Police Structure And Philosophy. A Traditional Police Department’S

1484 WordsApr 25, 20176 Pages
Police Structure and Philosophy A traditional police department’s structure was a top-down, hierarchal system which generated policies and programs from a centralized authority. They were also almost strictly reactive in that they went from call to call and handled each incident by priority. The built-in rigidity of this structure hampered adaptability which became glaringly obvious in the late 1960’s when cultural and societal influences required a certain amount of flexibility. Additionally, communities are organic in that they change; which requires adaptability and flexibility. Family Break-down One specific social issue leading into the 1970’s was that the family units were increasingly becoming single parent or dual income families…show more content…
In the span of a few decades, the neighborhood cop disappeared and the only times the public interacted with a police officer, it was connected to a response. The byproduct of this segregation was that law-abiding citizens pulled away from police and effectively disconnected themselves from their own neighborhoods which led to Kelling & Wilson’s “Broken Windows” theory. Using this theory, Kelling & Wilson assert that once community residents feel a sense that disorder has replaced the norm, a balance shifts within the community which cause residents to withdraw (Kelling & Wilson, 1982). Once disconnected, neighbors stop looking after the little things that happen within a caring community, such as noticing a stranger or intervening in situations that would have once been normal. The signs of a community in decay are apparent even casually and the appearance is resounding to a criminal element. Declining Community Involvement Kelling & Wilson’s theory is that in any neighborhood, if a window is broken, then others will be broken. This condition over time attracts what they would classify as disorder, and it is this disorder which leads to a slow erosion of the informal social control that maintains the successful balance of order within the community (Kelling & Wilson, 1982). People stop looking at their house as their home and it becomes a place where they live. Most people are not confrontative by nature therefore they tend to avoid situations and or people
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