Discussion and Results Chapter: Evidence

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[. . .] The complex nature of police agencies and the many stakeholders involved underlines the need for this type of flexible approach to change. The input and perceptions of officers in the field of practice are likely to be very different from managers who are more inclined to impose solutions which may be validated empirically, but do not necessarily cohere with the day-to-day reality experienced by officers. Ideally, change should take place as a dialogue between officers, managers, and members of the public. Even a solution which may seem valid at the time may not keep pace with the needs of the wider social environment by the time it is implemented: 'tweaking' the change process and accepting input is demanded for it to be truly effective.

References

Jones, M. (2008). A complexity science view of modern police administration. Public Administration Quarterly, 32(3), 433 -- 4-57.

CARMEN LEONARD M4D1

Having a female officer interview the wife is a good idea. This may be a less confrontational technique in her eyes than using a male officer and a female officer is likely to be perceived as more empathetic to the woman's difficulties. Given that the primary objective is to ensure honesty in the wife's testimony and to encourage her to bring forth charges if she is indeed being abused, the police must be highly self-conscious about the type of 'face' they are presenting to the potential accuser. Similarly, the police must be very careful about who interviews the children, to ensure that the evidence the minor children give is reliable, credible, and admissible in a court of law. Minors must also be treated with sensitivity given that while not all children in houses with domestic violence are physically abused, this is a not-unrealistic possibility. They likely have suffered psychological trauma even if they are not physically abused.

JOHN RHODES M4D1

You make a good point that although the initial suspicion of the investigators is that an incident of domestic violence has occurred, it is essential that the alleged crime of burglary be fully investigated, to show that officers were doing their jobs in the event of a future prosecution of the husband and also to make sure that the officer's initial hunches were correct. I also agree that given the instability of the situation -- the wife may refuse to press charges -- it is imperative that officers follow all necessary protocols in observing the likely suspect's rights. This is also true with the likely witnesses, particularly the children. Each state has slightly different laws regarding the role of the parent to consent to their children's participation or the parental presence during interrogations and the police must be mindful of these restrictions, despite their understandable desire to question the children alone as soon as possible.

ERIC HACK

I agree with Jones (2008) and his assessment that police bureaucracies are complex by their very nature. Even if there is an attempt to enact change in a top-down fashion, the multifaceted nature of police organizations means that changes tend to occur in a non-linear format. Also, police organizations are affected by many situational variables and constraints that can inhibit reforms such as the different perspective of officers in the field and managers with less exposure to physical risks. There is also an institutional culture which can be very insular and resistant to change yet which may be necessary to brave some of the stressors of modern policing. Crime itself is a multifactorial problem and as complexity science allows, causal relationships in regards to criminal behaviors are difficult to determine. This is one of the advantages of de-centralized approaches such as community policing, which creates a more atomized and responsive structure for police organizations.

DENISE ARTHUR M4D2

The concept of 'strategic management' is interesting when applied to policing because it takes some of the models previously only relegated to business and applies them to modern-day policing. The police must serve the public like effective business organizations must serve customers. The concept of 'systems thinking' takes into consideration the dynamic social environment in which police organizations must operate, in contrast to the usual static approaches embraced by many government organizations hemmed in by bureaucratic cultures. By decentralizing authority police organizations can be more… [END OF PREVIEW]

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