Police Departments & Crime Flashcards

Police Departments & Crime Flashcards
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Probable Cause

A reasonable, fact-based belief that a crime was committed by a suspect

Required for searches, seizures, and arrests

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Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
Protects citizens against searches, seizures, and arrests without probable cause
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Matrix Organization in Police Departments

The most advanced type of organizational hierarchy involving specialized units and roles for each officer

Commonly found in the largest, multi-unit police departments

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Functional Organization in Police Departments

A type of organizational hierarchy involving a branching chain of command that utilizes managers and officers divided into specialized units

Commonly found in large, multi-unit police departments

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Line and Staff Organization in Police Departments

A type of organizational hierarchy involving a linear chain of command with the addition of support staff

Commonly found in medium-sized police departments

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Line Organization in Police Departments

A type of organizational hierarchy involving a linear chain of command

Commonly found in small, rural police departments

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Police Discretion
The authority of a police officer to choose how to act in different policing situations, such as after observing a traffic law being broken
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Police Ethics
The generally accepted moral standards in policing
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Police Integrity

A measure of whether police officers are operating fairly within a set of legal and community standards

Dependent on discretion, ethics, and professionalism

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Service Policing Style

An informal, interactive style of policing with less emphasis on law enforcement and more on service

Found in communities that are suburban, middle-class, and homogenous with low crime rates

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Legalistic Policing Style

A strict, formal, paramilitary style of policing

Found in large, diverse cities with well-organized governments

Officers given little discretion, and can come across as too harsh

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Watchman Policing Style

An informal, reactive style of policing

Found in communities that are blue-collar, small, diverse, and rural

Officers given wide discretion, leading to discrimination allegations

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24 cards in set

Flashcard Content Overview

This flashcard set reviews police officers and police departments. It covers policing and police-management styles, the steps required for arrests, and the rules that govern what the police can and cannot do. The set will also review the ethics of policing, including some unethical issues like racial profiling, excessive use of force, and corruption.

Front
Back
Watchman Policing Style

An informal, reactive style of policing

Found in communities that are blue-collar, small, diverse, and rural

Officers given wide discretion, leading to discrimination allegations

Legalistic Policing Style

A strict, formal, paramilitary style of policing

Found in large, diverse cities with well-organized governments

Officers given little discretion, and can come across as too harsh

Service Policing Style

An informal, interactive style of policing with less emphasis on law enforcement and more on service

Found in communities that are suburban, middle-class, and homogenous with low crime rates

Police Integrity

A measure of whether police officers are operating fairly within a set of legal and community standards

Dependent on discretion, ethics, and professionalism

Police Ethics
The generally accepted moral standards in policing
Police Discretion
The authority of a police officer to choose how to act in different policing situations, such as after observing a traffic law being broken
Line Organization in Police Departments

A type of organizational hierarchy involving a linear chain of command

Commonly found in small, rural police departments

Line and Staff Organization in Police Departments

A type of organizational hierarchy involving a linear chain of command with the addition of support staff

Commonly found in medium-sized police departments

Functional Organization in Police Departments

A type of organizational hierarchy involving a branching chain of command that utilizes managers and officers divided into specialized units

Commonly found in large, multi-unit police departments

Matrix Organization in Police Departments

The most advanced type of organizational hierarchy involving specialized units and roles for each officer

Commonly found in the largest, multi-unit police departments

Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
Protects citizens against searches, seizures, and arrests without probable cause
Probable Cause

A reasonable, fact-based belief that a crime was committed by a suspect

Required for searches, seizures, and arrests

Blue Wall

An unwritten rule in policing discouraging officers from turning in other officers for police misconduct

Often embedded into the police culture of many departments

Rotten Apple Theory
A theory in policing that states that corruption in police departments is most likely due to a small number of corrupt officers instead of the entire department
Use of Force

The amount of effort a police officer uses to force an unwilling subject into compliance

Standards set by departments, though National Institute of Justice requires the least amount necessary

Use of Force Continuum

The force choices available to an officer, the use of which is dependent on the situation

In order: officer presence, verbalization, empty-hand control, less lethal methods, lethal force

Excessive Force
The use of greater than necessary force while making an arrest
Problems with the 'Excessive Force' Definition

Uses subjective terms, such as 'necessary' and 'reasonable'

Involves evaluation of a split-second decision by an officer often under distress

Racial Profiling

Practices in policing that allow a person's race to influence a decision on the enforcement of the law

Targets racial minorities

Reasonable Suspicion

A standard below probable cause that allows an officer to stop and frisk a suspect based on their belief that the suspect did or will commit a crime

Can lead to racial profiling issues

Bias-Based Policing

Practices in policing that allow an officer's prejudice against a person's characteristics, such as gender or age, to influence a decision on the enforcement of the law

Includes racial profiling

Title 42 Section 1983 of the United States Code

Federal law allowing citizens to sue the police when their civil rights are violated due to unreasonable, unconstitutional, or injury/damage-causing conduct

Must show that the officer was on duty

Arrest Warrant
A written order from a court, signed by a judge, allowing a police officer to take a suspect into custody
Bill of Rights

A document that protects American citizens. It includes a series of protections, including the Fourth Amendment, which requires the police to only search people if they have reasonable cause.

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