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NCJ Number: 66993 Find in a Library
Title: CONTEMPORARY LAW ENFORCEMENT (FROM INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 1979, BY DAE H CHANG - SEE NCJ-66990)
Author(s): J A FAGIN
Corporate Author: Kendall/ Hunt Publishing Co
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Kendall/ Hunt Publishing Co
Dubuque, IA 52004
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PART OF A TEXTBOOK INTRODUCING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, THIS CHAPTER DISCUSSES CONTEMPORARY POLICE AGENCIES AND THE ROLE THEY PERFORM IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
Abstract: HISTORICALLY ROOTED IN ENGLISH TRADITION, CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POLICING IS PERFORMED BY NUMEROUS FRAGMENTED AND AUTONOMOUS POLICE AGENCIES OF FIVE BASIC TYPES: FEDERAL, STATE, RURAL, URBAN, AND PRIVATE. THE URBAN POLICE AGENCY, OR THE MUNICIPAL POLICE DEPARTMENT, HAS THE GREATEST IMPACT UPON THE AVERAGE CITIZEN BECAUSE OF FREQUENT CITIZEN-POLICE CONTACT. THE STATE POLICE PERFORM PRIMARILY GENERAL PATROL AND TRAFFIC SAFETY OF THE HIGHWAYS, PROVIDE CRIME LABORATORY ASSISTANCE TO LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS, CONDUCT SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS. FEDERAL POLICE AGENCIES HAVE SPECIALIZED RESPONSIBILITIES AND POWERS, AND THUS ARE NOT A NATIONAL POLICE AGENCY. THE RURAL POLICE OR THE SHERIFF IS THE OLDEST LAW ENFORCEMENT POST IN THE U.S. AND STILL REFLECTS MUCH OF THE EARLY MISTRUST OF AUTHORITY AS MOST SHERIFFS ARE ELECTED TO OFFICE. IN ADDITION TO RURAL LAW ENFORCEMENT SERVICES THE SHERIFF USUALLY ADMINISTERS THE COUNTY JAIL AND SERVES THE COUNTY COURT. THE LAW ENFORCEMENT DUTIES OF THE SHERIFF ARE OFTEN REDUNDANT AND SOME COUNTIES HAVE TAKEN STEPS TO ELIMINATE THIS REDUNDANCY. CONTEMPORARY POLICING IS BESET WITH SUCH CRITICAL PROBLEMS AS ROLE CONFLICT, EDUCATION, DISCRETION, POLICE UNIONISM, AND TERRORISM. THE THEME COMMON TO EACH PROBLEM IS THAT EACH ADDRESSES THE DIFFICULTIES OF POLICING A HETEROGENEOUS SOCIETY IN WHICH OFTEN THE PROBLEMS OF THE POLICE ARE NOT ONLY LEGAL PROBLEMS OF THE POLICE ARE NOT ONLY LEGAL PROBLEMS BUT ARE REFLECTIONS OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC PROBLEMS AND OF THE DIFFICULT PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS OF BALANCING PERSONAL FREEDOM, PUBLIC ORDER, AND POLICE AUTHORITY. THE POLICE CANNOT MAKE UP FOR SOCIETY'S FAILURES AND TO VIEW THEM AS A DOMESTIC ARMY WHOSE MAJOR FUNCTION IS REPRESSION WOULD ONLY COMPLICATE THE DIFFICULT PROBLEM OF MAINTAINING LAW AND ORDER. IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, PROBLEMS OF CONTEMPORARY POLICING ARE NOT POLICE PROBLEMS BUT ARE COMMUNITY PROBLEMS. NOTES ARE SUPPLIED, ALONG WITH TEST QUESTIONS. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--MHP)
Index Term(s): Federal law enforcement agencies; Municipal police; Police community relations; Police discretion; Police education; Private police; Sheriffs; State police
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66993

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