2 Huh?The abandonment of the norm-derivative approach to the definition of the role of the police in modern society immediately directs attention to a level of social reality that is unrelated the ideal formulations.
3 Characteristics of the Police 1. Police Work is a tainted occupation“No amount of public relations work can entirely abolish the sense that there is something of the dragon in the dragon-slayerThey inflict harm in the natural course of their dutiesSociety looks down on the police-- History impacts reality Romantic literature of the Victor Hugo variety Police are ambivalently feared & admired…
4 2. Police work is not merely a tainted occupation 2. Police work is not merely a tainted occupation ... It’s worse than that even!The police are always opposed to some articulable human interestPolicemen hazard violating their duty by letting generosity or respect for appearances govern their decisionsThe need to disregard complexity is structurally built into the occupationPolice work is doomed to be often unjust & offensive to someoneIT’S CRUDE
5 3.Police work, by virtue of distribution, is socially divisive Some people receive extensive police scrutiny because of social class, race, or geographical locationPolice are not merely like everyone else, but more so…there are statistical probabilities that impact thinking“Upper class” people expect deferential treatment from the police
6 Normative v. Characteristics Based on ideals about what the police do and areFormal, legal inferenceDoes not admit that the police may not be oriented to the normative objectivesBased on reality of what the police do and areInformal, common-sense, practicalityLeaves open the possibility that the police may not be oriented to the normative objectives
7 Cultural Background of Police The police were the last basic block in the structure of modern executive government to be developed1700’s violent crime exists, but people resist the idea of the police1820’s violent crime explodes, advocates for the police gain supportUrban riots quelled by military results in many deathsCultural changes
8 Cultural Changes in Society Aspire to abolish violence & install peace as a stable & permanent condition in everyday lifeMaterial progress & enterprise were valued more than masculine prowess and combative chivalry
9 The Quest for PeaceDiplomatic consultations failed, but we continued to rely on them…i.e. UNCompliance w/ govt. based less on the threat of force & more on voluntary complianceChanges in the criminal justice system…i.e. punishment v. rehabilitation
10 Changes in Private Life We don’t generally carry swords, daggers, guns to conduct businessIt’s no longer acceptable to use physical force to defend one’s honor or to gain respectInterpersonal violence is viewed negatively, even criminallyWe suppress, conceal, or deny matters that deal with violence
11 Bittner’s main point is that the trend toward the achievement of peace is basically new in Western history, even as we admit that it is continuously in danger of being overwhelmed by counter-tendencies.The tendency toward peace is based not on in spirituality, but on practicality… the realization that violence is a foolish way to resolve problems
12 The Means of Achieving Peace We want to achieve peace through peaceful means, as opposed to by forceInternational diplomacy to avoid warAdministration of Justice w/o violenceWe’d like to eliminate all forms ofviolence,even when required to meetattacks
13 Legitimate Uses of Force Self-defenseDeputies v. Special populationPrison guards v. inmatesMental hospital attendant v. patientPolice use of force
14 A mechanism for the distribution of situationally justified force Fits w/ the actual expectations & demands made of the policeIt gives a better account of the allocation of manpower & resourcesIt lends thematic unity to all kinds of police activities
15 The police are a mechanism for the distribution of non-negotiable coercive force employed in accordance with the dictates of an intuitive grasp of situational exigencies
16 The Moral ProblemHow can we arrive at a favorable or even accepting judgment about the police when their very function (i.e the distribution of force) is opposed to the ethos of the people who design it?
17 How can society solve this? Military virtuesThe targets of force are enemiesAbsolute obedience to the missionThere is a greater good (i.e world peace)Public TrustThe targets of force are practical objectivesPrudence, considered judgment are required in each casePersonal responsibility