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Monday, March 28, 2016

Contemporary Challenges and Changes in American Law Enforcement

    There are three critical issues in contemporary law enforcement. The first is the war on police. The second is the failure of police to address politicians violating their oaths to serve the public, and the third is the use of evidence based policing to make changes to police operations. The war on police can be recognized by dishonest and deceptive media coverage of police actions; examples can be seen in the Ferguson and McKinney cases in which key facts were left out of the coverage. However, this is a propaganda war generaled from the highest levels of the Democratic Party, as “Obama has created a pathway for the cop hating rhetoric to flourish” (Clarke, 2015)..Another example can be seen in the prosecution of six policemen in Baltimore related to a death in custody; not only were the investigators surprised by the severity of the charges, but the prosecutor has gone to great lengths to prevent the facts of the case from being made public by using a gag order (“Baltimore prosecutor seeks”, 2015, para. 1). This leads into the failure of law enforcement agencies and line officers to bring politicians to account for their crimes. In Ferguson and Baltimore, politicians made the choice to ignore their sworn duty to protect the community and instead, “gave space to destroy”, to violent rioters. Another example would be in the Fast and Furious gunrunning case, in which the Obama administration provided weapons to violent narco-terror cartels, in violation of treaty with Mexico and in violation of the duty to protect. Third, evidence based policing is the trend that has continued from Vollmer through today, in which using the scientific method improves both the professionalism and efficiency of the police. Carter contends that “ we learned that experimental research could be effectively performed in a police agency without posing undue threats to public safety” (1995, p. 3)
    Not all of these challenges generate controversy. Although there is controversy regarding the war on police within the law enforcement community, but discussion in the public is limited due to lack of media focus... from the same media driving the war on police. Even so, "rank-and-file brethren in police departments nationwide, says police feel under siege and demoralized by the bias against them" (Bello, 2014, para. 4) Regarding the second issue, there is very limited discussion which is restricted to right wing viewpoints, and there is ambiguity as far as local laws (nonfeasance, misfeasance, malfeasance) and Constitutional responsibilities for dealing with such ssues. There is some academic dispute about which evidence policies have worked and which haven't. These disputes carry over into the political sphere. Three strikes sentencing and broken windows policing are two examples in which studies can be at odds with each other regarding results. Foe example, Bowling asserts that New York's drop in crime was more a result of a decline in the use of crack cocaine (1999).
    Evidence based policing has created the most change of the three issues. The war on police has not driven a formal change in police departments, but line officers are showing a trend towards not wanting to do their duty if doing so will place their careers and potentially their lives at risk , as the police are afraid of getting arrested for performing their duty” (CNN, 2015) The second has not driven any change. Although the concepts are based upon basic adherence to the law of the land, and duty of public office holders and sworn law enforcement officers , the consideration of this issue is considered to be extremist. Evidence based policing has driven many changes, although the debate and politics muddle he water regarding the efficiency of the changes. Levitt (2004) discusses several possible reasons, not including “Broken windows” policing, that may have been factors in New York's declining crime rate.
    The changes driven by these issues cab be either temporary or permanent. In the first, these are recent changes and may be temporary depending on how the war on cops is dealt with. There are no changes on the second. In the third, both. Some changes like the shift to community policing have been more permanent, while we can see that the broken windows approached has been discarded due to politics; New York's Mayor DiBlasio ended broken windows policing for political reasons, and we have already seen the rise in crime in New York (Celona, 2015).
    These changes reflect a shift in our society as a whole. The country has shifted leftward with control of the media (Groseclose & Milyo, 2005), education (Yancey, 2012), and the bureaucracy into the hands of liberals. This shift has left the country less educated, less patriotic, and more susceptible to propaganda and malfeasance by politicians and bureaucrats.


Baltimore prosecutor seeks gag order in Freddie Gray case. (2015, May 15). Fox News. Retrieved June 20, 2015 from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/05/15/baltimore-prosecutor-seeks-gag-order-in-freddie-gray-case/

Bello, M. (n.d.). “It can be fearful”: Police feeling under siege. USA Today. Retrieved June 7, 2015, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/12/22/police-reactshootings/20773395/

Bowling, B. (1999, Autumn). The rise and fall of New York murder: Zero Tolerance or crack’s decline? British Journal of Criminology: VOL. 39 NO. 4. Retrieved April 15, 2014 from www.umass.edu/legal/Benavides/Fall2004/397G/.../7%20Bowling.pdf

Carter, D. L. (1995). Reflections on the move to community policing: Regional Community Policing Institute. Retrieved August 10, 2014 from http://webs.wichita.edu/depttools/depttoolsmemberfiles/rcpi/Policy%20Papers/Reflections%20on%20Comm%20Pol.pdf

Celona, L. (2015, May 26). You’re 45% more likely to be murdered in de Blasio’s Manhattan.  The New York Post. Retrieved May 27, 2015 from http://nypost.com/2015/05/26/youre-45-more-likely-to-be-murdered-in-de-blasios-manhattan/

Clarke, D. [SheriffClarke].(2015, May 11). I will say it again. Obama has created a pathway for the cop hating rhetoric to flourish. He has led the chorus.[Tweet]. Retrieved May 15, 2015 from https://twitter.com/SheriffClarke/status/597834103556349952

CNN. (2015, May 28). Baltimore union: 'Police are under siege'. Retrieved June 7, 2015 from http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/05/29/exp-baltimore-police-freddie-gray-crime-marquez-dnt-erin.cnn

Groseclose, T., & Milyo, J. (2005). A Measure of Media Bias. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120(4), 1191–1237. http://doi.org/10.1162/003355305775097542

Levitt, S. (2004). Understanding why crime fell in the1990s: Four factors that explain the decline and six that do not. Journal of Economic Perspectives, (18)1.

Yancey, G. (2012). Recalibrating Academic Bias. Academic Questions, 25(2), 267–278. http://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1007/s12129-012-9282-y

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