Chapter 4 � Psychoogy of Police

Chapter 4 � Psychoogy of Police -...

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Chapter 4 – Psychology of Police  - twice as many violent crimes and three times as many property crimes occur as are officially reported - police role: o officials in criminal justice system with whom citizens have most contact o confront criminals o “thin blue line” – stand between law abiding citizen and public disorder - to succeed at their jobs, street officers must combine physical prowess, perceptual acuity, interpersonal sensitivity, and intelligent discretion; make quick judgments - conflicts: o sometimes police may take role as enforcer too far – beyond bounds of accepted legal procedures o validity of techniques – lineups, lie detectors, etc o police officers face equality v. discretion: whether to treat all suspects as lawbreakers equally or to temper justice with mercy - Selection of police officers o Concerns of police brutality (example Rodney King case- LA cops video taped beating him; assault against Abner Louima – Haitian immigrant beaten and sodomized by NYC police officer) o 1916 – psychological evaluation of police personal began o psychological evaluations focus on finding those that are most psychologically fit and elimination those that appear less suited for police work most selection methods focus on screening out disturbed candidates o psychological test are currently used to asses levels of psychopathology that may interfere with officers’ abilities to perform their duties rather than focusing on risk assessment, situational testing, or job simulations that could detect potential problems and behaviors or attitudes o courts usually uphold legality of psychological screening of police candidates as long as long as are in compliance with federal regulations o psychological qualities looked for: incorruptible: a police officer should have a high moral character well-adjusted: police officer should be able to be able to perform job under stressful situations; must be
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thick-skinned enough to operate without defensiveness but must be sensitive to the needs of others; be able to deal with dangers of the job people oriented: need to have genuine interest in people and have compassion for them free of emotional reactions: restraint is essential; officer should be free of impulsive, overly aggressive reactions and other responses in which emotions overcome careful and thoughtful reactions logical: need to be able to examine a crime scene and come up with appropriate hypotheses o psychologist rely on: personal interviews, observations of candidates performing in special situations contrived to reflect real world characteristics of police work, and psychological tests - interview: o important in interviews (in general): reliability (extent to which an interview yields same information on different occasions) and validity (extent to which information accurately related to important criteria). HOWEVER, most police selection interviews do not show this….evidence is that police interviews are subject to low reliability and
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Chapter 4 � Psychoogy of Police -...

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