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NCJ Number: 66593 Find in a Library
Title: LOOK AT LOCAL CONTROL AND EFFECTS TOWARD CONSOLIDATION OF POLICE SERVICE
Journal: JOURNAL OF POLICE SCIENCE AND ADMINISTRATION  Volume:8  Issue:1  Dated:(MARCH 1980)  Pages:1-4
Author(s): W P HORGAN
Corporate Author: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: SERIOUS PROBLEMS THAT HAMPER EFFICIENT POLICE SERVICES STRUCTURED ON THE BASIS OF LOCAL CONTROL ARE DESCRIBED; EFFORTS TO REMEDY THE SITUATION BY CONSOLIDATING AND COORDINATING INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES ARE NOTED.
Abstract: HISTORICALLY, THE DEVELOPMENT OF POLICE SERVICES IN THE UNITED STATES WAS DETERMINED BY THE STRONG DESIRE OF EARLY AMERICAN COMMUNITIES TO RUN THEIR OWN AFFAIRS. IN ADDITION TO PROBLEMS CREATED BY THE GROWTH OF GREAT CITIES AND GROSS POLITICAL INTERFERENCE IN POLICE AFFAIRS FROM THE SPOILS SYSTEM, LOCALLY CONTROLLED POLICE DEPARTMENTS HAVE BEEN STYMIED BY THE GREATER MOBILITY OF THE CRIMINAL AND HAVE BEEN SLOW IN ADOPTING TECHNOLOGICAL DEVICES TO AID THEM IN THEIR BATTLE AGAINST CRIME. DESPITE EFFORTS STARTING IN THE LATE 19TH CENTURY TO COORDINATE POLICE OPERATIONS ACROSS POLITICAL BOUNDARY LINES, AS WELL AS THE FORMATION OF STATE BOARDS TO CONTROL LOCAL POLICE AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SEVERAL FEDERAL POLICE AGENCIES, LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS HAVE CONTINUED TO ZEALOUSLY GUARD THEIR PREROGATIVES, REGARDLESS OF THEIR SIZE, FINANCIAL RESOURCES, OR PROXIMITY TO OTHER JURISDICTIONS. ARGUMENTS AGAINST CONSOLIDATION AND COORDINATION OF POLICE SERVICES INCLUDE: (1) A DECREASE IN CLOSE CONTACT BETWEEN THE POLICE AND THE COMMUNITY, (2) A LESSENING IN LOCAL POLICE AUTHORITY AND EFFECTIVENESS, (3) A FEELING AMONG LOCAL POLICE CHIEFS THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE DOING THEIR JOB IF IT WERE NECESSARY FOR AN OUTSIDE AGENCY TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION WITHIN THEIR JURISDICTION. PROPONENTS OF CONSOLIDATION AND COORDINATION OF POLICE SERVICES CONTEND THAT MANY ADVANTAGES EXIST, HOWEVER. THESE INCLUDE A REDUCTION IN COSTS THROUGH ELIMINATING DUPLICATION OF SERVICES BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS, ALLOWING PROVISION OF NEW SERVICES WITH THE MONEY SAVED. SERVICES LIKE CENTRALIZED RECORD SYSTEMS, CRIME LABS, AND SPECIALIZED BUREAUS FOR SPECIFIC CRIME PROBLEMS COULD BE THE RESULT. DEVELOPMENT OF EXPERTISE IN THE INVESTIGATION OF CERTAIN CRIMES COULD ALSO BE A BYPRODUCT. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT REGIONALIZATION OF POLICE SERVICES ACROSS POLITICAL BOUNDARIES OF URBANIZED COMMUNITIES IS INEVITABLE BECAUSE THE DECISION WILL ULTIMATELY BE MADE BY THE CITIZENRY IN THEIR DEMANDS FOR BETTER LAW ENFORCEMENT. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (DEG)
Index Term(s): Police consolidation; Police internal organizations
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