Criminal Professionalism

1.  What are some of the major findings of studies of the patrol function? (Include in your answer findings of the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment.)
2.  What are some of the occupational hazards that are inherent in beat patrol, and what does research seem to indicate should be done to prevent fatal ambushes?
3.  What does H.R. 218 permit?
4.  What is meant by discretionary use of police authority, and what are some of its advantages, disadvantages, and factors that enter into the officer’s decision-making process?
5.  Why is the traffic function important in patrol work, and how can it bring about bad citizen–police relations?
Lecture Notes
Studies of the Patrol Function: An Overview
•    Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment
•    Team policing
•    Directed patrol
•    Split-force patrol
•    Foot patrol experiments
•    Response time analyses
Patrol as Work: Culture of the Beat
Purposes and Nature of Patrol
•    Patrol officer deployment needs to consider where/when crimes occur
•    Patrol officers must be knowledgeable about their beat assignment
•    Contrary to popular belief, much patrol time consists of gaps of inactivity
•    Officers encounter a wide variety of concerns while engaged in routine patrol
•    Most 911 calls (60–90 percent) are for non-emergencies
Patrol Work as a Function of Shift Assignment
•    Day shift
•    Swing/evening shift
•    Night/graveyard shift
Influence of an Assigned Beat
•    Beats vary in terms of structure and demographic character
•    “Cops’ rules” of the beat culture
Where Danger Lurks: Occupational Hazards of Patrol
At Their Peril
•    Many occupational hazards—accidental and felonious
•    Recent spike in fatal ambushes of police officers
•    Possibility of a “Ferguson effect”?
•    Profile of officers killed in the line of duty
•    Other dangers to officers, including accidental death
Suicide by Cop
•    Extent of phenomenon is largely unknown
Arms and Armor for Duty
•    Importance of officers providing backup to one another
H.R. 218
•    Exempts qualified police officers from state laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons
Officers on Display: Appearance, Uniforms, and Dress Codes
•    Uniforms are a visual representation of the policing profession
•    Uniforms were resisted in early days of American policing 
•    Modern agencies often have several types of uniforms that they alternate depending on assignment, occasion, or season
•    Uniform manufacturers now more cognizant of female officers
Legal Aspects
•    Kelley v. Johnson (1976)
•    Police administers can dictate how uniforms are to be worn as well as other aspects of personal appearance
Psychological Aspects
•    Identifies officer as person with power to arrest, use force, establish order
•    Creates officer conformity by suppressing individuality
•    Police uniform induces feelings of safety
•    Uniformed officers are seen as more competent, reliable, intelligent, helpful
•    Menlo Park experiment
Instituting (and Enforcing) a Dress Code
•    Many agencies have dress codes
•    Departments are more willing to adapt to officer concerns regarding dress codes and uniforms
The Officer’s “Rolling Office”
A Sanctuary 
•    Provides comfort from inclement weather
•    Protects officers from people wanting to hurt them
•    Safe place to deposit combative prisoners
•    Serves a virtual office
•    Rolling symbol of authority
Patrolling on Two Wheels
•    Fuel costs have affected vehicle patrol methods
•    Benefits of motorcycle and bicycle patrol
•    Segways
Discretionary Use of Police Authority
Myth of Full Enforcement
•    Police do not have the resources or desire to enforce all laws
•    Not all laws are enforced impartially
•    Political and legal reasons for denying the use of discretion
•    Cannot have patrol without the discretionary use of police authority
Attempts to Define Discretion
•    The two sides of criminal law: formality (found in the statute books) and reality (found in practice)
•    When they differ, the reality prevails
•    Use of discretion one of the major challenges facing the police today
Determinants of Officer Discretion
•    Law
•    Seriousness of offense
•    Officer’s attitude
•    Citizen’s attitude
Pros, Cons, and Politics of Discretionary Authority
•    Advantages of discretion 
•    Disadvantages of discretion
•    Politics (ambiguity of state legislative commands contributes to police discretion)
A Related Function: Traffic
•    Strong link between patrol function and traffic control
•    Traffic stops account for about half of the contact Americans have with the police
•    How an officer conducts traffic stop can affect someone’s view of the police for years
Enforcement of Traffic Laws: Triumph and Trouble
•    Traffic stops a source of friction between officers and citizens
•    Levels of enforcement differ among departments
•    Strict traffic enforcement can negatively impact police-community relations
•    Deterrent effects of traffic citations are questionable
Traffic Crash Investigation
•    Traffic accident vs. traffic crash/collision
•    Officers must understand process of investigation and cite the guilty party
Pursuit of the “Phantom” Driver
•    Strong public support for police focus on hit-and-run (“phantom”) drivers
The Patrol Lifeline: Dispatchers and Communications
•    Seen by police as “unsung heroes”
•    Generally work in centralized communications center
•    Often the first people the public contacts when emergency assistance is required
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