AJ 4 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Knapp Commission, Extortion, Selective Enforcement
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Problems Of Policing
Causes of stress:
● External stressors, such as verbal abuse from the public, justice system inefficiency, and
liberal court decisions that favor the criminal. What are perceived to be antipolice judicial
decisions may alienate police and reduce their perceptions of their own competence.
● Organizational stressors, such as low pay, excessive paperwork, arbitrary rules, and
limited opportunity for advancement.
● Duty stressors, such as rotating shifts, work overload, boredom, fear, and danger.
● Individual stressors, such as discrimination, martial difficulties, and personality
● Combating stress: the more support officers’ get in the workplace, the lower their feelings
of stress and anxiety.
● Controlling fatigue: review scheduling so that officers don’t work too much overtime,
assess the level of fatigue and quality of sleep, and inform officers of sleep.
Violence and Brutality
Police brutality: actions such as using abusive language, making threats, using force or coercion
unnecessarily, prodding with nightsticks, and stopping and searching people to harass them.
● Aggressive cops may be ones who overreact to the stress of police work while at the
same time feeling socially isolated.
● Administrative policies have been found to be an effective control on deadly force, and
their influence can be enhanced if the chief of police gives them the proper support.
Corruption: exercising legitimate discretion for improper reasons or using illegal means to
achieve approved goals.
Knapp Commission: a public body that conducted an investigation into police corruption in NYC
in the early 1970’s and uncovered a widespread network of payoffs and bribes.
Meat eater: a term used to describe an officer who actively solicits bribes and vigorously engages
in corrupt practices.
Grass eater: term used to describe a police officer that accepts payoffs when everyday duties
place him in a position to be solicited by the public.