Police Reforms

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The topic of this research is the relationship between police officers and departments and the public, more specifically, what that relationship is currently like, how to improve it and barriers that may be in the way. The purpose is to bring together two pieces of literature regarding the given topic. Both authors agree that public opinion regarding police officers is currently at a significant low, and agree that steps should be taken to change police behavior in order to increase public approval, but they disagree on how effective any reforms will be. My first source is Seth Stoughton’s “Law Enforcement’s “Warrior” Problem”. Stoughton believes policing is currently done with a “warrior” mentality which leads officers to treat everyone as…show more content…
Stoughton’s optimism is apparent when he says the reforms he suggests would “foster ... public trust” (226), “may offer some solutions that enhance both officer and civilian safety in ways that increase public trust in the police” (230), and finally, Stoughton belives his proposals could achieve the holy grail of both his and Weitzer’s desires, “There is deep tension between community policing ... we can resolve that tension and improve policing” (234). On the other hand, Weitzer shows his skepticism with the statement “Despite the impression that American policing is at a crossroads and that meaningful reforms may be on the horizon, there are reasons to be pessimistic that this is pivotal moment in policing” (478). He also says even though some police departments have implemented community policing as policy and practice, that “appears to be the exception rather than the rule” (478). And when reforms are implemented, it is hard to make them “stick – institutionalizing them in training, codes of conduct, performance evaluations and rewards and punishments” (478). “It is axiomatic that patrol officers enjoy a substantial amount of discretionary authority, which can be curbed only to a limited extent by any reform”

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