Police Occupational Subculture Case Study

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Occupational cultures can be described as “a product of the various situations and problems which all vocational members confront and to which they equally response” (Paoline, 2003). Rather than a monolithic entity, police culture varies by agency and by individual officers. The concept of police culture has been criticized for being extremely broad and loosely defined (Crank, 2004). The police occupational subculture is a support system for all officers who experience similar everyday stressors in their line of work. While this support system can be positive, there are also negative aspects to it. Embedded in the police subculture is a code of silence which strongly emphasizes loyalty and solidarity. This solidarity is powerful enough …show more content…
One of the limitations is the assessment of variation in occupation attitudes has treated police culture as an individual concept. Instead of one concept, police culture consists of shared attitudes that establish a collective (Ingram, Paoline, Terrill, 2013). Research conducted in the past has indicated that police culture can be measured individually by officer, however the culture continues to be treated as a singular entity. There is little known about police misconduct as there are virtually no official nationwide databases available for research analysis (Stinson, 2015). Field studies and surveys have been utilized but have produced varying or inconsistent results as the code of silence influences …show more content…
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. Clean-beat crime-fighters have the characteristics of tough-cops, however are more persistent in fighting all forms of crime (Paoline, 2004). Avoiders are officers who attempt to avoid doing as much policing as possible and hold a neutral attitude toward work environments unlike the typical police officer. Similarly to avoiders, problem-solvers are unaggressive toward patrolling but are more selective in their policing. While unaggressive, problem-solvers care about their profession and citizens which distinguishes them from other officer groups (Paoline, 2004). Professional officers are more progressive and are willing to accept changes in the profession over time, while holding favorable views toward citizens, superiors, policing guidelines and police work in general. These officers also hold less favorable views toward clean-beat crime-fighters and problem-solvers despite holding the same

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