Societal And Organizational Factors Within The Creation Of A Police Subculture

1535 WordsMay 1, 20177 Pages
Both societal and organizational factors come into play in the creation of a police subculture. The hierarchy structures of law enforcement agencies vary. These variations determine the attitudes and behaviors of the officers working within these locations. Lower level police officers spend the majority of their time investigating crime and fretting over the pitfalls of current crime policy. Overtime, some officers may begin to view members of the public as untrustworthy or even potentially hostile. They begin to rely heavily on their fellow comrades for emotional and mental support, which establishes a strong sense of group solidarity. Changes in the composition of the rank and file of policing units has also contributed to the…show more content…
Law enforcement’s drift towards militarization has its roots in the 1960s and the need to respond to the social unrest that swept the nation at the time (Bickel 2013). The development of Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) teams in reaction to the Watts riots in Los Angeles began a movement in policing that relied more and more on military tactics, training, and equipment (Bickel 2013). Additionally, stress training in police academies and its warrior-like orientation tends to create an “us versus them” mindset in rookie officers (Bickel 2013). This ingrained mindset has the potential of creating barriers between the police and the community. Post 9/11, an emphasis was placed upon building the necessary infrastructure for law enforcement agencies to combat potential terroristic threats in addition to domestic crimes (Walker 2013). What is most intriguing is the difference in weaponry when one compares police departments in the 2000s versus the 2010s. The baton and mace seemed to be the non-lethal tool of choice for officers prior to 9/11. After that tragic event, the standard non-lethal weapon of choice transformed into one that possessed an electric charge: the Taser. As of today, over twelve thousand police agencies have purchased Tasers. Hundreds of thousands of officers nationwide have been issued Tasers and trained on how to operate the device (Walker 2013). Tasers are also used by military police and specialized forces. When

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