Key Issues That Influence Police Behavio
Firstly, organizational factors are important determinants of police behavior. These organizational factors include administrative rules and regulations, policies, and styles of police behavior (Terrill & Reisig, 2003). Administrative rules and regulations indicate the guidelines that police officers follow in order to deliver their services to the general population. Further, it indicates the leadership and supervisory approaches that are provided by seniors on police officers. Availability of resources for police officers is also an important administrative issue that has a bearing on the behavior exhibited by the police offers. The policing organizational context in the United States is highly fragmented. The structure is made up of numerous local and cross state police units in charge of general and specific policing activities (Smith & Visher, 1981). Examples of the those that are directed on the fight against terrorism or drug trafficking and so on. These fragmented units of police influence how police officers behave in the process of delivering their roles.
Secondly, policies that are in place are important in guiding the behavior of officers. In this case, if policies are in place to enforce and ensure accountability, the police behavior may be different from the behavior that would be evident when there are no accountability demands (Smith & Petrocelli, 2001). In addition, policies on issues such as corruption among police officers are also important determinants of police behavior.
The next important factors that influence police behavior are individual determinants. Such determinants include legal factors and extra-legal factors. In legal factors, the strength of evidence is an important determinant of how police officers behave when confronted with a policing issue (Worden, 1990). Further, the seriousness of a crime is a factor that is likely to influence police behavior. The presence of witnesses is also a factor that has been found to influence how police officers behave. Extra legal factors such as race, sex, socio-economic status, neighborhood context, and demeanor are also important influences on police behavior.
The role and police officers cannot be looked down upon since it brings law and order. However, how the police officers act or deliver their duties is of great importance since a narrow distinction is apparent concerning the use of legal force and abuse of power that is bestowed on police officers. Concisely, many factors influence the behavior exhibited by the police officers as will be discussed in this paper (Smith & Visher, 1981). Understanding such influences and determinants of police behaviors is very important in informing the police practice and interventions that may guide the police behavior to for the society while at the same time ensuring law and order and justice for all people.
Research has ventured into situational and environmental influences of . While most of the studies have focused on the race of suspects, demeanor, victim requests, the seriousness of offense among other factors, organizational factors are increasingly being recognized as equally important in the . According to the available research, organizational culture and constraints among other factors have a significant influence on the decision-making process of the officers. The key factors that influence police decision-making processes include administrative rules and regulations, policies, and styles of police behavior.
Styles of police behavior
According to Smith (1984), no police station or department is identical to another. In this case, police officers often respond to similar issues differently. The response is determined by the organizational culture, demands on police work, and other constraints. Further, organizational values also have a significant influence on a police officer in terms of what they view as the norm or acceptable when making arrests or other decisions at work. Research by Sherman (1980) confirms that police behavior is a function of departmental goal, which are determined by the political climate in a given community. Consequently, the defining concept for different police departments is based on their level of professionalism and administrative complexity. Wilson (1978) reveals three categories that define different departments and agencies of police and thus informing the behavior of police officers. These categories are the legalistic style, the service style, and the security guard style.