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NCJ Number: 66565 Find in a Library
Title: SUPERVISION OF PATROL WORK UNDER THE FIXED POINTS SYSTEM (FROM BRITISH POLICE, 1979, BY SIMON HOLDAWAY - SEE NCJ-66561)
Author(s): M R CHATTERTON
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE EXPLAINS HOW THE PATROL SYSTEM WORKS BY EXPLORING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FORMAL RULES AND ACTUAL POLICE WORK PRACTICES.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH THE POLICE HAVE A MILITARY STRUCTURE FRAUGHT WITH RULES, IT IS ACCEPTED PRACTICE TO IGNORE SUCH RULES IN THE NAME OF COMMON SENSE. HOWEVER, POLICE MUST OFTEN EXPLAIN THEIR BEHAVIOR TO SUPERIORS. TO FIND OUT HOW POLICE OPERATE, URBAN PATROLMEN AND THEIR SUPERVISORS WERE OBSERVED OVER A PERIOD OF TIME. A FOOT PATROLMAN IS OBLIGED TO REACH A CERTAIN POINT AT A SPECIFIED TIME; SUPERVISORS CHECK PATROLMEN AT EACH POINT. HOWEVER, PATROLMEN CONSIDER OTHER ACTIVITY, SUCH AS ANSWERING SERVICE CALLS, INVESTIGATING SUSPICIOUS PERSONS, OR EVEN OCCASIONALLY LOAFING, AS MORE IMPORTANT THAN REACHING ALL POINTS ON TIME. THEY BELIEVE THAT POLICEMEN STRICTLY ADHERING TO OR ENFORCING FIXED POINTS ARE NAIVE ABOUT POLICE WORK. ALTHOUGH SOME FAILURE TO REACH POINTS IS EXPECTED BY SUPERVISORS, CONSTABLES STILL HAVE TO ACCOUNT FOR THEIR TARDINESS. HOWEVER, PATROLMEN ARE TRUSTED BY THEIR SUPERVISORS IF THEY HAVE ADHERED TO THE POLICE MANDATE AND SOUND PLAUSIBLE, OR IF THEIR ACCOUNT IS DIFFICULT TO VERIFY. THUS, POLICE GET THEIR JOB DONE NOT BY STRICTLY KEEPING THE RULES BUT BY BREAKING THEM IN AN ACCEPTABLE MANNER. (PAP)
Index Term(s): England; Foot patrol; Patrol procedures; Patrol units; Police attitudes; Police command and control; Police decisionmaking; Police discretion; Police management; Police personnel; Police responsibilities
Note: REVISED VERSION OF A PAPER PRESENTED AT THE THIRD BRISTOL SEMINAR ON THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE POLICE, BRISTOL UNIVERSITY, 1975
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66565

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