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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91940 Find in a Library
Title: Responsible Police Administration - Issues and Approaches
Author(s): L W Potts
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 193
Sponsoring Agency: University of Alabama Press
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Sale Source: University of Alabama Press
315 University Blvd East
P.O. Box 870830
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Assessing police responsibility within the larger social context, within the police organizational structure, and within the legal framework, this discussion argues that administrative responsibility in police departments is a matter of participatory decisionmaking and interagency cooperation rather than major organizational reform.
Abstract: It critiques suggestions that police responsibility should be sought only in discretionless obedience under the structures existing in a democracy for the legal control of the police and under the laws ensuring police civil liability. Also rejected is exclusive reliance upon accountability to the hierarchical authority structures of the police bureaucracy, or upon the moral obligation of individual officers, promoted by such movements as professionalization and representativeness through equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. Given the combination of the above efforts, however, it is argued that the law enforcement system contains the potential for its own reform. Administrative accountability should rely less on command authority than on leadership and flexibility. The police chief's internal role must be one of delegation and participatory decisionmaking rather than traditional discipline. Participatory administrative rulemaking should be used to develop specifics of policy implementation, and the internal affairs division should be involved in this process. Externally, emphasis must be on institutional relationships. The municipal chief executive, the police commissioner or the director of public safety, and the chief of police must work together to develop the broad outlines of police policy regarding the legal setting, public sentiment, council approval, departmental capabilities, and professional competence. Tables, an index, an appendix listing cases cited, and about 200 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Accountability; Community control of police; Police internal affairs; Police legal limitations; Police management; Police standards
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