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NCJ Number: 66603 Find in a Library
Title: CONCEPT OF POWER AND THE POLICE
Journal: JOURNAL OF POLICE SCIENCE AND ADMINISTRATION  Volume:8  Issue:1  Dated:(MARCH 1980)  Pages:87-93
Author(s): J F ELLIOTT; M H STATES
Corporate Author: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: POLICE TASKS ARE EXAMINED IN TERMS OF THE POWER REQUIRED FOR SPECIFIC POLICE TASKS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ARE MADE FOR REDUCED POLICE COSTS BY SPECIALIZING POLICE DUTIES IN TERMS OF THE DEGREE OF POWER REQUIRED.
Abstract: THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT TYPES OF POWER TO COMPLETION OF POLICE TASKS ARE PHYSICAL, EXPERT, AND LEGITIMATE. THE LEGITIMATE POWER THAT MAKES A POLICE OFFICER UNIQUE IS CONFERRED UPON HIM BY THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ACCEPTANCE OF THE CITIZENS HE IS ASSIGNED TO PROTECT. THIS FORM OF POWER ALLOWS THE POLICE OFFICER TO UNDERTAKE CERTAIN ACTIVITIES WHICH SOCIETY WOULD NOT TOLERATE IF UNDERTAKEN BY NON-POLICE INDIVIDUALS. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITIES THAT THE POSSESSION OF LEGITIMATE POWER PERMITS THE POLICE OFFICER TO UNDERTAKE IS THAT OF ACQUIRING THE INFORMATION NEEDED IN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION ACTIVITIES. HOWEVER, A POLICE OFFICER'S ABILITY TO QUELL DISORDERS ALSO REQUIRES PHYSICAL POWER. THE CRIME INVESTIGATION TASK ALSO REQUIRES A HIGH DEGREE OF EXPERT POWER (SKILLS ACQUIRED THROUGH TRAINING, EDUCATION, AND EXPERIENCE). THE BULK OF POLICE TASKS CAN BE PLACED IN ONE OF FOUR GENERAL CATEGORIES: (1) AUTOMOBILE CONTROL, (2) ORDER CONTROL, (3) CRIME CONTROL, AND (4) GENERAL SERVICE FUNCTIONS. GENERAL SERVICE FUNCTIONS AND AUTOMOBILE CONTROL REQUIRE NO MORE THAN LEGITIMATE POWER; CRIME CONTROL IS ASSOCIATED MAINLY WITH EXPERT POWER; AND ONLY THE EXERCISE OF ORDER CONTROL REQUIRES CONSIDERABLE PHYSICAL POWER. DUE TO THE ESCALATING COSTS OF TRAINING ALL POLICEMEN IN ALL POLICE TASKS, EXPERT POWER IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE TYPE OF POWER TO MAINTAIN ON THE FORCE. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT UNIT COSTS BE REDUCED BY USING A LOWER GRADE (AND HENCE LOWER PAID) WORKER FOR A NUMBER OF POLICE TASKS NOT REQUIRING EXPERT POWER. AS RECOMMENDED BY THE PRESIDENT'S CRIME COMMISSION, IF THE POLICE WERE TO USE GRADES OF WORKERS WHO POSSESS ONLY THE POWER REQUIRED TO ACCOMPLISH EACH TASK, THE PRODUCTIVITY OF THE POLICE COULD BE INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY. FOOTNOTES AND CHARTS ARE PROVIDED. (DEG)
Index Term(s): Controlled Substances; Performance requirements; Police management; Police responsibilities
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66603

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