERATION OF AN INNOVATION PROPOSAL ARE BUREAUCRATIC SUPPORT, EXTERNAL DEMANDS, AND PEER ASSESSMENT. A COMBINED EVALUATION OF THESE FACTORS IN A POLICE CONTEXT SUGGESTS THAT ONLY CHANGES THAT LEAVE INTACT THE OPERATIONAL STRUCTURE AND THE LOCALLY DEFINED RESPONSIBILITIES OF AN ORGANIZATION ARE LIKELY TO SUCCEED. THIS CONCLUSION IS ILLUSTRATED WITH AN EXAMPLE OF AN ATTEMPT IN WILMINGTON, DEL., TO REPLACE RANDOM STREET PATROLLING WITH STRUCTURED PATROLLING. THE ATTEMPT MET WITH RESISTANCE BORDERING ON REBELLION BY PATROL OFFICERS, WHO DEMANDED FREEDOM TO TAKE BACK RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR AREAS. THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL DILEMMA (FISCALISM VERSUS FEDERALISM) IN THE AREA OF POLICE CONTROL IS EXAMINED. THE BASIC CAUSES OF BUILTIN RESISTANCE TO INNOVATION BY POLICE PERSONNEL (ITS VULNERABILITY TO LEGAL SANCTIONS, ITS PERCEIVED LOW SOCIAL ESTEEM, AND ITS ABSENCE OF PROFESSIONAL REFERENCE GROUPS LEADING TO INSECURITY), FALLING UNDER THE POLICE CULTURE RUBRIC, ARE SEEN, HOWEVER, AS THE MAIN IMPEDIMENTS TO MEANINGFUL FEDERAL IMPACT ON LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT POLICIES. THE VIABILITY OF THE FEDERAL ROLE DEPENDS ON A CONJOINING OF INTERESTS AMONG THE LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT INVOLVED (FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL) AND ON A GREATER SENSITIVITY, ON THE PART OF FEDERAL POLICYMAKERS, TO THE CONCERNS AND INTERESTS OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES. EXPLANATORY NOTES, COMBINED WITH BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES, ARE APPENDED. (LGR)
Index Term(s): Federal aid; Federal government; Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA); Local government; Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act; Police attitudes; Police reform; Policing innovation; State government
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66045

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