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Introduction to Criminal Justice. Chapter 6. Police Hiring Practices. Practices changed little from 1829-1961 Primarily white males with limited education Recent efforts to diversify the police with minority and women officers More testing and screening of applicants

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police hiring practices
Police Hiring Practices
  • Practices changed little from 1829-1961
  • Primarily white males with limited education
  • Recent efforts to diversify the police with minority and women officers
  • More testing and screening of applicants
  • Increase in pay and opportunities today
more extensive screening today
More extensive screening today
  • Drug tests
  • Review of educational, military and driving record
  • Credit check
  • Interviews with spouse, previous employers
  • Criminal record check
  • Physical agility test
  • Polygraph exam (20% fail)
becoming an officer
Becoming an Officer
  • Minimum Iowa requirements:
    • Be a U.S. citizen
    • Be 18 at time of appointment
    • Hold valid Iowa driver’s license
    • Not be addicted to drugs/alcohol
    • Be of good moral character
    • Successfully pass physical exam
becoming an officer specific additional requirements
Becoming an Officer---Specific Additional Requirements
  • Not opposed to use of force
  • Be a high school graduate or hold a GED certificate
  • Have uncorrected vision of not less than 20/100 in both eyes; corrected to 20/20; not color blind
  • Normal hearing (hearing aids permissible)
  • Pass a physical exam
becoming an officer additional requirements
Becoming an Officer---Additional Requirements
  • Undergo psychological testing
  • Undergo cognitive (basic skills) testing
  • The physical:
    • Gender and age specific
      • Sit and reach
      • 1 minute sit ups
      • 1 minute push ups
      • 1.5 mile run
new educational requirements
New Educational Requirements
  • 65% of officers had some college
  • 25% were college graduates
  • 8% of departments require 2-year degree, while 9% require 4-year degree
  • College coursework gives advantages in promotion
  • Some still believe education is not a necessity for police
training for new police recruits
Training for New Police Recruits
  • Police academy---Required by most states
    • Controlled, militarized environment
    • Taught law, police procedures, weaponry,

interviewing, self-defense, securing crime scenes, and interpersonal skills

  • Field training
    • Field Training Officer (FTO) helps apply academy training in the streets.
small group discussion
Small group discussion
  • What do you believe are the most important requirements for a police officer? Education, experience, integrity, background, attitude, etc.
  • What things in an applicant’s background do you believe should automatically rule them out of being an officer?
increase in minority officers on the jobs
Increase in minority officers on the jobs
  • 1968---only 5% of officers nationwide were minorities
  • Women were even a smaller percentage
  • 2002---27% of recruits were minorities
  • 17% were women
  • Federal laws and court decisions pressured departments to diversify
departments are bureaucracies
Departments are bureaucracies
  • Bureaucracy: Hierarchically structured administrative organization that carries out specific functions
  • Formal rules govern each individual’s actions and relationships with co-employees
  • Goal of bureaucracies is to reach maximum efficiency
  • For police, to provide best service for the community with its limited resources
1950 s reform leads to militaristic organization
1950’s---Reform leads to militaristic organization
  • Chain of command leads from Chief through each level of department
  • Delegation of authority is the principle of command on which departments are based
  • Personnel take orders from and are responsible to those directly above them
  • Encourages discipline and control
police organization
Police Organization
  • Typical structure of police departments is layered:
    • Chief of Police
    • Deputy Chiefs (larger departments)
    • Captains (larger departments)
    • Lieutenants (larger departments)
    • Sergeants
    • Patrol
police strive for efficiency response times
Police strive for efficiency---Response times
  • Response time: Speed with which police respond to calls for service
  • Incident-driven policing: calls for service are the primary instigation of action
  • 40-60% of police activity are result of citizen calls
  • Differential response: Respond first to most serious incidents
  • “Hot crimes” come first; “cold crimes” later
police strive for efficiency arrest rates
Police strive for efficiency---Arrest rates
  • More arrests, fewer criminals on street (theory)
  • But, amount of crime is not necessarily a function of arrest rates
  • Most arrests are for misdemeanors
  • Arrests do not always result in imprisonment
  • Arrest rates cannot be relied on as measures of police performance
police and the community
Police and the community
  • Many police departments have seen the need to incorporate community policing into their structure (table on p.137)
    • A philosophy that emphasizes community support for and cooperation with the police in preventing crime
    • Problem-solving policing – requires police to identify potential criminal activities and develop strategies to prevent them
community policing emphasizes
Community policing emphasizes
  • Promotes community-police partnerships
  • Proactive problem solving
  • Community engagement
  • Develops personal relationships with residents
  • More freedom for officers to improvise
problem solving policing
Problem solving policing
  • Moves beyond simply responding to crimes
  • Attempts to control or even solve root causes of crime
  • Analyze patterns of crime
  • Adjust police actions to prevent further similar crimes
problem solving policing uses
Problem solving policing uses
  • Crime mapping- to identify patterns of crime (Introduced by Compstat program in New York in 1990):
    • Time of day
    • Type of crime
    • Type of weapon

--Location of repeat offenses – Hot spots

broken windows theory wilson and kelly
Broken Windows Theory (Wilson and Kelly)
  • Decaying and disordered neighborhoods send out signals that criminal activity is tolerated
  • Broken windows, dilapidated buildings, graffiti, lawless behavior by residents
  • Promotes fear in law-abiding citizens
  • Discourages them from leaving their homes, or from improving the neighborhood
broken windows theory
Broken Windows Theory
  • Is based on order maintenance
  • “Quality of life” crimes (panhandling, public drinking, urinating in public, loitering, graffiti painting) are not overlooked
  • Foot patrols are utilized
  • Officers “reconnect” with community
  • “Crackdowns” are used to address specific public crimes
  • Do you believe there is merit to the Broken Windows theory?
  • How do you think we should treat homeless panhandlers in the inner city? Clear them out? Let them stay?
police field organization
Police Field Organization
  • Patrol Activities
  • Investigations
  • Special Operations
patrol function
Patrol Function
  • Patrol units – 2/3 of police are on patrol; long considered the “backbone” of force
    • Deterring crime by physical presence
    • Maintain public order
    • Traffic
    • Arrest
    • Provide other non crime related services
    • Paperwork – about 20% of time
    • Larry Naber says, “Police work is 90% boredom and 10% adrenalin rush.”
police patrol
Police Patrol
  • Directed patrol: Strategy to respond to specific criminal activity at a certain time
  • General patrol (or random patrol): Strategy to rely on officers monitoring a specific area to detect crimes in progress, or prevent crimes due to their presence.
  • All jurisdictions use automobile for patrol, some have bicycles, motorcycles, horses, boats, and foot patrols
kansas city patrol experiment 1973
Kansas City Patrol Experiment (1973)
  • Utilized 3 different patrol procedures:
    • Control beats: similar to general patrol
    • Proactive beats: patrol activities doubled or tripled in area
    • Reactive beats: no patrol; only reacted to calls from precinct
results of kansas city patrol experiment
Results of Kansas City Patrol Experiment
  • Shocking to most observers
  • Study results---no real difference in:
    • Crime
    • Opinions of public of effectiveness of police
    • Response times
    • Reports of crime to police
  • In spite of results, most continue patrols to reassure citizens
  • But, police concluded they could divert officers from patrol for other activities
investigations function
Investigations Function
  • Usually after a crime has been committed, a detective does an investigation
  • Detectives make up about 15% of personnel in midsized to larger departments
  • May be in specialized units – motor vehicle thefts, forgery, vice, drugs, crime against persons
  • Detectives’ jobs limited to law enforcement
  • Investigate primarily common crimes like burglary
other specialized units in detective division
Other specialized units in detective division
  • Cold case investigations---Unsolved for long periods (Like Hoffa disappearance; Mark case)
  • Undercover activities---Assume false identities to obtain information
  • Sting---Give opportunity for suspects to engage in crime
  • Confidential informants---Effective, controversial
police subculture
Police subculture
  • Every organization has a subculture – a broad term used to describe the basic assumptions and values that permeate law enforcement agencies and are taught to new members as the proper way to think, perceive, and act
  • These values are formed in an environment of danger, stress, boredom, and violence
  • Unique aspects of police work encourage this
police culture
Police Culture
  • This socialization process:
    • Begins on the first day of work
    • Graduation from academy
    • Learning from the FTO
    • Making first arrest
    • Making first “big” arrest
    • Using force for the first time
    • Using or witnessing deadly force
    • Witnessing major traumatic incidents for first time
police culture32
Police Culture
  • As an officer, who do you turn to? In whom do you confide?
  • Slowly, officers tend to insulate themselves from civilians – “us versus them”
  • Police cynicism – individual officer begin to distrust human motives and expect nothing but the worst from fellow humans
  • Blue curtain descends; values secrecy and general mistrust of outside world
  • Leads to understanding he will not report wrong doing by peers
police culture33
Police Culture
  • One of the top ten most stressful jobs
  • Stress and social isolation a factor in police having one of the highest divorce rates
  • Law enforcement officers are 300% more likely to develop alcoholism than average American
  • Entitlement – an attitude of “look at all that I’ve done, gone through, I deserve….”
police culture34
Police Culture
  • Do these pressures possibility explain why there may be “misuse of force” by police?
  • Use of Force Continuum:
    • Officer presence
    • Verbal
    • Open hands
    • Chemicals
    • Nonlethal
    • Deadly force
use of force
Use of Force
  • Reasonable force – the amount of force a reasonable person would assume was necessary
  • Deadly force – force applied that is likely or intended to cause death
  • Non-deadly force – All other types of force
  • Officers generally justified in using force to protect themselves or others
  • Occurs in only about 1.5% of encounters with public
supreme court restrictions on use of force
Supreme Court restrictions on use of force
  • “When the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer or to others, the use of deadly force is not justified.” (Tennessee v. Garner, 1985)
  • Police may use deadly force if they have probable cause to believe a fleeing suspect poses a threat of serious injury or death to the officer or others.
police culture37
Police Culture
  • Police corruption – misuse of police authority to produce a personal gain
    • Grass eaters – passive corruption: accepting free meals, coffee
    • Meat eaters – more aggressive in quest for personal gain: bribery, payoffs, shakedowns
stages in moral decline of police officers sherman
Stages in Moral Decline of Police Officers (Sherman)
  • 1st stage: Officer accepts minor gratuities
  • 2nd stage: Gratuities evolve into outright bribes
  • 3rd stage: Officers actively seek out bribes and even force parties to pay for services
  • Moral decline follows lack of training, lack of supervision, and potential for large financial gain
police culture39
Police Culture
  • The blue curtain; thin blue line; blue wall of silence, the blue code of silence are all names given to police not telling about the misconduct of a fellow officer.
  • Is it permissible for an officer not to give another officer a speeding ticket?
  • What are some other situations where the “blue curtain” would prevail?
group discussion topic
Group Discussion Topic
  • You are a uniformed police officer. You have just eaten your lunch and tried to pay. You were told that as an officer, you eat for free. What do you do and why?
  • You are a State Trooper and have stopped a speeding vehicle. You learn the “speeder” is a local police officer. Do you give him/her a ticket and why?
  • How about if it was your neighbor-friend?
police accountability
Police accountability
  • Internal affairs units (IAU) or (IAD)
  • Conduct investigations in-house of complaints or reports of violations
  • Officers could be disciplined or even prosecuted
  • Citizens’ oversight boards used in some areas
  • Review allegations of brutality or misconduct and make recommendations
police culture42
Police Culture
  • Ethics – the rules or standards of behavior governing police work; aimed at ensuring the fairness and rightness of actions
    • Three guiding rules
      • Is it legal?
      • Is it balanced?
      • How does it make me feel about myself?
  • Police Code of Conduct (official): Officers will not allow personal feelings, animosities, or friendships to influence official conduct. (Realistic?)
ethical dilemmas
Ethical Dilemmas
  • Officer does not know right course of action
  • They have difficulty doing what is right
  • The wrong choices are very tempting
dna at work
DNA at work
  • Major breakthrough for crime investigation
  • Compares known sample of DNA to one found at crime scene
  • If positive match, lab will determine odds that sample came from someone other than match subject
  • Odds often extremely high
concerns about dna collection
Concerns about DNA collection
  • Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)
  • Gives law enforcement access to DNA profiles of a large number of people
  • Widening group of offenders now required to give samples
  • How far should we go?
    • Convicted of violence?
    • Convicted of felony? (Currently)
    • Arrested?