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Policing Discretion
and Behavior

ISBN 0-558-46766-0


Law Enforcement in the 21 Century, Second Edition, by Heath B. Grant and Karen J. Terry. Published by Allyn & Bacon. Copyright © 2008 by Pearson Education, Inc.

Chapter Out line
The Role of Discretion in Policing
Defining Police Discretion
Factors Affecting the Exercise of Officer
Type and Seriousness of Offense
Attitude of the Suspect
Characteristics, Position, and Preference
of the Victim
Relationship Between the Suspect and
the Victim
Evidence of the Offense
Minority Status of the Parties to the Offense

The Importance of Police Behavior
Psychological Explanations: Predisposition and
Police Behavior—Police Personality or Culture?
Educational Explanations: Police Recruits and
the Effects of Police Training
Sociological Explanations: Skolnick’s
“Working Personality”
Organizational Explanations: Wilson’s Three
Styles of Policing
The Watchman Style
The Legalistic Style
The Service Style

Chapter Objectives
● Understand what is meant by the term
police discretion.
● Identify and examine the factors that influence police decision making and the exercise of discretion.
● Examine different theories of police behavior
and address the question of whether there is
such a thing as a “police personality.”

Police Stress

● Become familiar with Wilson’s three styles of
policing and explore the relationship between
police organization and the behavior of individual officers.

Sources of Police Stress
Internal and External Organizational Stressors
Work-Related Stressors

● Examine the causes of police stress and
police suicide.

Reconciling the Theories

Police Suicide

LINKAGES IN LAW ENFORCEMENT: PostTraumatic Stress Disorder Following Response to Stress—Law Enforcement
and Other Emergency Workers
Chapter Summary

ISBN 0-558-46766-0



Law Enforcement in the 21 Century, Second...
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