SOC219: LECTURE 3
• What is the Police’s ability in reducing crime?
o Black people have contact card filled out more frequently than other
people. Contact card gives information about a person. (Racial
• Function other actors aside from police officers who conduct policing
• Organization Patrolling and going around responding to calls.
• Legislation Rules that police have to comply with; Police have the right to
keep someone in custody even if they have not committed a crime. Enforcing
the criminal code. Police act- has a number of things police are not supposed
to do. (Highway act, control substance act)
• Organization of police--> We have different levels of police who have
o Municipal, Toronto, OPP - have diff levels of jurisdiction.
OPP- jurisdiction is in the highway and the legislature so cannot
be pulled over on a local street by an OPP
o Hybrid Policing model – UTM police have police powers but not
attached to a particular municipality, they have limits and restrictions
to what they can do.
o Specialized police- Central intelligence not wearing uniforms and
don’t drive in cruisers, but are policing at a national level
o Military police- members of military has their own police force. Base-
own officer. Jurisdiction is confined to their base.
o Civil servants-tax officials who look out at public to make sure you are
paying your tax level of policing
o External policing – CIA, FBI (in US)
Private Policing: Bigger than public policing
o Issues that come up with private policing SOC219: LECTURE 3
Hired by private organizations
Serve different roles and different functions- private security->
in malls, and condos, in commercial buildings that have security
that walk around all day long.
Different Concerns- protection of the private property
They are there to secure private property but they may still
Do not have gun, limited uses of force, and Different level of
legitimacy in someone’s eyes (would a security at the mall be
seen the same way as police officer?)
Their salary is minimum wage
Do they have any training- on their powers of arrest (
Do they have the right to search someone? What do they do if
someone refuses to allow them to search? They have not gone
to school for it.
Quasi police look- private security they are more integrated
into the institutions Disney world= have a lot of security
dressed up as the characters so doesn’t look like there is a lot of
police, but the police are watching out for you. Police functioning
happening at a subliminal level- so without knowing you
wouldn’t perceive the police being there.
How much money do we pay for police?
o Per capita cost / per person how much we have to pay – decline from
early to late 1990, then from 2009 – an increase from $225- 365 per
person= Cost of police is going up.
Question is the money more effectively being used? Are we
getting more than how much we got before since we are paying
o Police strength= Increase from 1990
How many police officer per 100 000 residents = relatively SOC219: LECTURE 3
increase in number of police officer per 100,000 people. Since
cost is going up, the number of police is going up. (We’re having
more officers per person, not because population is increasing or
anything like that.)
o Total police strength VS total crime rate= crime rate peaked in 1990
and then has been declining ever since. In 1990- crime was the highest
and then it dropped after that. Late 1990, there was an increase in the
number of police officers. (More police officers per person in the
officer) Crime was already coming down in early 1990, before the
number of officers started to increase in late 1990.
= SO hired more officers when crime was already declining
1. Serve a deterrent (physical presence of an officer) function – having a
police officer or a system that responds to crime. If we completely
eliminate the police, perhaps the crime rate may increase again.
2. Law enforcement happens after crime and enforcing law VS.
order maintenance called in and serves a preventative measure
(at a concert police officers watching out to make sure a fight doesn’t
3. Restoring Order- once things have gone out of hand, police comes and
Police and Crime:
o Crime that was reported to the police 688 000
o The number of people charged- so police was able to locate
o For an entire year, one officer will charge 8.7 people.
o It doesn’t look like they do very much in terms of their ability to control
crime. Their work is not serious enough to send it through the system,
it is more order maintenance. They don’t have the ability to make an
impact on crime.
In Toronto, city hall told the police to cut back on their budget.
But they come back and say, they need more money and
because this is safety and making sure you’re safe at night. SOC219: LECTURE 3
Increase in budget is necessary because they need more police
officers, and because it is high paid job.
Police Functions, Budgets
o Why are officers paid so much?
B/c it is a dangerous job, and so they are not susceptible to any
underground money or seduced into money and can be
honorable and more true, and it is a shift job and not necessarily
regular working hours so compensation for that.
o Sunshine list= every public employee who earns more than 100, 000 a
year gets their name put on the list --> last year 3200 police officers
last year were on this list = so they are getting paid high
o What are other choices? Do we have any other option other than police
officers? How do we evaluate the police and see whether this money is
well spent. How can we measure the effectiveness of officers? Does
more officers reduce crime? How do we know how much we need from
the police? ( If we have more officers and it reduces crime, then it
would be worth spending this much money, but what if not ?)
Would Increasing Police officers reduce crime? In US- GOAL : 100,
000 new officers
• Goal: hire additional 100,000 officers per country and were distributed
randomly and so certain locations were given more officers than
othersRandomly spread out. At this time, US crime rate was already
declining before this was already happening. Trying to measure
police effectiveness is hard. But in this study, it turns out there was
no effect of the increase in police officers.
• Some locations that got more officers, the crime rate still went up, but in
some places with more officers the crime rate went down. SO there were no
consistent effects. Maybe, more officers would lead to more crime because
more officers can report more crime. But at a national level, crime rate was
still going down. The strength of police officer may not really be important or
does not have an impact. SO just by adding a couple more police officers
doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to have an impact, and maybe more SOC219: LECTURE 3
officers are not fighting crime out there but are doing administrative work.
More officers doesn’t necessarily mean it is more effective in reducing crime.
• IS Crime reduction and an appropriate way to measure effectiveness?
• ConclusionAdditional police officers do not necessarily make community
safer. IT might depend on the size of the intervention few more officers is
not going to make a big change since the officers are spread out over the
o Crime rate started decreasing in 1991 and officers started to increase
in 1998 – so does not mean necessarily that the intervention of adding
police officers reduced crime, because it was already reducing
• Particular area with a lot of officers- so aims to clean up an area with high
• Impact of police seen when they are physically there or perceived to be
there. When looking at hot spot policing in US- there is a Deterrent effect
seen so once we increase the likelihood of one being apprehended/ or being
caught – but may last no longer when the police is not present there.
US= Gun violence and Police
• High crime time, and high-risk area- police were present during the time
when gun violence was high in an area. Police were put into areas with high
gun crimes and so did not respond to any other calls. They did traffic calls.
This study compared before and after the hot spot intervention and
compared to neighboring areas that did not have the hot spot intervention
and compared b/w the days when there was high crime and low crime.
• Measure: reports of shots fired.
• Conclusion – large decrease in areas of densely patrolled police officer- high
police concentration. When present, and only when they were in the place,
then there was an effect. If you increase the likelihood of getting caught, it