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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 94146 Find in a Library
Title: Response to Rapid Social Change - The Case of Boomtown Law Enforcement
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:12  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1984)  Pages:164-169
Author(s): H C Covey; S Menard
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In areas affected by rapid population growth and social change, law enforcement becomes more bureaucratic, formal, impersonal, reliant on recordkeeping, stringent, and professional.
Abstract: In these same areas, before the growth occurred the law enforcement was more informal, personal, reliant on family and other community resources, and characterized by little emphasis on recordkeeping and professionalization. Study data came from tape-recorded interviews with personnel from five sheriff's offices and nine police departments in boomtown areas. The respondents were preoccupied with social change and its consequences. They noted a large increase in crime as a result of the population growth. They also regarded newcomers as largely responsible for the crime. They found that their calls for service had increased greatly, the scope of their duties had expanded greatly, and that citizens were more likely to report crime. They found that recordkeeping now received more emphasis and that their agencies had become more formal and professionalized. Law enforcement agencies also tended to become stricter in arresting and in recording committed crimes. These trends reflect some of the classic concepts of sociology. Twenty-nine references are listed.
Index Term(s): Boom towns; Law enforcement; Social change
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