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Chapter 5

CRM/LAW C7 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Watts Riots

Criminology, Law and Society
Course Code
Ana Muniz

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C7 - Lecture 5 - Ch. 5 Reading Notes
Ch. 5 Policing A Free Society
By: Herman Goldstein
New Pressures
Pressures to perform have increased significantly in the last decade
Watts riot of 1965 was the beginning of the large scale urban disorders
Bring riots under control while minimizing loss of life, injury and property damage
Examine aspects of their own operations that may have contributed to the
widespread discontent of minority groups in urban areas
Subject to much closer scrutiny and to much more frequent challenge than at any
time in the past
Learning to cope with the increased militancy of their own personnel
The Police Response
Response to these pressures have been varied.
It is clear that there is an expectation for the police to do beyond what is in their capacity.
Proposals for Improvement
Proposals for improvement made by presidential commissions:
Advocated programs to facilitate communication between individual officers and
the residents of the areas they policed
To recruit more members of the minority groups into police service
To eliminate practices that were offensive
To provide greater help to citizens requesting police service
Implementation and Assessment
Vast bulk of resources allocated to the police have been used to acquire elements of the
professional model
Communications equipment
Computers, vehicles, specialized units
Limited forms of training and education
However, adopted elements of the professional model have not succeeded in making
them more effective in handling the increased demands made upon them
The professional model is highly impersonal and ill-suited to today’s needs
Reforms are not solving the problems they were devised for
Problems within police system remain:
Need for stronger and more articulate leadership
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