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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75052 Find in a Library
Title: Problems of Being a Police Officer (From Police Human Relations, P 119-135, 1981, George Henderson, ed. - See NCJ-75046)
Author(s): R H Blum
Date Published: 1966
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses job conflicts faced by police officers arising from loyalty to their colleagues, temptation to accept bribes, a desire for safety, constant exposure to evil and misery, lack of public acceptance, and other issues.
Abstract: The loyalty officers have for their colleagues often causes conflicts with administrative directives or the law. Although such conflicts are not easily solved, they arise less often when the whole department commits itself to honest professional behavior. Also, officers, especially in cities, often face conflicts after they are offered bribes by criminals; low police salaries and corrupt behavior by other officers make bribes all the more tempting. Officers may suffer conflicts between doing their duty and remaining safe, and some officers use their position as an excuse for brutality, resolving with violence any and all confrontations with citizens. Police training should reduce the conflict. The police also constantly face human evil and misery in the line of duty but are not permitted to act out of emotion. A great burden of police work is witnessing horrors without being able to alleviate them; thus, police risk becoming isolated from their own feelings to protect themselves. In addition, police officers must often make split-second decisions about grave matters, which usually amounts to a choice among evils. Because police are forced to make uncomfortable decisions, they often become intolerant of other professionals, such as social workers, who can avoid such decisionmaking. Moreover, conflicting feelings about authority can lead to lack of police job satisfaction and confusion about how to act, while a lack of public acceptance caused by conflicting opinions about the police role create additional problems. Other sources of conflicts include interference from the press and organizational changes within the police department. All of these problems may be improved by effective training, use of high performance standards, and adequate role of definition. No references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Media coverage; Police attitudes; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Role conflict; Role perception; Work attitudes
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Reprinted from 'Police,' November-December 1960, and January-February 1966.
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