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© 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Police in America Chapter Five Police Officers I: Entering Police Work.

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Presentation on theme: "© 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Police in America Chapter Five Police Officers I: Entering Police Work."— Presentation transcript:

1 © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Police in America Chapter Five Police Officers I: Entering Police Work

2 2 The Changing American Police Officer  More female, African American, and Hispanic officers compared to 40 years ago  Many college educated or hold masters’ degrees  Openly gay and lesbian officers

3 3 Aspects of the Personnel Process A Career Perspective A Career Perspective –Many departments have personnel problems because:  1. Don’t train recruits properly  2. Don’t supervise officer adequately  3. Poor evaluation systems  4. Failure to discipline  5. Failure to provide career opportunities  6. Don’t promote the best officers

4 4 Beyond Stereotypes of Cops Stereotypes can be either positive or negative Stereotypes can be either positive or negative –Positive: Heroic saints, risking their lives –Negative: Uneducated, untrained, prejudiced, brutal or corrupt  These stereotypes can discourage women from becoming police officers

5 5 The Personnel Process: A Shared Responsibility Shared with other governmental agencies (civil service system) Attracting a pool of applicants:  Minimum qualifications  The recruitment effort  Applicant’s motivations to apply

6 6 Recruitment Minimum Qualifications  Most departments - 21 years of age  Height and Weight  Education  63% high school diploma  37.1% require some college  4.8% require four-year degree  Educational incentive pay Criminal record  No felony—Drug offenses major problem  Misdemeanor? Residency  About 25% of departments require living within the city limits

7 7 Choosing Law Enforcement as a Career Applicants motivations Applicants motivations - Help people- Job security - Help people- Job security - Fight crime- Excitement - Fight crime- Excitement - Prestige - Prestige  Barriers to recruitment -Negative image of officers -Traditionally male occupations

8 8 Selecting Officers from the Recruit Pool Selection tests Selection tests –Oral interviews –Written and medical exams  Background Investigations -Previous employment, possible criminal record, interviews with neighbors -Educational background, financial status, home visit

9 9 Screening Methods Used by Local Police Depts. (2003) Method% Dept Using Personal interview98 Personal interview98 Criminal record check99 Criminal record check99 Background investigation98 Background investigation98 Driving record check96 Driving record check96 Medical exam85 Medical exam85 Psychological screen67 Psychological screen67 Drug test73 Drug test73 Written aptitude test43 Written aptitude test43 Physical agility test50 Physical agility test50 Polygraph exam25 Polygraph exam25

10 10 Predicting Police Officer Performance The difficulty of predicting good police performance:  Screening Methods  Measuring Police Performance  Screening Efforts vs. Actual Job Performance

11 11 Equal Employment Opportunity Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act  Race, color, religion, sex, or national origin  Protected class 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act Bona Fide Occupational Qualification

12 12 “Not Your Father’s Police Department”: Diversity in Policing Employment of Racial and Ethnic Minorities  Reflect the composition of the community it serves Hispanic and Latino officers  Fastest growing population  Spanish-speaking officers recruited Women  More seriously underrepresented than racial or ethnic minorities  Concentrated in lower ranks Gay and Lesbian officers  Increasingly open over the last 20 years African American Officers  Previously underrepresented in the police force  Employment discrimination litigation has helped to increase number of African American officers in the police force

13 13 Achieving Diversity in Police Employment U.S. Supreme Court held that diversity is a “compelling state of interest” U.S. Supreme Court held that diversity is a “compelling state of interest” Three basic goals Three basic goals –Ensure employer is not discriminating –Improve police service –Improve image of police department Employment Discrimination Suits Employment Discrimination Suits Controversy over affirmative action Controversy over affirmative action The question of quotas The question of quotas –Reverse discrimination

14 14 The Police Academy Provides formal training Provides formal training –Preservice training Process for weeding out unqualified recruits Process for weeding out unqualified recruits –Field training Rite of passage that socializes recruits Rite of passage that socializes recruits State training and certification State training and certification

15 15Training Police Academy  Big departments have own academy  Small departments use state-run academies Field training  FTO program  2/3 of departments use this process

16 16 State Training and Certification  Every state has some form of mandated pre-service training for certification  State-required content of training  Decertification Shortcomings of current police training:  Don’t cover important subjects like discretion and ethics  Preservice training not adequate  Classroom training alone is not adequate

17 17 The Probationary Period Can range to six months to two years after being sworn in as an officer Can range to six months to two years after being sworn in as an officer Officer can be dismissed without cause during this period Officer can be dismissed without cause during this period –Rules for this process determined by local civil service regulations Average of 7 percent of all recruits dismissed during this period Average of 7 percent of all recruits dismissed during this period


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