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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77768 Find in a Library
Title: Policy, Evaluation and Structural Constraints on Policing
Author(s): P K Manning
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 38
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: NI-74-99-0029
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Limits upon the police which make the goal of crime control an unrealistic evaluation focus are identified, and suggestions are offered for changes in police organization and orientation that can help make evaluation more practical.
Abstract: The image and measure of effective policing is traditionally crime control, as customarily measured by crime, arrest, and clearance statistics. The social organization of crime, as well as the organizational limitations of the current paramilitary police operation, however, make crime control an unrealistic policing goal. Because the police, politicians, and the public have cooperated in continuing the belief that it is possible for police to manipulate, reduce, and control what is essentially uncontrollable, the evaluation of policing often uncovers great discrepancies between the public claims made by the police and the actual effect of their operations. This increases public displeasure with the police, undermines police morale, and fosters frantic activity designed to increase the impression that crime is being controlled. This one-dimensional focus of policing must be expanded to address the multiplicity of problems confronting police agencies, including the unrealistic crime-fighting focus, morale, discretion, accountability, rational allocation of resources, public trust, and corruption. In analyzing these problems, new performance measures should be forthcoming. This should be accompanied by at least some of such organizational modifications as having traffic and processing functions performed under a separate control structure, although remaining under the same command, and use of auxiliary police units for routine patrols, domestic calls, and other service activities whch are not crime-oriented. Additional changes should include public ownership of police, ambulance, and fire services, dispatched from a single number, with maintenance of a sharp division of labor. The police should delegate community relations to an independent social service agency which coordinates service activities. The police should also develop and maintain tactical forces for intervention in crime, for saturation patrol, and the like. A total of 43 listings are presented in the bibliography.
Index Term(s): Evaluation criteria; Police attitudes; Police discretion; Police effectiveness; Police management; Police organizational structure; Police resource allocation; Police responsibilities; Police social services
Note: Prepared as a working paper for the International Seminar on Policy-Making and Evaluative Research held at Ste. Marguerite, Quebec, April 8-10, 1976.
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