The dangers inherent in police work are brought to the public’s mind when police are killed in the line of duty. This is especially true when it is apparent that the officers were deliberately ambushed. Clearly, the relationship between police and community differs widely from place to place.
- Discuss how perceptions of police can differ across different communities or cultures.
- Critics of police have questioned the “militarization” of local police in America. Explain what is meant by this term and analyze whether it is an accurate characterization.
- Earlier in the course, we examined “positive” theories, which suggest that criminal behavior is often influenced by factors outside the offender’s control. Can positive theories apply also to police officers who use excessive force or otherwise abuse their power?
- Police agencies across the country are increasingly turning to the use of “body cams.” These are devices worn on the uniform of a patrol officer in order to record audio and video during encounters with residents. Proponents believe body cams will deter and detect instances of police misconduct. What are the drawbacks of body cameras? What position do police unions take on this issue?