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Walker, Chapter 9

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  • 1. Police in America Chapter Nine The Police and Crime
  • 2. The Police and Crime
    • Crime Control Strategies
      • Proactive versus Reactive
        • Proactive: Anticrime strategies initiated by the police themselves, not citizens requesting service
        • Reactive: Anticrime strategies used by police when responding to a civilian’s request for service
      • General versus Specific
        • Directed at the community at large vs. directed at particular crimes, places, offenders, or victims
      • Particular crimes
      • Specific places
      • Specific offenders
      • Specific victims
  • 3. Crime Control Assumptions
    • Citizens are co-producers of police services
    • Police and other social institutions are interdependent
      • Communities, families, schools, labor markets, workplaces, other criminal justice programs
    • Measuring effectiveness requires meaningful definitions and reliable data
  • 4. Preventing Crime
    • Routine patrol is primary crime prevention activity
    • Specialized crime prevention units
      • Meet with citizens to discuss crime prevention options
      • Work alongside neighborhood groups
      • Educating youth about crime, drugs, and gangs
  • 5. Apprehending Criminals
    • Second major crime-fighting responsibility of police officers
    • Citizen Reporting of Crime
      • Citizens act as “gatekeepers” of the criminal justice system
      • Patrol officers rarely discover crimes in progress
      • Some victims do not report crimes because they do not think the crime is important
  • 6. Reporting and Unfounding Crimes
    • “ Unfounding” a Crime: Failure of a police officer to complete an official crime report when a citizen reports a crime.
    • Reasons for Unfounding a Crime
      • Citizens do not understand the criminal law
      • Insufficient evidence
      • Abuse of officer’s discretion
  • 7. Criminal Investigation
    • Myths About Detective Work
      • Work is exciting and dangerous
      • Detectives are heroic, courageous and skillful
      • These myths create unreasonable public expectations about the ability of police to control crime
    • The Organization of Detective Work
      • Located in separate unit of department
      • Considered a high-status assignment to be a detective
      • Offers great opportunity to control one’s work and exercise initiative
  • 8. The Investigation Process
    • The Preliminary Investigation
      • 1. Identify and arrest suspects
      • 2. Provide aid to victims
      • 3. Secure crime scene and prevent loss of evidence
      • 4. Collect relevant physical evidence
      • 5. Prepare preliminary report
    • Arrest Discretion
      • Based on the following factors:
        • 1. Strength of evidence
        • 2. Seriousness of crime
        • 3. Victim request of arrest
        • 4. Victim and suspect are strangers
        • 5. Suspect is hostile
    • Follow-Up Investigations
      • Interview witnesses
      • Canvass crime scene
      • Discuss the case with patrol officers
      • Interview suspects
      • Check records and NCIC files
    • Reality of Detective Work
      • Not glamorous or exciting
      • Superficial, routine, non-productive
    • Case Screening
      • Based on seriousness of crime and existence of evidence
      • “ Case solvability factors”
      • Caseload varies: nominal, workable, and actual
  • 9. Measuring the Effectiveness of Criminal Investigations
    • The Clearance Rate
      • Traditional measure of success in a criminal investigation
      • Only 21% of all reported Index crimes are cleared Nationally
      • Unreliable since it is based on only reported crimes and data can be manipulated
    • Defining an Arrest
      • Legally arrested: deprived of rights by legal authority
      • Behaviorally arrested: asked by police officer to stop, told they are under arrest, or physically restrained by officer
      • Subjectively arrested: when an individual believes he/she is not free to go
      • Officially arrested: when officer makes an official report of arrest
  • 10. Success and Failure in Solving Crimes
    • Three main case solvability factors :
      • 1. Case Structural Factors
        • Related to the crime committed
      • 2. Organizational Factors
        • Lack of resources does not keep clearance rates low
      • 3. Environmental Factors
        • Characteristics of the community the police work in
        • Officers have no control over these factors
  • 11. Success and Failure in Solving Crimes Continued
    • Officer Productivity
      • Some officers make more arrests than others
      • Quality of arrests differs as well: many arrests do not lead to a conviction
    • The Problem of Case Attrition
      • Only ½ of felony arrests result in conviction
      • Detectives and officers typically express little interest in why this happens and how to fix it
  • 12. The Use of Eyewitness Identification, Criminalistics, and DNA in Investigations
    • Eyewitness Identification
      • Typically unreliable due to problems with human perception and memory
    • Criminalistics
      • Technical specialists in crime lab analyze evidence, etc.
    • DNA
      • All DNA samples forwarded to the FBI and put into the National DNA Indexing System
        • Stores forensic data and convicted offender index data
  • 13. Improving Criminal Investigations
    • Changes in community policing
      • Structural changes
        • Headquarters changed to beats and precincts
        • Assigning investigators to particular areas
      • Procedural changes
        • Greater intergovernmental communication
        • Assistance from other criminal justice orgs.
      • Functional changes
        • Role and responsibility changes for investigators
  • 14. Special Investigative Techniques
    • Undercover Police Work
      • Deliberate deception that may promote a habit of lying
      • Befriending criminals
        • May erode the standards of policing
      • Less supervision
    • Informants
      • Used especially in victimless crimes
      • Criminals who possess special knowledge
      • Potential problems because police must give something in return for access to that information
  • 15. Policing Drugs
    • Drug Enforcement Strategies
      • Supply reduction strategy
        • Buy and bust
        • “ Trading up”
        • Long-term undercover work
        • Drug crackdown: intensive enforcement effort
      • Demand reduction strategy
        • Drug education programs
    • Minorities and the War on Drugs
      • African Americans arrested more frequently than whites, although usage is about the same
    • Demand Reduction: The D.A.R.E Program
      • Operating in 70 percent of all public school systems
  • 16. Policing Gangs and Gang-Related Crime
    • Gang Suppression
      • The police gang unit: specialized unit
      • Has at least one sworn officer whose job it is to engage in gang control effort
    • Gang Prevention: G.R.E.A.T. Program
      • Gang Resistance Education and Training
      • Operates in all 50 states
      • Study showed that it was not very effective at preventing students from joining gangs
  • 17. Policing Career Criminals
    • Career Criminals: People believed to be committing a high rate of offenses
    • Repeat Offender Programs
      • Targeting suspected high-rate offenders for surveillance and arrest
      • Targeting those with outstanding warrants
      • Case-enhancement programs to provide information about offendor histories
  • 18. Policing Guns and Gun Crimes
    • Victims are most likely to be Black, American Indian and Hispanic
    • Men are twice as likely to be victims compared to women
    • Gun Suppression
      • Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN)
      • Kansas City Gun Experiment
        • Targeted a high-crime precinct with problem-oriented policing and directed patrol
        • As a result, gun crimes fell 49%
  • 19. Policing Hate Crime
    • Hate Crime – bias motivated crimes
    • The Scope and Nature of Hate Crime
      • 50.8% racial bias
      • 18.4% religious bias
      • 16.6% sexual orientation bias
      • 13.2% ethnic/national origin bias
      • Five main characteristics of Hate Crimes
        • Higher level of assaults against persons than crimes generally
        • More violent
        • Attacks preceded by series of confrontations that escalate in severity
        • More likely to be committed be group perpetrators
        • Likely to be committed by someone the victim knows
    • Police Response to Hate Crime
      • Creation of specialized bias crime units
  • 20. Policing Terrorism
    • The Scope and Nature of Terrorism
      • Terrorism: “The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
    • Domestic Terrorism
      • Planned and carried out by Americans on American soil
    • Foreign Terrorism
      • Terrorist activities coordinated and perpetrated by foreign persons or countries against the U.S.
  • 21. Responding to Terrorism
    • In the wake of September 11
      • Department of Homeland Security created
      • Increasing number of U.S. Coast Guard and Customs Service personnel
      • FBI Office of Intelligence
      • FBI Counterterrorism Watch
      • Local police first to respond in a terrorist event
        • But issues between federal law enforcement agencies and local police arise due to refusal to share critical information