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Styles of Policing

Essay by   •  May 12, 2011  •  Essay  •  387 Words (2 Pages)  •  5,529 Views

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There are three styles of policing that can be seen in Unites States law enforcement. Those three styles consist of watchman, legalistic and service styles. Each has their own unique way of effectively enforcing the law and achieving the goals of policing.

The first style would be the watchman style of policing. Overall, the watchman policing style is the classic mode of policing within urban areas. It is still mostly used in older cities where the residential mobility rate is lower. In the watchman style of policing there is a higher rate of police discretion. There is also a larger emphasis on crime control rather than crime prevention and the police tend to be more distanced from the people they serve. The population is more racially mixed of whom which they serve, and is considered a lot less pro-active than the other styles. A lot of overlooking can be done with this style in order to keep and maintain order. There is also a mention of discrimination that can appear with this type of style.

The second type of policing is the legalistic style. This approach to policing is based on professionalism. There is a lot of emphasis on the arrest and citation numbers. This style is usually in reformed- minded cities and views everything as set in one standard rather than different standards for the different social groups. Some of the enforcement in this style can seem a bit harsh for certain groups of people. The main focus with this style is law enforcement and there is little interest in social problems, only enforcing the laws.

The third style of policing that is noted is the service style of policing. There is a more community based style of policing where there are more than just legal solutions to a problem. This style is related to the problem-solving era where the community works with police to maintain order and conduct and there is a better relationship between police officers and the community. This style is usually seen in middle class suburban areas of the community. Crimes are more obvious and less often committed. Police are seen as protectors from the outsiders that may harm the community and thus the focus is more on services and traffic control.

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