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 in Chapter 5.

Questions for Discussion

  • 1 How will Next Generation 911 (NG911) make the reporting and solving of crimes more effective and efficient?
  • 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 combat crime problems more effectively.

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.

Study Guide Questions

For questions 1—5, indicate whether the statement is true or false.

  • 1 The oldest law enforcement agency in the United States is the FBI.
  • 2 Federal law enforcement officers are involved when a federal law is violated.
  • 3 The London Metropolitan Police was established in 1829.
  • 4 The conclusion of the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement was that Prohibition was enforceable.
  • 5 Patrol officers are typically first responders when a call comes into the police station.
  • 6 Slave patrols were organized in the south in the United States to

a Defeat the Ku Klux Klan

b Protect slaves from abuse

c Prevent slaves from escaping from their owners

d Investigate crimes on plantations

7 The Wickersham Commission was the more informal name for

a The International Association of Chiefs of Police

b The National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement

c The Knapp Commission

d None of the above

8 The outcome of the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Project was that:

a Crime went up in areas with decreased patrol officers

b Citizens realized that there were fewer officers in some areas

c There were no differences in the role of officers in most crime categories

d Citizens’ fear of crime went up

9 Patrol officers do various tasks, including:

a Solving crimes

b Investigating police corruption

c Performing forensic work and detecting crime

d Responding to domestic disputes and emergencies, and controlling crowds

10 CompStat was an important development in the 1990s because it:

a Created stress for precinct commanders

b Allowed police departments to pinpoint and analyze crime patterns c Led to an increase in crime

d Slowed down the use of police personnel

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