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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 82521 Find in a Library
Title: Creating Positive Police-Prosecutor Relations
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:10  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1982)  Pages:28-33
Author(s): W Pindur; S P Lipiec
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Attitudes of prosecutors and police toward a Portsmouth, Va. program that uses an on-call attorney to assist in the screening and charging of all felony cases are examined.
Abstract: Traditionally, the decision about whether or not to arrest a person suspected of a crime has been part of the discretionary power of the police. Under the Pager System in Portsmouth, an agreement between the chief of police and the commonwealth attorney orders an arresting officer to notify the on-call attorney when making a felony arrest or when desiring to secure a felony warrant. This procedure operates around the clock. This study measured the perceptions of the Pager System by those involved in it. Specifically, the study examined (1) the perception of the Criminal Investigation Division staff on the strengths and weaknesses of the Pager System, (2) the regularity of prosecutorial advice in selected areas of criminal procedures, (3) recommendations for improvement of the Pager System, (4) police officers' overall assessment of the Pager System, and (5) police perceptions of the quality of work provided by the commonwealth attorney's office. Forty-six of the 47 respondents (40 police and 7 prosecutors) desire that the Pager System should continue. Memobers of the Criminal Investigation Division generally appreciate the legal advice given by the on-call attorney and view it as increasing the likelihood of a conviction following the arrest. Only six officers indicated any weaknesses in the program, among them being the lack of a backup on-call attorney should the designate not be accessible or in the event of an excessive police workload. Tabular data and three references are provided.
Index Term(s): Arrest and apprehension; Police attitudes; Police prosecutor relations; Virginia
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