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Part 2: Police Work as a Profession Chapter 4: Becoming a Police Officer. This Chapter will enable you to…. Recognize problems associated with recruitment of minorities & women. Consider problems associated with the police selection process.

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this chapter will enable you to
This Chapter will enable you to…
  • Recognize problems associated withrecruitment of minorities & women.
  • Consider problems associatedwith the police selection process.
  • List the various stages of the officerselection process.
  • Think about the importance and significanceof higher education in police work.
  • Understand the role and development of thepolice officer subculture.
this chapter will enable you to1
This Chapter will enable you to…
  • Think about various police officerworking styles.
  • Explain the importance of womenand minorities as police officers.
  • Learn how officer cynicism developsand ultimately affects police performance.
  • Understand the role and developmentof the police officer subculture.
becoming a police officer
Becoming a Police Officer
  • For decades the role of the police has stimulatedthe interest of a large segment of the population.
    • Concern stems from police abusing authority.
  • Egon Bittner notes:
    • “…staffing of an organization …puts in place individuals who will carry out the organization's missions and plans.This process is generally regulated by law and is further influenced by the presence of labor union activity."
  • While concerned with effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of police services, public attitudes toward the police are generally favorable.
becoming a police officer1
Becoming a Police Officer
  • Administrative concerns often hinge on the following:
    • Does a college degree contribute to the effectivenessof a police officer?
    • How relevant is a previous criminal record for police applicants?
    • How significant is physical dexterity and size as they relate to performing specific tasks in police work?
    • How important is it that the police department's ethnic and gender makeup reflect that of the community it serves?
an ounce of prevention
  • “Hiring well" is critical due to vicarious liability, legal responsibility assumed for the actions of another.
    • Any person who, under color of state law, violates another person's constitutional rights can be sued.
    • Police managers who directed, ordered, or participatedin such acts are also liable.
    • Upper level managers negligent in hiring, training, retaining, directing, or entrusting may also be liable.
  • Police departments are now being held to a higher standard of performance and accountability than ever before in history.
police work as a career
  • Much concern relates to professionalizing police, correlated with how officers treat citizens, and the quality of their performance of duty.
  • As it relates to the professionalizing of police officers, questions have been posed:
    • Does a separate informal group operate within the rank and file of police organizations?
    • If so, to what extent does it aid or hinder the formalized structure of command, and the organizational goals & objectives of the police organization?
police work as a career1
  • In many cases, college students choose to enter criminal justice programs, as police agencies are more apt to hire criminal justice graduates.
  • The police recruiter should have a feel for what attracts recruits to the profession.
    • It is likely that most people who enter police workdecide to do so before they actually seek application.
    • It is important to learn of factors such as the wrong motivation for wanting to become a police officer.
  • Prevalent reasons for wanting to become an officer are variety, responsibility, public service & adventure.
police work as a career2
  • A Meagher & Yentes study, of reasons for aspiring to enter police work included helping people and job security, fighting crime, prestige, and lifetime interest.
  • A critical aspect to the recruitment component is that police departments attempt to educate and inform potential officers about the realities of police work.
    • Failure to do so may result in a higher attrition rate for departments.
  • Once a person decides to enter the realm of police work, the candidate is presented with an array of hiring obstacles, including exams and interviews.
standards of admittance
  • People desiring a police career realize very early, that such positions are difficult to obtain.
    • Candidates must compete in many tests, physical& psychological exams, and background investigations.
  • Once appointed, the recruit realizes that he/she is somewhat exceptional, to have been successful.
    • It is likely this process gives birth to the "police personality" & concomitant police subculture.
  • The reality of working the street differs greatly from the stereotypical portrayals of police officers.
    • To many people, officers are not seen in a positive light.
standards of admittance1
  • Police work requires decisive, split second decisions to be made order to be accepted by fellow officers.
    • Not being accepted by fellow officers is demoralizingand discouraging.
  • To gain acceptance, officers make inordinate attempts to act, think, and be like a police officer,at least in the eyes of their peers.
personnel management division of labor
  • In police departments, the tasks of the organization are divided according to personnel, area, time, and functional purpose.
    • Control functions are separate from detective functions, which are separate from crime prevention functions.
    • Geographic & time distinctions are established, with specific officers working certain times and areas.
  • Division of labor is reflected in an organizational chart, a graphic rendering of reporting relationships.
    • Workers in an organization can see exactly where they stand, what functions they perform, to whom they report.
personnel management chain of command
  • The chain of command, or hierarchy of authority involves superior/subordinate or supervisor/worker relationships throughout the department.
    • Each member of the organization should follow thechain of command.
  • While generally acceptable to violate chain of command in emergency situations, doing so otherwise could jeopardize the officer's good standing with the department.
personnel management span of control
  • The span of control is the number of officers or subordinates a supervisor can effectively supervise.
    • Most experts claim the chain of command should be one supervisor to every six to ten officers at a lower rank.
  • The number of workers a supervisor can effectively supervise is affected by many factors.
    • Distance, time, knowledge, personality, andlevel of difficulty of the work to be performed.
personnel management delegation
  • Delegation of responsibility and authority is another managerial concept in police management.
    • Duties, tasks & responsibilities are assigned to subordinates.
    • Also power or authority to control, command, make decisions, or otherwise act to complete tasks delegated or assigned to them.
personnel management unity of command
  • The term unity of command simply means that each individual in the organization is directly accountable to only one supervisor.
    • Important because no one person can effectively take orders from two supervisors at one time.
personnel management rules regulations discipline
PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT: Rules, Regulations, Discipline
  • All law enforcement organizations maintain a system of rules and regulations designed to control and direct the behaviors of their officers.
    • Operations manuals or rules and procedures show officers what they must do in a number of situations.
  • Police departments have disciplinary standards similar to, but less stringent than those of the military.
    • Violation of department standards can lead to punishments against officers.
police officer recruitment
  • A critical phases of establishing a professional and effective police force is the recruitment and selection process for officer candidates.
    • Methods include initiatives such as career fairs on campuses & advertisements in local publications.
  • An LAPD study found the most effective source of police recruitment is word of mouth.
    • Through the associates, friends, and relatives of police.
    • Such people can act as recruitment ambassadors.
police officer recruitment1
  • Many departments receive applications from minority candidates who are citizens of foreign countries.
    • It is legal and common to hire such individuals, providing they have a work permit issued by the INS.
  • Many police departments now have policies that acknowledge impact of the drug culture and tolerate limited marijuana, several years before application.
    • Recruits who have used harder drugs are more likely to be rejected automatically.
    • A large number of failures on mandatory polygraph exams stem from questions about past drug use.
police officer recruitment2
  • A large number of candidates are disqualified because of basic physical agility requirements.
    • In some cases administrators have lowered admission standards to increase the recruit talent pool.
  • Hiring qualified recruits is much more difficult since 9/11, as the expansion of federal law enforcement has created more options for people in the field.
    • Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have also siphonedoff public-service-minded people to the military.
  • Experts warn that recruiting decisions made today will determine the quality of police work for years.
recruiting women and minorities
  • To gain general confidence & trust, police agencies seek personnel to represent the community.
    • An integrated department fights stereotyping & prejudice.
    • Minority officers provide insight into minority groups,their languages, and their subcultures.
  • Women & minorities, traditionally under-represented in criminal justice, can anticipate active recruitment by all levels of the law enforcement field.
    • Police managers are realizing an integrated force is best suited to deal with many conflicts in our communities.
    • A diverse department diffuses hostility & resentment.
female police officers
  • In 1910, Alice Stebbens Wells became the world's first policewoman, serving with the Los Angeles Police Department.
    • Before her, women were only jailers & police matrons.
    • By 1915 the U.S. Census Department reported women police officers in 25 cities across the country.
    • In 1918, Ellen O'Grady was appointed New York City police commissioner.
  • While not uncommon for female police officers to occupy virtually all ranks within the police hierarchy, they are still dramatically underrepresented.
national discrimination commissions
  • In the 1960s & 1970s, the government recognized the lack of minority representation in policing.
    • The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders observed that discriminatory police employment practices contributed to race riots of the 1960s.
  • The President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice stated that departments must hire & promote minority officers in order to maintain a good standing in the minority community.
national discrimination commissions1
  • The National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals issued standards to reduce job discrimination, stating...
    • Every police agency should ensure that no agency policy discourages qualified women from seeking employment.
    • Every police agency should ensure that it presents no artificial or arbitrary barriers to discourage qualified individuals from being employed as police officers.
    • Every police agency should engage in positive efforts to employ ethnic minority group members.
national discrimination commissions2
  • In spite of commission recommendations, women and minorities were forced to take their cases to court in an attempt to achieve equality.
    • Such cases look to the Fourteenth Amendment as the primary instrument governing employment equality.
  • The pathway to equality has also roots in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title VII of the same law.
    • Also federal court case rulings on discrimination, and government mandated affirmative action programs.
discrimination the civil rights act of 1964
DISCRIMINATION:The Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • In an effort to ensure equality, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by Congress and signed into law by then President Lyndon B. Johnson.
    • Title VII of this law was designed to prohibit all job discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
discrimination 1972 equal employment opportunity act
DISCRIMINATION: 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act
  • The EEOA extended the 1964 Civil Rights Act and made its provisions, including Title VII, applicable to state and local governments.
    • It also permitted employees of state & local governments to file EEOC employment discrimination lawsuits.
  • It stated that all recruitment & hiring procedures are subject to EEOC guidelines and review.
    • In order to determine whether there has been any unlawful act of discrimination.
discrimination affirmative action
DISCRIMINATION:Affirmative Action
  • In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson required all federal contractors and subcontractors to develop affirmative action programs.
    • The concept of affirmative action means employermust take active steps to ensure equal employment opportunity & redress past discriminatory practices.
  • It is not enough for an agency to stop discriminating; it must take steps to correct past discrimination and give jobs to those it has discriminated against.
    • Many police agencies have gone to great lengths to recruit minority officers via extensive campaigns.
discrimination affirmative action1
DISCRIMINATION:Affirmative Action
  • Efforts have failed in many cases, and three reasons can be cited for this:
    • 1. Police departments failed to make searches extensive enough to attract best qualified candidates for the job.
    • 2. Many African Americans don't possess the minimum education qualifications for employment consideration.
    • 3. Many African Americans have a negative impression of police work.
discrimination affirmative action2
DISCRIMINATION:Affirmative Action
  • Efforts of police recruiters to comply can also havea down side, as was seen in Miami in the 1980s.
    • The city instituted a program requiring 80% of newhires to be African Americans, Hispanics, or women.
    • The program was restricted to the city of Miami, rather than a national hiring base, with the result that many minority members who had criminal records were hired.
    • Within 3 years, over 75 officers were fired, arrested,or under indictment for criminal violations.
      • In one case, 14 officers were arrested and charged withthe heist of 400 kilos of cocaine from drug traffickers.
discrimination affirmative action3
DISCRIMINATION:Affirmative Action
  • The issue of hiring minority police officers is a fundamental matter of equal access to highly desirable government positions.
    • More important, it is a matter effective policing.
  • Over the years, outcomes of a number of lawsuits filed on behalf of women and minorities did muchto ease the way for women and minorities.
  • However, as more police jobs and promotions went to women and minorities, fewer white males received these jobs and promotions.
    • Resulting in anger, turmoil & counter-lawsuits by whites.
discrimination and the police subculture
DISCRIMINATION:…and the Police Subculture
  • Studies show police often feel a sense of social isolation from the rest of society, creating a unique police subculture.
    • It is not uncommon for certain outgroups to beregarded as inferior or even dangerous.
    • Since most departments are comprised of white males, non-white persons are are often perceived this way.
  • It has been suggested that non-whites, especially African Americans, are less likely to receive efficient police services, are often arrested, and are sometimes beaten by police.
discrimination and the police subculture1
DISCRIMINATION:…and the Police Subculture
  • Intentional and unintentional barriers contribute to the problem of discrimination.
    • Individual; Organizational; Societal.
  • Individual barriers for non-white candidates include…
    • Lack of interest due to negative past encounters.
    • A notion that one can do better than becoming a police officer, in terms of pay and social status.
  • Unintentional barriers include inadequate educational or physical qualifications.
  • A police department may dissuade or deliberately exclude nonwhites from consideration.
discrimination and the police subculture2
DISCRIMINATION:…and the Police Subculture
  • Barriers can occur during the selection process.
    • Before 1964, it was easy to get rid of undesirable candidates through a process termed sophisticated patronage.
    • Biases in written tests and subjective decisions madeit possible to prevent non-whites from competing successfully in the selection process.
discrimination reverse discrimination and quotas
DISCRIMINATION: Reverse Discrimination and Quotas
  • Language & intent of the Title VII legislation did not include preferred treatment of non-white and women over white police candidates.
  • Federal & state case law and the EEOC have found that statistical imbalances between non-whites in the police organization, and the determined labor pool constitutes prima facie discrimination.
  • To counter imbalances, quotas & preferred treatment of non-whites and women have been adopted.
    • Despite legal & political criticism by labor, these measures have been deemed constitutional.
discrimination homosexuals in police work
DISCRIMINATION:Homosexuals in Police Work
  • Departments who exempt a person from employment based on private lifestyle will be hard-pressed to show it would prevent effective job performance.
    • In 1969 the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) rescinded its policy of opposing the hiring of homosexual police officers.
  • The complaint most often levied by gays is that, like female police officers, they feel a lack of acceptance by other officers on the force.
the officer selection process
  • Selecting the most qualified candidated for the job is one of the most important, time consuming, and expensive aspects of police administration.
    • Typically, there are 100 applicants for every position.
  • Many personal traits considered important in police work are difficult, if not impossible, to measure.
  • Police agencies are duty bound to test & determine to the best of their ability individual traits in people who seek a career in police work.
    • Searching for the appropriate working personality.
the americans with disabilities act
  • One of the most important developments in altering traditional selection methods is the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Title I, addressing employment issues, states that state & local governments are covered entities.
  • Title II of the act requires that state and local governmental entities, regardless of size, provide equal access for persons with disabilities to programs, services, and activities of the entity.
    • Criminal justice agencies may not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities under the ADA.
the police application
  • A civil-service-type application is probably the most commonly used application process for recruits.
  • Some ask for criminal history information and any convictions of a criminal nature.
    • Lying about a criminal history will probably result in disqualification.
    • A positive response may not preclude the applicantfrom consideration.
  • The applicant may be asked to provide a list of references who can attest to the applicant's reliability, honesty, and other personal traits.
initial testing procedures
  • It is common for the police applicant to be required to take a civil service (merit system) exam prior to applying directly to the police organization.
    • Designed to weed out candidates who do not possess basic qualifications, such as reading & writing skills.
    • Also designed to establish a list of eligibles from which the police department can choose its candidates.
  • Many police agencies require recruits to undergo a battery of tests to determine if they are physicallyand mentally fit for the rigors of police work.
    • Personnel officers must conduct such tests without bias.
physical ability
  • The physical agility test is administered to determine if the candidate can physically master the job.
    • This test may consist of a physical agility course, running an eight minute mile, and grip strength & trigger pull test.
  • Employment criteria for police departments dictate that all tests and criteria be job-related.
    • Criteria not job-related can be seen as discrimination.
  • The ability to drive a patrol car is fundamental tothe performance duty, and is a valid criterion.
    • In comparison, minimum height requirements havebeen deemed "not job related."
the oral interview
  • The interview is performed by the police review board, generally 4-6 sworn officers of all ranks.
    • Accompanied by the department personnel officerand possibly a representative of the community.
  • Officers review the application & ask the applicanta standardized set of questions, regarding his/her motivations for wanting to become a police officer.
    • Other questions cover willingness to adjust to the working environment, shift changes & overtime work.
  • The board may ask hypothetical questions to enable them to judge the candidate's exercise of discretion.
the oral interview1
  • Listening skills are essential during the interview,and candidates must pay attention to exactly whatis being asked of them.
    • What the candidate says to the board will determinehow he/she is judged for acceptability.
  • It has been said that an applicant's job during the interview is to convey to the interviewers that he/she is a good candidate for the job.
    • As well as to sell the board on the premise thathe/she is the best choice.
the oral interview2
  • The disadvantage of the oral interview is that it is subjective, and the outcome may be affected by the personal characteristics of those on the board.
    • Recent research has also shown that it is not a validpredictor of the future performance of the candidate.
the polygraph exam
  • While the federal Employee Protection Act (EPA) prohibits using a lie detector in the private sector, government bodies are exempt from this constraint.
    • Over half of police agencies use it to screen applicants.
  • In the polygraph system, physiological reactions of breathing patterns, blood pressure, and perspiration on the surface of the skin are recorded on paper.
  • Police don't use a polygraph to disqualify applicants, but to identify problem areas in statements, that might deserve additional investigation.
    • It is not a reliable device to determine truth or innocence.
the background investigation
  • The main thrust of the background investigation is to review & verify information stated or written by the police applicant with past behavior.
    • Areas examined include an extensive personal historyto determine factors such as honesty and reliability.
    • Other variables are include education, employment history, military service, and criminal record.
  • It is important for investigators charged with this task to verify facts constantly and not make assumptions.
the medical exam
  • Police applicants are typically asked to submit to a general physical exam.
    • In virtually all police departments, the medical examis a mandatory component of the selection process.
  • Health problems may result in considerable expense through disability payments & inconvenience for the department after an applicant accepts employment.
  • Medical shortcomings might make candidates more vulnerable to performance failures that could jeopardize their own lives or those of fellow officers.
psychological testing
  • The psychological testing procedure is designed to determine emotional stability & maturity.
    • Tests may be in oral format, or administered in writing.
  • The most widely used tests are the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and the California Psychological Inventory (CPI).
    • These tests are administered and then reviewed and rated by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist.
  • It is difficult to predict who will or will not be a good police officer.
    • Many candidates are disqualified following this phase.
psychological testing1
  • Problems have also been identified regarding the methodology, in that most tests fail to distinguish between good & poorly performing officers.
    • This test should be used in conjunction with other selection criteria, for, as with a polygraph exam, psychological tests are subject to a broad rangeof interpretation by the psychologist.
  • Some researchers have suggested that guidelines be developed to help ensure equitable application.
    • Critics have suggested that this phase of the selection process be eliminated entirely.
police academy training
  • The police academy is an important first step in the preparation of the recruit for police work.
    • Cited in 1967 by the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice.
  • Police recruits should be trained in understanding the strengths of the criminal justice system and what it can and cannot do.
  • In-service training should be offered at least once a year in addition to financial and career incentives for officers to continue their education.
police academy training1
  • Police training is usually determined by a state training standards organization, commonly referred to as Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).
    • Smaller police agencies will usually send recruits to regional academies, while larger ones often maintain their own in house training programs.
  • The current trend is that before a recruit is allowed to work the street, he/she must first complete training.
    • Many states allow officers to be employed up to oneyear prior to attending the academy.
police academy training2
  • In addition to traditional classroom lectures & fire-arms proficiency, modern-day training is employsthe use of multimedia and role playing scenarios.
  • The traditional police academy has been structured around the stress or paramilitary model, demanding strict discipline on the part of recruits.
    • Research has shown that this style of police academy may not necessarily be the best way to train recruits.
  • It is also important for academy instructors and the curriculum to reflect a realistic image of police work.
field training
  • Once recruiting, selection & training is complete, field training may take several forms.
    • Rotation is a where the recruit spends a period of time in a number of chosen areas within the police department.
    • Coaching is accomplished through the use of a specially trained field training officer (FTO).
  • FTOs bear the responsibility of teaching recruits skills needed for safe, effective solo duty.
    • It is important for them to be given guidelines for recruit evaluations.
in service training
  • In-service training sessions occur periodically during an officer's career and address every conceivable topic in policing, to keep officers current in their field.
    • In many states, in service training is conducted at the police academy by state certified trainers.
    • Outside trainers also come to the department to train.
  • In-service training is not certified by the state, and virtually anyone can be contracted to conduct a training seminar.
  • Such training may accommodate a class of 10 or 100 officers, depending on cost & interest in the subject.
roll call
  • The beginning of each shift is a good opportunity for short training modules.
    • Popular & economical with video training tapes.
  • Officers spending an average 60 hours per year in roll call could receive a week & a half of training.
    • The best subject matter for roll call training aresubjects of immediate interest to the on line officer.
higher education in policing
  • Law enforcement administrators have been weighing advantages & disadvantages of a formal college education, versus police vocational training.
    • Conversations about which better prepares people for a career in police work result in the “education vs. commonsense” debate.
  • Many departments require only a high school diploma or equivalency, but many others mandate some amount of college or a bachelors degree.
    • Over the years, strides have been made in requiring police candidates to have a certain amount of college.
higher education in policing1
  • Higher education for the candidates first received attention in 1917, when August Vollmer recruited police officers from student applicants at the University of California.
  • Three national commissions have supported the position that a high school diploma is insufficientas a minimal level of education for police officers.
  • Research on attitudes of police officers has shown revealed that officers with college degrees can tend to be less authoritarian than those without.
    • Also more flexible, aware of social & ethnic problems.
police unions
  • The earliest police employee organizations were developed as fraternal associations to provide fellowship, and death & insurance benefits.
  • In some departments, labor unions begin to organize the police for the purpose of collective bargaining.
    • By 1919, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) had chartered 37 locals.
  • The 1919 Boston Police strike was in response to city refusal to recognize the AFL-affiliated union.
    • Then-governor Calvin Coolidge fired all the striking police officers. (Almost the entire police department)
police unions1
  • Because of the strike in Boston, the police union movement stalled until the 1960s.
    • Today, nearly 75% of all U.S. police officers are members of labor unions, and two thirds of all states have collective bargaining laws for public employees.
  • Some major federations of local police unions are:
    • The International Union of Police Associations (IUPA)
    • The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).
    • The International Conference of Police Associations (ICPA)
    • The International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO).
police unions2
  • Unions exist in order to harness the individual power of each worker into one group, the union, which can speak with one collective voice for all members.
    • The ultimate bargaining tool of the union has traditionally been the strike.
  • The appropriateness of police officers going on strike has been widely debated for decades.
    • Most states have laws that specifically prohibit strikes by public employees.
    • Despite such laws, there have been strikes by police employees.
police unions3
  • In an effort to avoid penalties involved in a formal police strike, police union members occasionally engage in informal job actions to protest working conditions or other grievances.
    • Such job actions include the so called blue flu, where police officers call in sick.