Is There a Distinct Subculture in American Policing?

Topics: Police, Constable, Sociology Pages: 2 (487 words) Published: November 12, 2006
There is a very wide variety of jobs to choose from in the working world. Some jobs are made for certain types of people. Police work calls to a certain type of person, the type of person that would put his or her life in danger for the good of another. There is a debate on whether or not there is a distinct subculture in American Policing. I feel that there is a distinct subculture.

Current sociological research looks at police behaviors, values, beliefs, attitudes, socialization, or personalities to determine exactly what kind of people police officers are. Research shows that police officers when studied as a whole exhibit distinct tendencies. The same can be said however, for almost all professions. This may be due to the training received for that particular job, or just the kind of people that tend to choose that particular career. The difference is that police officers have to deal with danger on a daily basis. Some professions deal with similar attributes of the job. An example would be teachers and police officers both having to deal with problems of authority. For the teacher it would be the authority over the student, for the officers it is the authority over the public. Another similarity is police and the military. They are similar in many ways. Both jobs involve the carrying of weapons, the enforcing of law or accomplishing a mission set out by their superiors, and of course, dealing with dangerous situations everyday. What makes policing different from other professions is the potential of misusing their power and authority. Discretion is an absolute necessity when on the job as a police officer. It is the officer and the officer only who decides whether someone is to be arrested, receive a ticket, or get pulled over.

The other side of the debate says that there is no police subculture in the United States. They try to show this by saying that the research for the police subculture is flawed and leaves you in the...
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