Operational Styles of Policing

Topics: Crime, Police, Criminal justice Pages: 2 (737 words) Published: September 22, 2011
List and explain the three operational styles of policing as identified by James Q. Wilson. How do these styles compare to your perception of policing prior to taking this course? Be sure to include how media portrayals of crime fighters can influence perception and cite a source. (Text, literature, practitioner in the field, etc.) The three operational styles of policing identified by James Q. Wilson are, Legalistic, Watchman and service. These three styles help give order to the community, whether it’s in an informal way of dealing with a dispute or having an arrest occur. It also helps the community wit out enforcing the law.

The legalistic style uses the violation of a law to make an arrest or force to enforce the law. The legalistic style is what is used most in a bigger city. “Wilson found that officers working in a legalistic style police department tended to be highly productive in their law enforcement activities as viewed from the standpoint of enforcement activity. For example, these officers had high arrest rates of juvenile offenders and tended to issue a large number of traffic tickets to motorists” (‘journal of Criminal justice: The effect of local political culture on policing behaviors in the 1990s: A retest of Wilson’s theory in more contemporary times). This style have a few factors that pushes toward the legalistic point, they can be, the demeanor of the offender, the seriousness of a crime and even the ethnicity of the offender. The Watchmen style is more in a community with minorities and/or a lower-classed community. This style is to bring order in a community for dealing with a problem that occurs that doesn’t have a serious crime. Such as, telling a group of people to turn down music after a certain time, instead of issuing a ticket for disturbing the peace. The use of discretion is prominent. The Service style is to help the community for the better. This style is used in the more rural and suburban areas. The service style is to...
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