Police Theories Essay

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Police Organizational Theories The major organizational theories associated with policing would be: the contingency theory, the institutional theory, and the resource dependency theory. Each theory has certain merits and downfalls, and determining which is best is dependent upon each individual jurisdiction. The Institutional theory is best described as Community Oriented Policing, or COP as it is more commonly known. (Crank, 2003) COP is a theory of policing where the main idea is that police agencies operate in relation to their community’s social and political environments. Essentially, the police will base their use of assets in a manner to reduce crime by building ties within the community and having a presence in neighborhoods. This can be an effective method because many argue that seeing the police in an area a majority of the time deters criminals from acting in those areas. A downfall of the COP theory is that political influence can force a department to pool resources in an area where crime is not as prevalent in order to keep good relations with a major tax base. Often times the poorer neighborhoods do not feel as though they are receiving enough of a police presence. The contingency theory is based on the approach to achieve specific goals, such as crime control. This theory would suggest the creation of specialized “task forces” to handle certain crimes committed in the jurisdiction. The downfall with this theory is that a department can become too specialized and broken into different departments that it cannot adapt to changes. The final theory, resource dependency, is as the name suggests. Agencies following this theory would believe that in order to survive they need to adjust their policing efforts to a style that will yield the most money coming in. This money can be used for further expansion, but it allows for a feeling of

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