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Police Subculture

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Title: Police Subculture


1
CHAPTER 3
  • Police Subculture

2
Police Subculture
  • Recruiting Qualified Applicants
  • Those Who Walk on Water
  • Applicants typically come from lower-middle-class
    or working-class backgrounds
  • Generally have a high school education and a
    history of employment
  • Different from the stereotype of the police
    officer as authoritarian and suspicious

3
Police Subculture
  • Police applicants are motivated by
  • Helping people
  • Job security
  • Fighting crime
  • Job excitement
  • Prestige
  • A lifetime interest

4
Police Subculture
  • Some research indicates that the typical police
    applicant is very similar to the average college
    student.
  • Using the MMPI, police applicants differ from the
    general population in several ways
  • Applicants are more psychologically healthy
  • Less depressed and anxious
  • More assertive
  • Greater tendency to present a good impression of
    themselves
  • They are a more homogenous group

5
Police Subculture
  • Female applicants
  • Tend to be more assertive and nonconforming than
    male applicants
  • Higher energy levels
  • Less likely to identify with traditional sex
    roles
  • Applicants should be free of emotional reactions
  • Should not be impulsive or overly aggressive
  • Need logically skills

6
Police Subculture
  • Recruiting Problems and Successes
  • The state of the economy can have a strong
    influence on recruitment
  • A low unemployment rate makes for more
    competition from the private sector
  • Recruiting and retaining women in policing
  • Gender bias
  • Sexual harassment
  • About 60 of female officers who leave their
    agency do so during their second to fifth years
    on the job

7
Police Subculture
  • Testing
  • Written examinations
  • Larger police departments and state police
    agencies use four types of written tests
  • Cognitive tests
  • Personality-type tests
  • Interest inventories
  • Biographical data inventories
  • Psychological screening test
  • Stability
  • Suitability

8
Police Subculture
  • Physical agility test
  • One test is based on the theory that police
    perform three basic functions
  • Getting to the problem
  • Resolving the problem
  • Removing the problem
  • The test should test for actual job requirements
  • Does not discriminate on the basis of gender,
    race, height, age, and physical condition

9
Police Subculture
  • Oral interview
  • Used by more than 90 of all agencies
  • Looks at appearance of the candidate, ability to
    communicate, reason, and general poise

10
Police Subculture
  • Character investigation
  • One of the most subjective yet most important
    factors an applicant may possess
  • Involves talking to past and current friends,
    coworkers, teachers, neighbors
  • Spare no expense
  • Discover any bones buried in the applicants
    background

11
Police Subculture
  • Polygraph examination
  • 62 of the nations 626 largest police agencies
    use the polygraph
  • 90 of these agencies automatically reject
    applicants who refuse to take the polygraph
  • Medical examination and drug screening

12
Police Subculture
  • Academy Training
  • Types of academies
  • Concern for well-trained officers and avoiding
    civil liability
  • For many, it provides the bulk of the formal
    training
  • In-house police academies

13
Police Subculture
  • State and regional academies
  • Preservice model
  • Becoming more popular
  • Civilians attend police academies at their own
    costs
  • Agencies do not incur any costs in this style

14
Police Subculture
  • The Curriculum
  • Basic recruit academy provides training in
  • Criminal justice system
  • The law
  • Human values and problems
  • Patrol and investigative procedures
  • Police proficiency

15
Police Subculture
  • John Broderick contended there are three types of
    academies
  • The plebe system (or stress academy)
  • Intended to emphasize physical, mental, and
    emotional activities
  • Technical training model
  • Similar to advanced military training
  • Emphasis on operational skills and use of
    equipment
  • Graduates are good at report writing, radio
    procedures, knowledge of the laws

16
Police Subculture
  • The College system
  • Stresses professionalism
  • Stresses discussion and problem analysis
  • The curricula of basic training academies has not
    changed much since 1986
  • There is a lack of congruence between the
    curriculum taught and the responsibilities of
    COPPS

17
Police Subculture
  • New Uniform and Demeanor
  • The uniform sets the recruit apart from the rest
    of society
  • Image
  • Badge

18
Police Subculture
  • A Sixth Sense
  • Suspicion
  • Trained to be observant, develop knowledge of the
    territory, notice the normal

19
Police Subculture
  • Situations that may cause suspicion
  • People who do not belong where they are observed
  • Automobiles that do not look right
  • Businesses open at odd hours
  • People that appear visibly rattled
  • Solicitors in a residential neighborhood
  • Hitchhikers
  • A lone male sitting in a car near a shopping
    center or school paying unusual attention to
    women or children
  • A person wearing a coat on a hot day

20
Police Subculture
  • A major tool is the recruits body
  • Gain a physical advantage
  • Hands-on training
  • Hogans Alley
  • Computer-based training
  • Virtual reality

21
Police Subculture
  • Postacademy Field Training
  • Field Training Officer Concept
  • Most FTO programs consist of four phases
  • Introductory phase
  • Recruit learns agency policy and laws
  • Training and evaluation phases
  • Recruit is introduced to the more complicated
    tasks
  • Final phase
  • The FTO acts as an observer while the recruit
    performs all the functions of a patrol officer

22
Police Subculture
  • New Technology
  • Automated Daily Observation Report and Evaluation
    (ADORE)
  • Pursuit simulation

23
Police Subculture
  • A Working Personality
  • Developing and Using a Police Personality
  • Jerome Skolnick
  • Danger a constant feature of police work
  • Authority must be established by the officer

24
Police Subculture
  • Niederhoffer
  • Study of police cynicism in 1967
  • Cynicism spikes after the recruit leaves the
    academy
  • From about 2 to 6 years of service, cynicism
    levels increase but at a slower rate
  • From about 8 to 13 years of service, cynicism
    actually begins to decline
  • Toward the end of the career, the degree of
    cynicism levels off

25
Police Subculture
  • John Broderick
  • Four types of police personalities
  • Enforcer
  • Keep the beats clean, make good arrests, sometime
    help people
  • Sympathy for vagrants, elderly, working poor
  • High job dissatisfaction and an attitude of
    resentment

26
Police Subculture
  • Idealists
  • High value on individual rights and due process
  • Keep the peace, protect citizens, preserve social
    order
  • Commitment to the job is the lowest among the
    four groups
  • Less likely to recommend the job

27
Police Subculture
  • Realists
  • Little emphasis on either social order or
    individual rights
  • Seem less frustrated
  • Found a way to come to terms with a difficult job
  • See many problems in policing

28
Police Subculture
  • Optimists
  • High value on individual rights
  • See the job as people oriented instead of crime
    oriented
  • Opportunities to help people
  • Have lowest amount of resentment
  • Committed to the job
  • Would choice policing as a career again

29
Police Subculture
  • What Traits Make a Good Cop?
  • Enthusiasm
  • Good communication skills
  • Good judgment
  • Sense of humor
  • Creativity
  • Self-motivation
  • Courage

30
Police Subculture
  • Roles, Functions, and Styles of Policing
  • Defining and Understanding the Police Role
  • Who defines the policed role?
  • Private citizens
  • Legislative bodies
  • Courts
  • Executives
  • Police officers themselves

31
Police Subculture
  • Role Conflicts
  • Need to be explicit about the police role
  • Recruit and select competent personnel when we
    have a clear vision of what the police are
    supposed to accomplish
  • Evaluation for retention and promotion
  • Budgetary decisions
  • Public cooperation

32
Police Subculture
  • Policing Functions and Styles
  • Four basic functions
  • Enforcing the laws
  • Performing services
  • Preventing crime
  • Protecting the innocent
  • James Q. Wilson saw different functions

33
Police Subculture
  • Maintaining order
  • Constitutes most of the activities of the police
  • Peacekeeping
  • Law enforcement
  • Upholding statutes

34
Police Subculture
  • Wilsons three distinctive policing styles
  • Watchman
  • Involves the officer as the neighbor
  • Primary function is order maintenance
  • People are going to occasionally act up
  • Letter of the law versus the spirit of the law
  • Legalistic style
  • The officer as the soldier
  • Takes a much harsher view of the law
  • The purpose of the law is to punish

35
Police Subculture
  • Service style
  • The officer as the teacher
  • Falls between watchman and legalistic styles
  • Protect public order
  • Less likely to respond by making an arrest
  • Frequently use informal sanctions
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