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Police Professionalism Essay Paper

Police Professionalism Essay

Police Professionalism

Police officers have a very reputable job, meaning they must be professional at all times. The job of a police officer is to protect and to serve the public. Since most of their time is spent in the public eye, they are expected to maintain professional behavior. The first step in projecting their professionalism is their dress. They should be dressed neatly,
and according to the uniform regulations of their department. Appearances say a lot since that is the first thing the public sees. An officer that does not look like he is well- kept portrays to the people that he does not take his job seriously. Good hygiene is also an important part of an officer's personal appearance. An officer that is enthusiastic about his job and who wants to project that image should dress the part.
Attitude says a lot about a person as well. In law enforcement having a positive attitude is particularly important. When dealing with a perpetrator or victim, officers should be compassionate yet firm. Being respectful is a good way to get started. You can always escalate the amount of force used, depending on the situation. An officer must always project the image of being in control in order to be effective. If the first thing an officer does is wrestle a person to the ground it could be construed as an abuse of power, which thanks to the media, the public thinks law enforcement agencies do quite often. Police officers should always try to practice controlled authority at first approach, in other words, be firm but compassionate. Keep in mind that many of these people are depending on you to help them or solve a problem An officer?s control of a situation also helps him gain the confidence and trust of the community which can also help the police with crime prevention. When you approach someone during an incident, explain to them why you perform actions, and answer their questions. Engaging the public in conversation helps to make the officer a part of the community and helps gain the confidence of the public and improves the image of the police in the community.
No matter where law enforcement officers are they should maintain their professionalism. For instance, it does not...

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Abstract

The focus of this short essay is the renewed popularity of the ideal of police professionalism. That ideal dominated efforts at police reform throughout most of the twentieth century, and especially from the 1950s through the early 1970s, but in the 1980s and 1990s was supplanted by community policing as the reigning orthodoxy of police reform. At its core, police professionalism had three elements: police departments should focus on crime suppression; they should do so objectively and scientifically, free from political influence; and authority within the department should be centralized and rationalized. Community policing departed from police professionalism in each of these three respects. Police departments broadened their focus from crime control to a range of other goals; they selected and pursued those goals in consultation and cooperation with the public; and, to facilitate that consultation and cooperation, authority within departments was decentralized.

Outside law enforcement circles, the ideal of community policing remains broadly popular. Inside policing, though, a sense has been growing for at least the past decade that it is time for something new. That sense is still far from universal. Many police executives and many police reformers continue to believe in community policing. But for years other figures within policing have been casting about for the next big thing. There are signs that those efforts are beginning to coalesce, and that the next big thing is … police professionalism. No one is arguing explicitly that policing should return to the 1960s. But there is increasing sympathy for the notions that police departments should focus on crime suppression, that they should do so in ways dictated by objective analysis rather than public whims, and that authority should be centralized and rationalized.

This paper begins by describing some of the ideas getting the most attention today in police management circles and the under-appreciated ways in which they constitute a return to the ideal of police professionalism. The paper then speculates about why professionalism, so recently discredited, seems to be coming back, and it sounds a note of caution, warning that, despite changes since the 1970s, there are still reasons for police departments to resist the pull of professionalism. The paper concludes by suggesting that the competing ideal of community policing, for all its ambiguity and limitations, may deserve a longer run.

Sklansky, David Alan, The Persistent Pull of Police Professionalism. New Perspectives in Policing, March 2011; UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 1788463. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1788463