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Police in America

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  1. Police in America Chapter Thirteen Police officers: On the Job

  2. Encountering citizens Attitude changes significantly in first few months Hostility from citizens Being stereotyped Perform society’s dirty work Encountering the criminal justice system Observe shortcomings of the system Feel that they are not respected by lawyers and judges Encountering the Department Feel that leadership doesn’t care Precinct-level supervisors inadequate Organizational politics Promotions not on ability Favoritism governing decisions Seniority system Eliminates favoritism and discrimination However, least experienced officers get the most difficult assignments Reality shock

  3. Police Subculture • Strong sense of solidarity • Secrecy • Justifies violence against citizens • Refuse to testify against fellow officers • Working personality shaped by authority and danger • Factors that shape police behavior • Law • Bureaucratic control • Adventure/machismo • Concern for safety • Competence

  4. Women Broken up the traditional solidarity of the work group Percentage of women among sworn officers remains at around 13-14% Style of work the same as men Less citizen complaints African Americans More likely to believe that officers use excessive force More likely to support innovation and change More positive attitude to assigned districts More likely to live in area where they work Do not perform differently from white officers Changing rank and file

  5. Hispanic/Latino officers Feel they are discriminated against in hiring and promotion Do not perform differently than white officers. Gay and lesbian officers Challenge to the traditional stereotype of macho officer Education Levels rising Do they perform better when better educated? Cohort effects Generation gap Dominant attitudes change over time Attitudes toward community policing Blacks and older officers give more support Changing rank and file

  6. Promotion Severely limited Irregular intervals Formal testing Salaries and benefits Attractive Good benefits Assignments to special units Discretion of chief and seniority constraints Lateral entry Very limited Performance evaluation Definitions not clear Halo effect Rating of all officers tend to cluster around one numerical level Tendency to rate everyone highly Career development

  7. Stress • Sources • Nature of police work • Organizational factors such as perceived support from leaders, relations with fellow officers, and opportunities for career advancement • Relations with the community • Relations with the media and the political establishment • Personal or family factors that influence a person’s job