Policing in the 2000s

As America and the rest of the world entered the new millennium, further advances in technology helped police departments go beyond CompStat and develop new and unique ways to analyze crime and use information and intelligence in smarter ways. Although police agencies are still plagued by some of the same old problems—such as brutality, racism, and corruption—new approaches to fighting crime have changed how some police departments are managing crime problems.

Those technological changes in criminal investigations are discussed Chapter 5.

Questions for Discussion

  • 1. Would the United States be better off if it had a less fragmented and more centralized system of policing?
  • 2. In what ways are patrol officers more important than detectives?

Important Terms

CompStat: Program and a process that involves analyzing information and intelligence to better combat crime problems.

Kansas City Preventive Patrol Project: Research project conducted in Kansas City in 1974 to determine if police presence in the form of patrol officers had an effect on crime rates. It was found that the presence—or absence—of patrol officers had almost no effect on crime rates.

National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement: Commission, also known as the Wickersham Commission, appointed by President Herbert Hoover in 1929 to study crime in the United States.

Patrol officers: Uniformed police officers who perform a variety of functions, including responding first to calls to the police department and handling traffic duties.

Slave patrols: Organized groups of men who captured escaped slaves from Southern states.

Watch system: Ordinary citizens responsible for patrolling the streets to watch out for fires or crime.

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