Police Realities

Good Essays
“Myths” are described as narratives or stories that are drawn from a society and symbolizes its ideology, morality, values, and beliefs. There are many myths in policing that influence an officer’s decision. In this paper, only myths related to neighborhoods are discussed. One of the biggest myth or belief is the idea that policing is a dangerous occupation. In reality, Waddington (1999), argues that police work is nothing if not boring and only a few encounters involve the use of force. Yet, police officers continue to glorify and exaggerate war stories and violence. This is associated with the myth of crime fighting image and the celebration of masculinity, which is in part emphasized by police culture. In fact, most research demonstrate …show more content…
This has an impact on an officer’s decision in such a way that officers assigned to work in neighborhoods with high disorder and high crime become cynical, often view questionable behavior as normal and view some victims as “deserving it” because in their perspective, the victims are often themselves criminals (Phillips & Sobol, 2010). This including workload, is what Klinger suggested explain the variation in vigor in relation to an officer’s decision to arrest, issue a citation, or do nothing. Thus, Klinger’s ecological theory helps explain how the use of formal authority by police is influenced by the characteristics of the neighborhood. As previously mentioned, police officers often group areas. Smith, Novak, Frank, and Lowenkamp (2005) stated that police group these areas within cities into easily easily recognizable and understandable categories. As a result, these conceptualization of work places provide officers with a short hand for decision making within these neighborhood (Smith et. al., 2005). Consequently, when an officer responds to a call in a neighborhood marked as dangerous or anti-police, the officer is more likely to use force and or accept the use of force by another officer. This is so because unnecessary force may be considered a normal feature of their work environment (Phillips & Sobol, …show more content…
al., 2005; Terril, 2002). Additionally, officers may rely on force because they view force as an effective means to control those in need of control, in other words, the poor, minorities and the young (Terril, 2002). Terril also argues that the application of punishment by legal agents, in this case, the police, can be explained in terms of various types of social space in which the subjects of control are located. For instance, the greater the social distance between the police and the citizen results in a greater likelihood of use of force by police. Social distance not only influence the use of force by police but also impacts type and level of services provided. Smith et. al. stated that the police may be more likely to work with citizens and engage in community service activities, such as, block watch and community organizing in neighborhoods with less social distance and neighborhoods that are characterized as supportive of the police. This relates back to cynicism or the notion that officers believe there is nothing else that can be done about the problems in the beat or neighborhood (Phillips & Sobol,

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Withrow (2005) states that recent surveys indicate that most people agree with police officials that brutality is not a widespread problem but is instead limited to a few “bad apples.” In some cases, there may be need to apply force and the policing agencies have strict rules pertaining to how force should be used and in what situations. The excessive and unnecessary use of force by police officers, including unjustified shootings, severe beatings, and rough treatment of citizens are still common in our society today because of the many barriers that make it possible for officers who commit such crimes to escape due punishment and often go back to repeat the offenses. Terris (1967) states that police brutality refers to excessive, unjustified,…

    • 810 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Police Misconduct Thesis

    • 768 Words
    • 4 Pages

    These officers are known to the police community as whistleblowers. Ironically the police promotes the saying “if you see something say something”, but when an officers sees something and decides to speak up they are penalized for their actions. It’s a loose, loose situation for officers. Researchers came up with two hypotheses surrounding this situation. One concluded that “frontline police officers are more likely to perceive corruption seriously when their supervisors apply more severe discipline for corrupt behavior” and the second stated “frontline police officers are less likely to perceive corruption seriously when their departments have a stronger ‘Code of Silence’” (Lee 390).…

    • 768 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Roles Of Policing

    • 828 Words
    • 4 Pages

    When police encounters with the public it seem to always have a negative outcome, from incidents with shootings of an unarmed person to a random stop gone bad, seem to be the perception that the media and people of the community remember when they look at the police, how a officer did something wrong that pointed at a racial crime in most minds. Research shows that minorities frequently report that the police disproportionately single them out because of their race or ethnicity (Tyler 2004). The public’s perceptions about the lawfulness and legitimacy of law enforcement are an important part of policing. Legitimacy is linked to the public’s belief about the police and its willingness to recognize police authority. When that negativity arises between the officer’s and people of the community, it also cause a negativity from the people who was watching the…

    • 828 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Police Officer Duties

    • 805 Words
    • 4 Pages

    I chose to evaluate and study chapter six because it discusses the overall job of police officers, but it also contradicts several ideas people have about the actual job of a police officer due to false perceptions through media. This chapter also discusses many different plans that have been put into action in order to cut down on crime, but also be cost effective. This chapter explains how the size of the department can change the most effective way to approach crime in that area. It also explains options departments have to try to deter crime, such as drugs. Police officers can patrol known areas of drug usage, but they can also work intelligence in that area to give them additional information.…

    • 805 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Police Theory

    • 1038 Words
    • 5 Pages

    At the same time, it is important to take into account the theory that rejects the idea of racial and ethnic minorities being systematically targeted to brutality by the police. This theory explores other aspects of the identity such as gender and the economic status that play a more significant role in determining the victims of the excessive force. Eventually, one study has closely looked at how the society perceives police departments and their actions toward citizens. By analyzing the roots of this contemporary issue and applying the conflict theory, it helps to better understand how to prevent such incidents and improve the work of the agencies whose objective is to protect and prevent or…

    • 1038 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    We would rotate their patrol areas in order for them to understand the needs of the community at large and not just their neighborhoods. The more information obtained gives more of a sense of security. The broken window model comes into play here (Schmalleger, 2013, p.96). It states that physical decay can lead to disorder in a community. In a building, broken windows can lead to other broken windows, vandalism and petty crimes.…

    • 784 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Through observation, officers were grouped into five categories. The categories included tough-cops, clean-beat crime-fighters, avoiders, problem-solvers, and professionals. Tough-cops typically epitomize the monolithic perception of police culture (Paoline, 2004). Officers in this group are often cynical and hostile toward the citizens they police, and even their superiors who are unsupportive. Tough-cops perform their duties aggressively and selectively, and more in line with the traditional police role.…

    • 1349 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Due Process Model

    • 822 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Community policing programs may make people more vulnerable to their neighbors, as their community is watching for criminal behaviour. Having exuberant community neighbors may make people feel like they’re being stalked, and are defenseless against these people without looking suspicious of crime, which may encourage crime in rebellion. Police-community relations programs take a more relaxed position to viewing law enforcement. They allow citizens and community members to see law enforcement as other people, at their level. Actually knowing that law enforcement is there for protection rather than conviction would help deter and reduce crime to avoid damaging any emotional bonds between the community and law…

    • 822 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Police culture heavily impacts the day to day operations of the force as values such as suspicion can create racial prejudice circumstances. The ‘Police Officers Dilemma’ study found that in certain circumstances stereotypes of individuals based on characteristics ascribed to large social categories can alter an officer’s response (police officer). This schema allows for effortless classification and help clarify otherwise confusing situations (police officer). Therefore, this ability to stereotype has the ability to resolve conflicts that could otherwise be life threatening quick and efficiently before danger insures. However, a result of this stereotyping has been that police officers have been found more accurate in distinguishing guns with an African American face against a White face (police officer).…

    • 1531 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    There are even other programs that offer money for valid information on criminal activities in their neighborhood although this may not be the most noble reason to report crime it is often time effective. Also by incorporating programs like this into the community it reduces the fear of police officers. In many communities people view police officers not as their protectors or friends, but as their enemies. This feeling is usually caused by parenting or a self-learned fear of authority or simply a bad experience with an officer. When people have a bad image of police in their minds it makes it very difficult for police to correctly do their job.…

    • 807 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics