2 Public Attitudes Toward the Police What do people think of the police?It depends on:whom you askpeople’s prior experience
3 Qualities of a Successful Police Officer Police officers require a rare combination of qualities and abilities:Motivation for a police careerNormal self-assertivenessEmotional stability under stressSensitivity toward minority groups and social deviatescontinued…
4 Qualities of a Successful Police Officer Collaborative leadership skillsA mature relationship with social authorityFlexibilityIntegrity and honestyAn active and outgoing nature
5 Qualities of a Successful Police Officer Particularly important qualities are known as the three I’s of police selection.Nearly as important are common sense and compassion.
6 three I’s of police selection Three qualities of the American police officer that seem to be of paramount importance are intelligence, integrity, and interaction skills.
7 The Police Selection Process In many communities, selection of police officers is through a merit system.Officers employed under such a system are hired and tenured (theoretically) if they meet and maintain the employment qualifications and performance standards.They cannot be fired without cause.
8 merit systemA system of employment whereby an independent civil service commission, in cooperation with the city personnel section and the police department, sets employment qualifications, performance standards, and discipline procedures.
9 The Police Selection Process The police officer selection process often includes:Short applicationDetailed application, including complete work history, references, and medical profileMedical examinationcontinued…
10 The Police Selection Process Physical agility testWritten examinationBackground investigationPsychological testingOral interview
11 The Police Selection Process The final steps of selection are:Academy trainingProbation, usually between six months and one year, which includes formal field training
12 Issues in PolicingMany areas of policing remain topics of debate, particularly:DiscretionUse of forcePolice corruption
13 DiscretionNo list of policies and procedures could possibly guide police officers through all the situations in which they find themselves. Police routinely must use their own discretion.The issue of police discretion is very controversial, particularly because some officers abuse their discretion.
14 discretionThe exercise of individual judgment, instead of formal rules, in making decisions.
15 Patrol Officer Discretion Patrol officers routinely use their discretion in deciding:Where to patrol when not answering radio callsWhom to stop and questionWhich traffic violators to stopTo ignore a minor violation in pursuit of something more serious
16 Patrol Officer Discretion Patrol officers cannot provide full enforcement.Instead, police officers usually practice selective enforcement.
17 Factors Affecting Discretion A number of significant factors affect discretion:The nature of the crimeDepartmental policiesThe relationship between the victim and the offenderThe amount of evidence availablecontinued…
18 Factors Affecting Discretion The preference of the victimThe demeanor of the suspectThe legitimacy of the victimSocioeconomic status of the complainant
19 Discretion and Racial Profiling Racial profiling is of growing concern to law enforcement officials and to the public.Often stops are “justified” by minor equipment or moving traffic violations that might otherwise be ignored.At the root of the practice is racial stereotyping.
20 Discretion and Racial Profiling Methods aimed at stopping racial profiling include:Racial and cultural diversity trainingStrong discipline for errant officersVideotaping of all traffic stopscontinued…
21 Discretion and Racial Profiling Collecting data on the race of stopped motorists and pedestrians and the disposition of the encounterHaving police officers distribute business cards to all motorists and pedestrians they stop
22 Factors Limiting Discretion Several methods are employed to control the amount of discretion exercised by police officers:Close supervisionPolicies covering behavior in certain situations, such as the use of forceThe threat of civil liability lawsuits
23 Excessive ForcePolice use force in order to control suspects. These encounters have caused police to sometimes use excessive force.
24 excessive forceA measure of coercion beyond that necessary to control participants in a conflict.
25 Excessive Force The persistent use of excessive force by the police: is unethical and criminally illegal.exposes the police to criminal and civil prosecution.builds up resentment by citizens against police.costs law enforcement agencies millions of dollars in legal damages.
26 Deadly ForceIn 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court greatly restricted the conditions under which police can use deadly force.Tennessee v. Garner
27 Deadly Force The officer must believe that: The crime for which the arrest is made involved conduct including the use or threatened use of deadly force.There is substantial risk that the person to be arrested will cause death or serious bodily harm if his apprehension is delayed.
28 Police CorruptionNothing is more distasteful to the public than a police officer or a whole department gone bad.Throughout history, police officers have bought their positions and promotions, sold protection, and ignored violations of the law for money.
29 Police Corruption Why is policing so susceptible to corruption? Police have authority to enforce law.Police also have the discretion to not enforce the law.Police receive relatively low pay, but have important responsibilities.Police become cynical about the courts’ soft treatment of criminals.Society in general is ambivalent about vice.
30 Types of CorruptionThe Knapp Commission in 1972 identified two kinds of corrupt officers:“Grass eaters”“Meat eaters”
31 grass eaters meat eaters Officers who occasionally engage in illegal and unethical activities, such as accepting small favors, gifts, or money for ignoring violations of the law during the course of their duties.meat eatersOfficers who actively seek ways to make money illegally while on duty.
32 Types of CorruptionEllwyn Stoddard identified a more complete list of police misconduct:Bribery: accepting cash or gifts in exchange for nonenforcement of the law.Chiseling: demanding discounts, free admission, and free food.Extortion: the threat of enforcement and arrest if a bribe is not given.continued…
33 Types of CorruptionFavoritism: giving breaks on law enforcement to family and friends.Mooching: accepting free food, drinks, and admission to entertainment.Perjury: lying for other officers apprehended in illegal activity.Prejudice: unequal enforcement of the law with respect to racial and ethnic minorities.Premeditated theft: planned burglaries and theft.continued…
34 Types of CorruptionShakedown: taking items form the scene of a theft or a burglary.Shopping: taking small, inexpensive items from a crime scene.
35 Controlling Corruption Some of the ways to control and reduce corruption in policing are:High moral standardsPolice policies and disciplineProactive internal affairs investigations unitUniform enforcement of the lawOutside review and special prosecutorsCourt review and oversight