Police Administration
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Police Administration

Gary W. Cordner

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eBook - ePub

Police Administration

Gary W. Cordner

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This national best-selling text examines police administration from multiple perspectives: a systems perspective (emphasizing the interrelatedness among units and organizations); a traditional, structural perspective (administrative principles, management functions, and the importance of written guidelines); a human behavioral perspective (the human element in organizations); and a strategic management perspective (communications and information systems, performance evaluation, strategies and tactics, and prevailing and promising approaches to increasing effectiveness of police agencies).

Coverage of management functions and organizational principles is streamlined while providing a stronger emphasis on diversity principles and on developing police agencies as learning organizations. A concluding chapter covers contemporary issues, including community engagement, collaboration, privatization, globalization, police legitimacy, police diversity, predictive policing, police technology, evidence-based policing, learning organizations, emotional intelligence (EQ), and servant leadership. Case studies based on real-life events invite students to practice managing the conflicting circumstances, and Modern Policing blog posts offer news and developments in the policing world.

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Basic Considerations

The four chapters in Part I serve as an introduction to the study of police administration. These chapters provide important background information and perspectives for anyone involved in police administration.
Chapter 1 considers the history and context of police administration. The police manager’s job is greatly influenced by historical, social, political, legal, and democratic factors; an understanding and appreciation of these factors will help police managers adjust to their roles and be more effective. We stress that police executives need to develop community-oriented approaches to police administration to complement the community policing strategies and tactics being implemented by their officers. We also introduce the homeland security mission, which has added new complexity to modern police administration.
Chapter 2 examines the nature of police work. Our rationale is that, to be successful, the organization and management of police departments must be consistent with the fundamental realities of police work. Some of these realities include danger, authority, and discretion. Many of the recurring problems encountered in police administration can be attributed to a lack of congruence between traditional administrative methods and the nature of the organization’s basic work.
Chapter 3 focuses on police goals and systems. Police managers must have a keen awareness of their organizations’ missions and goals so that efforts can be concentrated on attaining those ends. The systems approach is introduced because it helps us think logically and systematically about police administration; because it forces us to recognize that police departments are composed of interrelated subsystems; and because it emphasizes the interdependence of police agencies, other organizations, and the community.
Chapter 4 discusses 30 basic police subsystem tasks within the framework of operations, administration, and auxiliary services. The treatment of these numerous subsystem tasks is necessarily brief. Our intent is to impress upon the reader the number and variety of tasks that must be performed in a police organization if the attainment of goals and objectives is to be a realistic possibility.
Preceding each of the chapters is a list of learning objectives that identifies many of the most important facts and concepts introduced in that chapter. The reader may want to refer to these learning objectives while reading each chapter or use them later on as a study guide. At the end of each chapter are discussion questions for the reader to consider and suggested readings for those who want to explore the subject matter in greater detail.

CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Police Administration


‱ Cite the first two fundamental principles of Peelian reform.
‱ Contrast the political, professional, and community eras of American policing.
‱ Identify several reasons for the development of community policing during the last decade or two.
‱ Briefly summarize the social, political, and legal contexts of American police administration.
‱ Identify the four dimensions of community policing and the implications of each for police administration.
Police administration has two primary concerns: (1) an internal one, the performance of management duties within police organizations; and (2) an external one, the implementation of policies and programs designed to reduce crime and disorder and enhance public safety. Police administrators must focus internally on running their organizations and externally on problems in their communities. They must aim for efficiency in the performance of police duties and effectiveness in achieving the goals of policing. In their pursuit of efficiency and effectiveness, police administrators must abide by a variety of legal and ethical constraints, they must remain transparent and accountable for their actions and decisions, and they must strive for legitimacy in the eyes of the public.
Thus far in the twenty-first century, police administration seems to be getting more and more complicated and demanding. A crisis of legitimacy has erupted over police use of deadly force following incidents in various cities around the country, including Ferguson (Missouri), New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. This crisis has dominated the headlines, saturated social media, ignited public protests, generated demands that police be equipped with body-worn cameras, and in 2015 led to the creation of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.1 Even more recently, immigration enforcement has aroused political and public passions. Along with these crises, three ongoing concerns that continue to dominate the agenda of police administrators are terrorism, rapid changes in modern technology,2 and coping with difficult economic times.3


Letter to Young Cops

June 12, 2018
Here’s a nice blog post by David Couper in the form of a message to young police, reflecting on his experiences from the 1960s until now. He observes that:
Fundamental to American policing is the belief that every person should be treated as you and I would want to be treated. When I did this, I found that I was, in turn, respected (even trusted) and this made me an effective police officer.
He also acknowledges that issues and conditions change over time, which means that it is essential to keep learning throughout one’s career.
Source: Modern Policing blog, https://gcordner.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/letter-to-young-cops. The hyperlink at “Here’s a nice blog post” links to https://improvingpolice.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/a-letter-to-young-cops.
Over and above these very challenging contemporary issues, it is important to realize that police administration does not take place in a vacuum—it has a history and a context. Particularly in a free society, police administrators should be keenly aware of the historical, social, legal, and political frameworks within which they operate.

The Development of Police Administration

The development of police administration had to await the development of organized policing. The year 1829 marks the origin of organized, paid, civilian policing as we currently know it. In that year, the Metropolitan Police Act became English law, concluding a long and emotional debate. Prior to that time, law enforcement in the United Kingdom and the United States had been the province of ordinary citizens, volunteers, night watchmen, private merchant police, soldiers, personal employees of justices of the peace, constables, sheriffs, and slave patrols. This informal and unorganized law enforcement approach, which had proved satisfactory for centuries, was overwhelmed by the Industrial Revolution, which spawned rapid urbanization and upwardly spiraling crime rates.
The Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 authorized Sir Robert Peel to establish a police force for the metropolitan London area, and 1,000 men were quickly hired. Where no police force at all had previously existed, there suddenly stood a large organization. The basic organizational and managerial problems faced by Peel and his police commissioners, Charles Rowan and Richard Mayne, were essentially the same as those faced by police chiefs today. How were they to let their officers know what was expected of them, how were they to coordinate the activities of all those officers, and how were they to make sure that directions and orders were followed?
Some of Peel’s answers to these questions can be found in the fundamental principles of his Peelian reform:
1. The police should be organized along military lines.
2. Securing and training proper persons is essential.
3. Police should be hired on a probationary basis.
4. The police should be under governmental control.
5. Police strength should be deployed by time and area.
6. Police headquarters should be centrally located.
7. Police record keeping is essential.4
The foundation of Peel’s approach to police administration is in his first two principles. Although he believed strongly that the police and the military should be separate and distinct agencies, he turned to the military for his model of efficient organization. He also turned to many former military officers in recruiting his first police officers.
That Peel should borrow his organizational style from the military was not at all surprising. The military and the Church were actually the only large-scale organizations in existence at that time. Both were organized similarly, although their members bore different titles. Both were centralized; a few people held most of the power and made most of the decisions, whereas many people just did as they were told. In addition, both operated under a system of graded authority; for example, generals had full authority, colonels and majors had a little less, captains and lieutenants had less still, sergeants had only enough to direct their privates, and privates had none at all.
It was natural, then, that Peel should borrow the centralized organizational form of the military model. His personnel practices, though, were not copied from the military, which at that time was composed largely of debtors, criminals, and draftees, with officers drawn from the wealthy and aristocratic classes. The military was chronically in need of people and would accept anyone into its ranks. Peel, however, was highly selective in choosing his police. Only a small percentage of applicants was accepted, and a probationary period was used to weed out those whose performance was unsatisfactory. The standards of conduct were very rigid, so many officers were dismissed, especially in the early years of organizational development.
Peel’s approach to police administration can thus be summed up as follows: (1) centralized organization with graded authority; and (2) selective and stringent personnel standards. He fashioned his approach in 1829 and it stands up well even today.

The Political Era

One obstacle to the adoption of Peel’s approach in the United States was the enduring view of police work as essentially undemanding physical labor. This widely held belief prevented the establishment of the rigorous personnel standards advocated by Peel. As a result, the pay and status derived from police work were well below the middle-class level for many years, and the job, until fairly recently, attracted mainly those whose employment prospects elsewhere were bleak.
Stringent personnel standards in the early days of American policing were also subverted by the influence of local politics (see “Politics and the New York Police,” Box 1.1). Local politics served as the vehicle for bringing immigrant groups into the American social structure, and police jobs were part...