Foundations of the Development and Function of Police

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Foundations of the Development and Functions of the Police

Strayer University

Prof. Edwin Souza

CRJ 310 – Law Enforcement Operations and Management

October 29, 2014

There are differences in the major characteristics of the political and reform eras of policing. Police trainees will acquire particular skills and knowledge when they go to the academy for training that are important and beneficial but especially when it comes to relating it when working within the real workforce. In my opinion, community policing means that there is a partnership between the police and the community in order to reduce the individuals fear of experiencing crime within society and they should work together to protect everyone. Community policing and traditional policing has many differences. Detectives and undercover officers must and need to possess five important qualities in order to best serve people in our communities today.

The political era of policing and the reform era of policing have many distinct differences between them. The first difference is the time frame of when they existed and the reason for their existence. The political era of policing was between the years of the 1840’s to the 1930’s and was created because of the Mary Cecilia Rogers case in New York in order to encourage police reorganization within the city (Peak, 2014). The reform era of policing was between the years of the 1930’s to the 1980’s and was created so that there would “no political involvement within the police and the civil service systems were created to eliminate patronage and ward influences in hiring and firing police officers” (Peak, 2014, p. 21). The second difference is that the authorization of the political era was about politics and law, whereas the reform era was about law and professionalism. The third difference is the function of the political era is about broad social services, whereas the function of the reform era was about crime control. The fourth difference is the organizational design of the political era was decentralized, whereas the reform era was about being centralized and classical. The fifth difference is the relationship to the community in the political era was intimate, whereas the reform era was considered to be professional and remote. The sixth difference is tactics and technology of the political era was done through foot patrol by their officers, whereas the reform era had preventive patrol and rapid response time to calls that were received from citizens. The last difference is the outcome of what each era wanted to achieve. The political era wanted to achieve citizen and political satisfaction, whereas the reform era wanted to achieve crime control. Even though there are clearly differences between the political and reform era, a police trainee will gain certain skills and knowledge during their academy training.

A police trainee that goes through the process of training at an academy will acquire certain skills and knowledge that will be used when working within the real world. It is important for the police trainee to have basic operations training. This includes report writing, learning about patrol and investigations, learning basic CPR and first aid, learning about emergency vehicle operations, and computer and information systems. Another skill the police trainee will learn about is about weapons and self-defense skills. In this area, the police trainee will learn some self-defense tactics, firearms skills on how to hold and shoot a gun, and how to use nonlethal weapons. Aarons (2011) states, “An officer self-defense system that is founded on reflex and natural body response to threat, when used in the proper context, is arguably one of the most important tools that today’s LEO must possess in order to increase their chance of surviving a violent attack. With a minimal amount of training, an agency can provide their LEOs (all of whom have varied levels of physical size, strength and ability) with the basic survival techniques/tools to put into their personal self-defense tool bag.” In my opinion, I believe that this is the most important skill to have to be an efficient police officer. Another skill the police trainee will learn about is about the legal aspects which consist of criminal law, constitutional law, and the history of law enforcement. It is important for a police trainee to know about the differences between the legal aspects of the law and how law enforcement started. Another skill the police trainee will learn about is about self-improvement. This involves ethics and integrity, health and fitness, stress prevention/management, and basic foreign language. Another skill the police trainee will learn about is community policing. This involves cultural diversity/human relations, basic strategies, and mediation/conflict management. Another skill the police trainee will learn about special topics such as domestic violence, juveniles, domestic preparedness, and hate crimes/bias crimes. These are a variety of skills and knowledge that a police trainee will learn and apply within the workforce once he or she has graduated from their program. The police trainee will be able to use these skills and knowledge and be able to apply it when it comes to community policing.

In my opinion, community policing means that there is a partnership between the police and the community in order to reduce the individuals fear of experiencing crime within society and they should work together to protect everyone. Community policing and traditional policing have some differences between them. One difference between community policing and traditional policing is that community is more proactive in nature whereas traditional is reactive in nature. This means that in community policing the officers are given a specific area to monitor and they must form connections with other community groups and work together with them in order to solve the community problems. A second difference between community policing and traditional policing is that traditional policing refers to when “the police must rely entirely on the coercive power of the criminal law to gain control over individuals” (Cheyard, 2014). Traditional policing is more about using aggressive street tactics that are used whereas community policing is about making sure that individuals have no fear that a crime is being committed. A third difference is that traditional policing is focused on serious crimes as opposed to attaining social order within the community which is community policing. Cheyard (2014) states, when referring to traditional policing it is about “applying the law and deterring crime are the central focuses of all police activities under the traditional model.” Community policing calls for a more strategic and thoughtful incorporation of these aspects of police business into an overall broader police mission focused on the proactive prevention of crime and disorder, whereas traditional policing focuses on crime control and crime repression. Since there are differences between community policing and traditional policing, it is important to implement specific elements when dealing with the evaluation phases of community policing and problem solving.

phases of community policing and problem solving. It is important to have a detailed long range

  • There are many different important elements of using implementation and evaluation

plan with tasks and timelines and assigning officers to execute the plan when using implementation in order make sure that the phases of community policing and problem solving techniques obtain the positive results that one is looking to achieve. It can be a complicated and multifaceted process when it comes to using implementation towards creating a community policing strategy since it involves a lot of planning and managing for change to occur (Bureau of Justice Assistance, 1994). An implementation plan can and will vary on a company since it is based on their needs because of any internal and external conditions the company could be facing. According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance (1994), “One factor that will affect the approach to implementation is the extent of change that is required. In some agencies, current operations procedures and management practices may already conform closely to community policing, while in others extensive changes may be necessary.” Priorities and goals within the agency should be identified in order to solve the problem that is occurring there. The second factor and element is communication. Communication must be timely, comprehensive, and direct from whoever is communicating the information (Bureau of Justice Assistance, 1994). Each individual should understand the importance of their role and how they are contributing to the problem solving process that is occurring. A successful implementation should consist of having a smooth flow of information between everyone that is involved in the process. A third factor and element is that “the implementation of a community policing strategy must be a dynamic and flexible process. Ongoing input, evaluation, and feedback from both inside and outside the police organization are essential to making community policing work. All phases of community policing implementation must be carefully planned and properly timed to maximize success; even good ideas can fail if they are poorly executed” (Bureau of Justice Assistance, 1994). It is important for the company or agency to be responsive to the changes that will take place there when ways of implementation are being contributed to community policing and it is solving problems. Every agency or company can use important elements of implementation when it comes to community policing and problem solving but the detectives and undercover officers who work there must have five important qualities to make it work.

Detectives and undercover officers should possess five qualities. The first quality a detective and undercover officer should possess is having good communication skills. According to Lawrence (2014), “good communication skills involve two skills talking and listening.” Communicating is essential and very important when being a detective and undercover officer because it shows that the individual can explain details about an incident that has occurred and can write down what happened as well. This is important since the detective and undercover officer will be writing a lot of reports he or she will need to be able to present all reports in a clean, legible manner with good grammar. Lawrence (2014) adds, “A police officer should be able to speak to others politely, briefly and firmly. Speech, not force, is often the best means of resolving a volatile situation as expeditiously as possible.” The second quality is having the ability to make quick decisions when crimes are being committed or when things happen to individuals. Detectives and undercover officers have to make hard decisions all of the time that can affect someone’s future. They must take the time to think and decide whether or not to chase down criminals on a busy street thinking that maybe someone else might get hit by the speeding car. When investigating a case, a detective and undercover officer must know who to question to get the right answers to their questions. But most of all, to know when to call for backup or emergency services if there are too many criminals during a bank robbery to take on alone or one has been shot. The third quality is having the ability to work under pressure. He or she needs to have the ability to work on his or her feet. An excellent detective and undercover officer must be quick thinking and be able to come up with a good solution within a short time frame. This quality is especially important during emergency situations. The fourth quality is having good physical fitness. It is important for the detective or undercover officer to be in good shape in order to do their duties. According to Guidoccio (1999), “The physical demands of police work can take a toll on an officer’s health. Shift work is necessary and overtime is common, especially during investigations. The job can involve long periods and walking and standing and restraining of violent offenders.” Each individual must meet physical and rigorous physical qualifications. Guidoccio adds, “Before entering the police academy, candidates must pass vision, hearing, and strength and agility tests. Those applicants who have participated in high school and/or college sports usually possess the necessary competitiveness and stamina for police work.” The fifth and most important quality is for a detective and undercover officer to have is to possess and demonstrate integrity. This can be a harder trait to have since many detective and undercover officer do not have a good sense of morals or ethics. According to Lawrence (2014), “a police officer faces constant temptation both inside and outside the department. Officers may also handle large amounts of cash at a drug bust before the actual amount has been counted in the evidence room. At the same time, many departments unofficially observe a “code of silence” in which officers protect corrupt co-workers even if they do not indulge in misconduct themselves.” The only way for a detective or an undercover officer to can do their job the right way is having a sense of integrity. No amount of supervision can substitute for honor and honesty when it comes to a detective or an undercover officer doing the right thing (Lawrence, 2014). In my opinion, having a sense of integrity is what makes the officer more trustworthy, believable, and completely understood.

There are differences in the major characteristics of the political and reform eras of policing. Police trainees will acquire particular skills and knowledge when they go to the academy for training that are important and beneficial but especially when it comes to relating it when working within the real workforce. In my opinion, community policing means that there is a partnership between the police and the community in order to reduce the individuals fear of experiencing crime within society and they should work together to protect everyone. Community policing and traditional policing has many differences. Detectives and undercover officers must and need to possess five important qualities in order to best serve people in our communities today.

References

Aarons, D. (2011, April 8). Defensive Tactics. Why personal weapon self-defense tactics should

be aPriority. Law officer, Police and Law Enforcement. PennWell Corporation. Tulsa, Ok.

Retrieved from http://www.lawofficer.com/article/training/defensive-tactics

Community Policing Consortium. (1994, August). Understanding Community Policing A

Framework for Action. Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved

from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/commp.pdf

Cheyard, G. (2012, August 3). The Disparity between Traditional and Community Policing.

Heritage Newspaper. Retrieved from http://news.heritageliberia.net/index.php/columns-

opinions-letters/where-we-live/364-the-disparity-between-traditional-and-community-

policing

Guidoccio, J. (1999). Qualities of a Good Police Officer. Demand Media, Inc. Retrieved

from http://www.ehow.com/list_7590279_qualities-good-police-officer.html
Lawrence, N. (2014). Good characteristics for a police officer. Demand Media, Inc. Retrieved

from http://www.ehow.com/list_7564487_good-characteristics-police-officer.html

Peak, K. J. (2014). Policing America: Challenges and best practices (8th ed.). NJ: Pearson

Publishing.




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