Police and Policing: Contemporary Issues

Police and Policing: Contemporary Issues

Police and Policing: Contemporary Issues

Police and Policing: Contemporary Issues

Synopsis

Since the publication of the first edition of Police and Policing in 1989, the amount of research being conducted on the police as well as public interest in the issues concerning the role of law enforcement has grown considerably. This second, complementary edition examines new issues and changes in law enforcement since 1989, drawing from the most recent and creative research projects in the field. Some of the country's leading experts discuss their findings on topics such as officer fatigue, collaborative problem-solving, tactical patrol, suicide, the role of religion in law enforcement, affirmative action, and psychological testing. This edited collection will prove to be an invaluable resource for students, scholars, and practitioners alike.

Excerpt

Robert P. McNamara

In the first edition of this text, Samuel Walker described some of the most significant changes that had taken place in policing since the 1960s. In his review of the literature, he framed these changes in three main areas. The first revolved around attempts to change the officers. That is, policing in the future was going to require a different breed of officer and one of the most significant set of reforms evolved around recruiting and training in a vastly different way than in previous eras. Included in this discussion was the additional number of training hours, improved supervision, control of corruption, as well as efforts to make law enforcement more professional by attracting college- educated officers. While the research did not and does not convincingly demonstrate that a college education makes for a "better" police officer, efforts to professionalize policing in this way continue (Sherman 1978;Hoover 1983;Carter,Sapp, and Stephens 1989). In fact, many police departments are now requiring a minimum of two years of college as part of the criteria for entry into the profession (Gaines,Kappeler, and Vaughn 1994).

The second wave of reforms focuses more on the organizational characteristics of policing. While law enforcement has its share of traditions and ritualistic practices, these tended to give way during the 1980s to a more open approach by police departments. That is, many agencies attempted to restructure in an attempt to become more effective at fighting crime while enhancing organizational objectives. Community-oriented policing, for example, emphasizes improved police-community rela-

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