Police Operations : Police Operations Theory and Practice Chapter 1 : Chapter 1 Police operations in context Introduction : Introduction Historically
Viewed as law enforcement officers or police officers, concerned with keeping the law from being broken and apprehending those who break it
Police Operations - Referred to the activities conducted in the field by law enforcement officers as they ‘serve and protect’, including patrol, traffic, investigation and general calls for service Intro cont… : Intro cont… Contemporary policing has come to include terms such as change management, community engagement, value centered leadership, information management, cultural awareness, problem oriented policing, conflict resolution and homeland security.
Police organizations have changed little over the past 100 years, but the public served and the laws enacted by that public, the officers providing the services, the police bureaucracy itself and the community’s involvement have changed and have and will continue to change. Changes Affecting Police Operations : Changes Affecting Police Operations A changing Public and Society:
An aging U.S. population
An increasing racially diverse population
A growing number of single parent households
A widening gap between the wealthy and poor
These trends underscore the need for those in the criminal justice field, as those individuals need to be culturally sensitive to the public they serve. A changing Law Enforcement Officer : A changing Law Enforcement Officer Historically, law enforcement attracted young white male adults out of the military.
These individuals frequently had only a high school education or less and were used to following orders without questioning authority.
In today’s environment, this no longer applies. Many individuals entering the law enforcement profession have no military experience, have college educations and come from minority backgrounds. Changing Cont… : Changing Cont… Departments are also progressively raising the educational standards for officer candidates
Traditionally, emphasis was placed on a potential officer’s physical strength, height, weight and abilities such as firearms skills.
This focus began to change during the 1930’s when August Vollmer (considered to be the father of professional policing) began advocating higher education for those entering the law enforcement profession
Further, the Wickersham Commission (1937) and the President’s Commission on Law-Enforcement and the Administration of Justice (1967) both recommended post-secondary education for law enforcement officers Changing Cont… : Changing Cont… Some studies have found that officers with more education perform more effectively and have better capacity to handle the variety of tasks involved in modern policing
Other studies have found that higher educated officers burn out more quickly and experience greater job dissatisfaction
Another study (Polk & Anderson) contend that higher education, regardless of any direct impact on officer’s ability to perform their duties, is seen as beneficial by many agencies who reward their educated officers with greater career advances Changing Cont… : Changing Cont… Another study (Polk & Anderson), contend that higher education, regardless of any direct impact on officer’s ability to perform their duties, is seen as beneficial by many agencies who reward their educated officers with greater career advances Changing Cont… : Changing Cont… Armstrong and Polk also concluded the following:
The college experience allows for greater maturity
The individual is exposed to other cultures and lifestyles
College provides a broad base of knowledge that provides the officer with greater flexibility in the decision making process
College educated officers are more receptive to change and new ideas
The officer develops enhanced verbal and written communication skills A Changing Police Bureaucracy : A Changing Police Bureaucracy A basic principle held by Sir Robert Peel (called the father of modern policing), was that police organizations needed to be organized in a military fashion.
This model, however, is being now questioned by many, partially because of the changes in police recruits and the trend toward community policing.
Many police organizations are moving away from the paramilitary model and adopting a business or corporate model that flattens the organization and reduces the number of management and supervisory positions while increasing the number of officers.
These officers are becoming better trained to act independently while providing more filed services or police operations. Bureaucracy Cont… : Bureaucracy Cont… Many people, particularly Gen X’ and Y’s, no longer depend on the authority of somebody ‘above’ them to dictate their opinions or control their actions.
These individuals are more independent, preferring to make up their own minds and accept responsibility for their own actions.
“The job of management is leadership, not supervision… Police managers should lead by example.’ Alsabrook (2001, p.112). Bureaucracy Cont… : Bureaucracy Cont… Many organizations are undergoing a change from an authoritarian management style to a leadership style that focuses on teamwork. This style, called participatory leadership, allows officers to influence decisions affecting them and seeks to form a cohesive team.
In progressive departments, the role of the rank and file officer is elevated significantly, with their input being critical in decision making. The theory behind this, is that these officers are in close contact with the citizens they serve and therefore, can reflect citizen concerns as decisions are made and can provide leadership.
Every time a police officer puts on a uniform and goes into the field, people look to that officer to provide leadership. Whether it is solving their problems, saving them from a criminal or from themselves or just by doing the right thing, the police officer is the most visible representative of the police field as a whole. A Change in Community Involvement: Community Policing : A Change in Community Involvement: Community Policing When Sir Robert peel established London’s Metropolitan police Department, he stated “The police are the public and the public are the police”.
Community policing can be defined as ‘ an organization wide philosophy and management approach that promotes community, government and police partnerships; proactive problem solving; and community engagement to address the causes of crime, fear of crime and other community issues’. Community Policing Cont… : Community Policing Cont… The essence of community policing is to return to the day when safety and security are participatory in nature and everyone assumes responsibility for the general health of their community – not just a select few, not just the local government administration, not just the safety forces, but absolutely everyone living in the community.
Though patrolling and answering calls for service are highly important functions of officers, the absence of creative joint problem solving, empowering the residents of out neighborhoods and other community based initiatives will not create long term successes in a jurisdiction. Community Policing Cont… : Community Policing Cont… Community policing means that officers get to know the citizens in their assigned areas – those who are law abiding and those who are not.
It means they listen to the citizens and treat them as a business treats its customers.
Community policing also capitalizes on people’s natural tendency to subscribe to the Not-in-my-backyard philosophy – the closer the police can get their message, the more likely they are to enlist community support. Community Policing Cont… : Community Policing Cont… Broken windows metaphor –
Used to describe the deterioration of neighborhoods
Unrepaired broken windows make a statement that no one cares enough about the quality of life in a particular neighborhood to bother fixing things that need repair.
Signs of physical and social disorder are highly visible cues to which neighborhood residents respond, and they potentially influence migration, investment, and overall viability of a neighborhood. Community Policing Cont… : Community Policing Cont… Problem oriented policing (POP)
Uses a situational approach to policing, such as focusing only on one particular issue or problem, whereas COP focuses on fostering working partnerships between the police and the community
“Community policing is a philosophy of full service professional policing where the same officers patrol and work in the same area on a permanent basis, from a decentralized place, working in a productive partnership with citizens to identify and solve problems” Mission and Values : Mission and Values An agencies mission is its reason for existence, its purpose. It is often embodied in a mission statement.
This mission statement should be short, believable, east to understand, easy to remember and widely known.
Mission statement also are accompanied by a set values on which they are based.
These values must be shared by department members and the public served or they will be meaningless.
A mission statement and sense of values should guide day-to-day operations and not just be some ‘lofty sounding words framed and hung on the wall’. Goals, Objectives and Tasks : Goals, Objectives and Tasks Goals are broad, general intentions. Objectives are specific activities to accomplish goals.
Goal – a statement of broad direction, a general purpose of intent. A goal is general and timeless and is not concerned with a particular achievement within a specified time period.
Objective – A desired accomplishment that can be measured within a given time and under specifiable conditions. The attainment of the objective advances the system toward a corresponding goal. Goals Cont… : Goals Cont… Goals vary from organization to organization, but typically focus on:
To preserve the peace
To protect civil rights and civil liberties
To prevent crime
To enforce the law
To provide services
To improve the quality of life in the community
To participate in partnerships to solve problems related to crime and disorder Policies & Procedures : Policies & Procedures Policies
A policy is a statement of principles that guide decisions.
A policy provides guidance, help maintain organizational control and ensure accountability within an organization
Written policy should be in those areas in which directions are needed, including public and press relations, personal conduct, personnel procedures and relations, and specific law enforcement related activities such as use of force, search and seizure, arrests and custody. Policies Cont… : Policies Cont… Procedures
Step-by-step instructions for carrying out departmental policies.
Written procedures promote a uniformity of action that is especially important for ongoing calls for service or where a large number of officers perform the same service.
Rules put out by a lower level of government, such as a county of city, governing the actions of employees of the municipality, to include police agencies. Regulations help officers in decision making by eliminating discretionary action in certain areas. Discretion : Discretion Discretion - The ability to act or decide a matters on one’s own.
Police use discretion because no set of policy and procedures can prescribe what to do in every circumstance
The International Association Chiefs of Police (IACP) state
“A police officer will use responsibly the discretion vested in his position and exercise it within the law. The principle of reasonableness will guide the officers determinations, and the officer will consider all surrounding circumstances in determining whether any legal action will be taken” Discretion Cont… : Discretion Cont… Discretion must be allowed!
The law overreaches, seldom addressing exceptions that might arise
Because human behavior is too varied and complex to be accommodated by inflexible legal rules; some cases the law may be better served by not being enforced
Selective enforcement – the ability to decide when to impose legal sanctions on those who violate the law, whether issuing traffic tickets or arresting someone
Discretion makes enforcement of the law equitable or humanistic, considering the spirit rather than the letter of the law.
Discretion gives officers a sense of control over their jobs which are primarily reactive. Discretion Cont… : Discretion Cont… Problems with officer discretion
Lack of accountability
Inconsistency and allegations of racial profiling
Applied inconsistently Discretion Cont… : Discretion Cont… Limits on discretion
A major challenge facing law enforcement is finding the balance between a department’s clear-cut goals, policies and procedures and its officers’ discretionary powers
Two factors need to be kept in mind
1 – The primary goals of the department
2 – Maintaining a balance a need for clear policies and procedures and the accompanying need for discretion when exceptions arise Discretion Cont… : Discretion Cont… To use discretion wisely, police officers need to develop critical thinking skills. These include
Generating concepts from observations
Applying concepts to police problems
Designing systematic plans of actions
Approaching social problems from several different perspectives Discretion Cont… : Discretion Cont… From critically thinking, officers will be able to:
Learn to use diverse backgrounds and those of others to resolve social problems in a more effective, acceptable manner
Learn specific ways to move from lower order to higher order thinking skills
Be better prepared to enter the world of police work and further their existing or future careers END : END