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Police Subculture - Essay Example

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In the paper “Police Subculture” the author analyzes the culture of the police service describing it as a pervasive, malign and potent influence on the behavior of officers. The working personality of the police is defined by the threat of danger and the need to establish and maintain one’s authority…
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Police Subculture
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Download file to see previous pages police officer sets individuals apart from society and that it is difficult for them to manage non-police relationships which might be compromised by the requirements of the job or which, according to Stanley (2002), might compromise their job.
Chan (1997) documents Australian police and offers new conceptualization of police culture. The author notes that policeminority relations have engaged substantially with reform, and 'the routine brutalism of the cops' seemed to signal not for the need for reform but its failure. She criticises their existing conceptualizations for 'their inability to account for differences in culture, their neglect of the active role played by officers in the reproduction or transformation of culture, their failure to situate police culture within the political and social context of policing, and their silence about the scope and possibility for cultural change' (Chan, 1997; p.12).
Police officers working at the 'street' level function in a highly stressful and dangerous professional role. Numerous studies have examined whether police officers exhibit personality traits different from those of the general population (e.g., Carpenter & Raza, 1987; Fenster & Locke, 1973; Hanewicz, 1978; Lefkowitz, 1975; Sheppard, Bates, Fracchia, & Merlis, 1974; Simon, Wilde, & Cristal, 1973). Adlam (1982) concluded that the personality and social attitudes of police personnel change over time. Veteran police officers are more cynical, suspicious, and socially isolated than other people (e.g., Goolkasian, Geddes, & DeJong, 1985; Niederhoffer, 1967; Norvell & Belles, 1990; Skolnick, 1976). Officers are exposed to much more tragedy and human suffering over time than the vast majority of the general population. In addition, police officers become increasingly...
Chan (1997) documents Australian police and offers new conceptualization of police culture. The author notes that police\minority relations have engaged substantially with reform, and ‘the routine brutalism of the cops’ seemed to signal not for the need for reform but its failure. She criticises their existing conceptualizations for ‘their inability to account for differences in culture, their neglect of the active role played by officers in the reproduction or transformation of culture, their failure to situate police culture within the political and social context of policing, and their silence about the scope and possibility for cultural change’ (Chan, 1997; p.12).
Police officers working at the ‘street’ level function in a highly stressful and dangerous professional role. Numerous studies have examined whether police officers exhibit personality traits different from those of the general population (e.g., Carpenter & Raza, 1987; Fenster & Locke, 1973; Hanewicz, 1978; Lefkowitz, 1975; Sheppard, Bates, Fracchia, & Merlis, 1974; Simon, Wilde, & Cristal, 1973). Adlam (1982) concluded that the personality and social attitudes of police personnel change over time. Veteran police officers are more cynical, suspicious, and socially isolated than other people (e.g., Goolkasian, Geddes, & DeJong, 1985; Niederhoffer, 1967; Norvell & Belles, 1990; Skolnick, 1976). Officers are exposed to much more tragedy and human suffering over time than the vast majority of the general population. In addition, police officers become increasingly aware that many citizens feel uncomfortable interacting with them, even when they are off duty; some people actively dislike the police. [Newburn, 2005]
Police subculture is often considered as both a cause of police deviance and an obstacle for police reform. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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