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Unformatted text preview: The Nature of Police Work The myth of police as crime-fighters has been conveyed to the American people through television dramas, comic strips, and newspaper articles. It conjures up in one's mind an image of a police officer doing a dangerous job that requires him or her to outshoot, outpunch, and outwit dangerous criminals. For most American police, there is little correspondence between this image and reality. In a major metropolitan area (where crime rates are the highest), half of the officers in the local department will not make a felony arrest during a given year. The total annual rate of weapon discharges per hundred police officers is in the range of two to six. What do the police really do? Three functions Even though we refer to the police as law enforcement officers, the enforcement of criminal law (in other words, investigating crime and apprehending criminals) is only one of several functions that the...
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- Fall '09