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In policing there are many techniques and theories on how or why police act, work or even treat offenders the way they do. There are four primary theories to why officers act the way they do known as Psychological, Educational, Sociological and Organizational. These could all explain the way most officers are and why they are that way but the one that makes the most sense would be Organizational. In the Organizational theory there are three major styles that most people can see in the way police operate. The first is the Watchman style. This style is what most people know as “getting off easy”. With this officers will allow minor offenses to slide a little with a warning. “One of the defining characteristics of the watchman style of policing is the tendency of officers to “avoid trouble” and to rely on informal, nonlegalistic means of resolving conflicts” (Grant & Terry 2008). The next style would be the legalistic style. This style is known as the by the book police allowing the courts to sort through the severity of a crime and how they should be punished. These officers will arrest almost anyone for a crime rather than let some crimes go. The last would be the service style. This style is more prone to preventing crime and having good public relations with the community.
All three styles make sense and everyone sees these styles every day in their community. The best style for police to follow by would have to be a mixture of all three. They all have good and bad involved and if a police force could find the “happy medium” in these then they would not only have good crime prevention, but also a good relationship with the community.
Grant, H. B., & Terry, K. J. (2008). Law enforcement in the 21st century (2nd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. [continues]
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