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					Police

         Overview
History
   Early “policing” informal, watch
    systems, volunteers, few paid personnel
   Or, military
   Professionalized police forces with the
    advent of the Industrial Revolution
   Urban migration, unrest
   Structure
History
   Police officers tended to be poorly
    trained with little check on power
   Often used to break up labor disputes
   Corruption was visible and common
   Resented by the poor, particularly
    immigrants
Wickersham commission
   1931—lack of efficiency, honesty,
    discipline, lack of equipment
   Recommended education and training,
    job security
   IACP had been developed in 1892,
    became the leading voice for reform in
    the 20th century
IACP
   Development of civil service, removal of
    political control, central organizational
    structure, development of record
    keeping systems, specialized units
   Vollmer, O. W. Wilson—argued for a
    professionalized force, tough, trained,
    rule-oriented, paramilitary force
1960s and 1970s
   Turmoil and crisis
   Civil rights movement, Supreme Court
    decisions, riots and demonstrations
   Growing crime rate
   Consequences: increased spending on
    technology, federal funding
   LEAA, LEEP
Police role
   Functions of police
   Crime fighter vs. order maintenance
   Styles of policing (crime fighter,
    watchman, public servant, legalistic)
   Considerable disagreement over these
    roles
Major issues
   How many police are needed?
   When there are no police, there is often
    chaos (the thin blue line)
   Although not always—the most recent
    blackout
   Faster response times
   More detectives
Issues
   Targeting career criminals
   Eliminating technicalities
   Increasing arrest rates
   Using problem solving techniques
   Using the results of deterrence research
    to deter criminals
Adding police
   KC patrol experiment
   Why wasn’t patrol effective?
   Patrol is spread thinly in the best of
    circumstances
   Many would-be criminals do not see it
    as a threat
   Nor do they always act rationally
Adding police
   Majority of murders and assaults, about
    50% of rapes occur between people
    who know each other, in the heat of
    passion and often indoors, where police
    presence will have no effect
   Outdoor crimes theoretically could be
    impacted by more police
Adding police
   About 100,000 officers were added as a
    result of the Violent Crime Control Act
    of 1994
   Not much effect—why?
   Crime is concentrated in large cities,
    which received only 23% of the funding
   Many hired had desk jobs
Faster response time
   Commonly believed that faster response
    times will catch more criminals
   About 75% of crime-related calls
    involve crimes that occurred some time
    ago (“cold” crimes)
   About 25% of crime-related calls
    involve a confrontation
Faster response time
   Even then, it frequently does not make
    a difference
   People often delay before calling the
    police.
   Victims compose themselves, call a
    family member
   Witnesses often hesitate (cell phone
    might make a difference)
Faster response time
   Response time might make a difference
    in a small number, perhaps 3% (Police
    Executive Research Forum).
    Commercial robberies
   Faster response time may improve
    public relations
   Too much hurry could result in danger
    to others
More detectives
   Police clear about 21% of all index
    crimes
   Belief that we could clear more with
    more detectives
   Most crimes that are cleared are easily
    solved, such as acquaintance crime
   60-80% of arrests made by patrol
    rather than detectives
More detectives
   Information about the suspect most
    important
   A study in LA indicated that police
    cleared 86% of cases in which a
    suspect was immediately identified
   Cleared 12% cases without an
    identification
More detectives
   Skills or training help clear a case only
    where there is evidence
   Of course, lack of training can hurt a
    case
Targeting career criminals
   Following high rate offenders
    (Wolfgang’s research)
   Repeat Offender Project
   High rate offenders placed under
    surveillance
   Highly intensive
Targeting career criminals
   58% of the target group were arrested
    within a year
   Conviction rate 37%
   Questions about the cost-effectiveness
    of the program
Eliminating technicalities
   Rationale: police have been restricted
    in their efforts to catch criminals
   Exclusionary rule
   Motion to suppress: <5% of cases
   Successful in .69% of the total
   More likely to make a difference in
    cases involving drugs and weapons
Technicalities
   Other types of cases often cleared
    through other means, primarily
    information about the suspect
   One study found that 70% of cases
    where evidence was suppressed were
    convicted on other charges (small N)
Technicalities: Miranda
   Rate of confessions has declined by
    16% (Cassell)—however, was declining
    prior to Miranda
   Estimated that confessions needed in
    24% of cases
   Some of those cases get convictions
    anyway
Technicalities: Miranda
   Many suspects waive their rights—2/3
    in one study, 80% in another
   Police confronted them with evidence
    and/or appealed to their self-interest
    about 80% of the time
   About 1/4 appealed to suspect’s
    conscience
Increasing arrests
   Arrests should increase certainty of
    apprehension
   Arrests take police off the streets,
    decreasing visibility
   Effects of arrest and patrol presence
    have not been systematically compared
Increasing arrests
   Avoidance of arrests, “peacekeeping”
   Arrests as escalation of a dispute
   Whether arrests are effective may be
    situational
Problem oriented policing
   Risk analysis: determining where the
    problems and problem areas are and
    focusing resources on those areas
   Minneapolis Hot Spots Patrol
    Experiment
   Showed statistically significant effects
POP
   Frequent rotation of personnel in this
    study was more effective
   Longer the police stayed, the longer the
    hot spot was crime free, up to a point
    (about 10 minutes in this study)
   Merely driving though had little effect
   What police do at a hot spot may be
    important
POP
   Look at problems in areas—hot spots
   Repeat criminals
   Repeat victims
   Repeat calls for service
POP: examples
   Crackdowns: most successful in the
    short run, only a few studies show
    displacement
   Must be unpredictable to avoid
    displacement
   Residual deterrence and the “phantom”
    effect
POP
   Effect of field interrogations positive, if
    done correctly
   A Kansas City study found that
    aggressive gun seizures reduced violent
    crime
   Gun tips and buybacks did not
   Use of trespasser laws
Risk analysis and risk control
   Analyzing the problem, and then
    constructing barriers in high risk
    situations
   Analogy to driving—safety devices
   Ad hoc nature of these efforts
Risk analysis and control
   Deterrence theory indicates that
    perceptions of certainty of
    apprehension most likely to have an
    effect
   Analyze high risk areas
   Control high risk situations by
    constructing barriers
Risk control
   Analogous to care safety devices
   Altering physical environment
   Natural surveillance, establishing
    territoriality
   Studies indicate that these factors
    affected by another variable, i.e.,
    willingness of those surveying to
    intervene
Other efforts
   Better lighting, barriers and cul-de-sacs
   Results ambiguous, apparently
    community dependent
   Broken windows
   Policing disorder and incivility

				
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