Police Legitimacy and Procedural Justice
PoliceLegitimacy and Procedural Justice
PoliceLegitimacy and Procedural Justice
Legitimacy,on a general perspective, can be defined as being valid before thelaw or the eyes of informed citizens it is a valued quality ofsocial and political processes. Justice, on the other hand, isconsidered as fairness in the protection of human rights andpunishment of wrongs. Justice can be achieved through properadministration of the laws of a particular land. The task of leadingan enforcement agency has always been complicated because it requiresskills in the mastering of the policy issues, management ofemployees, maintaining organizational structures and system, andaddressing the expectations of the community. The quality of policingin the United States has significantly improved as compared to thepast years because there is better handling of crime and the policehave become more professional. To understand police legitimacy andprocedural justice, it is vital to explore the history of policing,how it affects public perception, and the role of police managersregarding interagency collaboration and community relations.
Colonialistsettled in America and immediately allowed constables to beappointed. The community members came up with the “watch” whichconsisted of one constable, six watchmen, and volunteers whopatrolled during the night. The policing during this era was moreinformal as it was based on volunteering headed by a constable whodid the supervision. The informal modalities served the purpose ofcommunity policing where danger was reported by the watchmen andvolunteers until the idea of having a centralized municipal policedepartment emerged. In the more rural America, the sheriff was incharge of attending the court, collecting the tax, and serving legalpapers. Moreover, the early policing was a structure incorporated thewatch, sheriffs, and constables (Mazerolle, Bennett & Tyler,2013). The watch was purely based on people offering their time toassist in crime watch and security, which affected communication inthe sense that not all the crime was reported adequately. Some of thewatch volunteers, especially those who patrolled during the nightcould fall asleep in the middle of the evening hence, they could notgive a correct report of what happened. As the business class economygrew, police work also increased, and most of the volunteers optedout because it was time-consuming. It became even difficult tocommunicate any crime as the volunteers were few and could not coverwatching the community effectively. There was no documentation ofreported crime it was more of verbal reporting.
Anycommunication by the sheriff or constable was passed on by thevolunteers who sometimes were not efficient and reliable and coulddistort information. As more businesses opened and more peoplesettled in America, it meant more work for the watch (Bottoms &Tankebe, 2013). The city of Boston became the first one to establisha centralized municipal police. The modern policing had police asregular employees hired on a full-time basis, fixed rules andprocedures for the police departments and were bureaucratic innature.
Allcitizens have a legal right to be protected despite their race,gender, social status or color. Public perceptions of safety are areal basis for judging policing in a democratic community. Properlawfulness means that the police have complied with professional andconstitutional norms. Research, over the past years, has consistentlyshown that the minorities are more likely to view law enforcementwith distrust and a lot of suspicions (Bottoms & Tankebe, 2013).The legitimacy and procedural justice will determine the perceptionsthe public have towards the law enforcers. For example, minoritiesoften report that the police single them out based on theirethnicity. Minorities have been known to bear a negative perceptionwhen it comes to their safety and the safety of their communities.Mistrust of the police system undermines their legitimacy, whichaffects their functioning. If the legitimacy of the police iscompromised in any capacity, then it changes the public perception oftheir safety. A justice system that is unfair regarding handling itscrime and legal issues also may affect the law enforcementdepartment.
Roleof Police Managers in Interagency Collaboration
Interagencycollaboration is the involvement of agencies and families comingtogether for the purpose of interdependent problem-solving andimprovement of services. Interagency collaboration has benefits suchas better decision-making, a new development of new policies,reduction in duplication of services, consistency of messages fromthe interested persons, increased quality of case monitoring andfaster access to offered services. For interagency collaboration towork efficiently, full participation of the concerned agencies isrequired. Police managers play a crucial role when it comes tocommunity relation and interagency partnerships. Police managermobilizes the different agents within the community that canparticipate in the collaboration by offering their services. Policemanager is also in charge of mitigating conflict between the agenciesto ensure smooth running to avoid duplication of services and is incharge of accountability among the agencies (Walker & Archbold,2013). As a police administrator, one is obligated to increasecompany productivity by monitoring the activities of the agents. Themanager can foster strong community relations through communitypolicing in the area.
Problemsin Structure and Design of Police Department
Lawenforcement staffs try every day to build and maintain trust with thecommunity that they serve by ensuring timely and efficient service.However, a single story of misconduct of the police could destroy theconfidence among the citizens. The manner the community perceives thelaw enforcement depends on how they relate with the differentinternal departments of the police (Mazerolle, Bennett & Tyler,2013). The police have a duty to maintain high integrity andprofessionalism when handling cases, which should constantly bereiterated by the heads of departments. Internal affairs should haveprocedures of handling and investigation any misconduct by any policeofficer to build the trust among the citizens. Racial and ethnicminority officer in the department help in building trust for thepolice force among the minorities group because of the belief ofhaving equal justice (Mazerolle, Bennett & Tyler, 2013). Therecruitment of women in the police structure is a potential problemin trust building with the community because there is a difference inpolicing for the two genders.
Theintelligence department of the police does not only deal withinformation clearing but also provides strategic integration ofinformation into the overall mission of the law enforcementdepartment. Intelligence-led policing, however, differs from othercommunity policing models regarding where they get information andtheir policies. It is based on management and assessment of riskswhere the officers serve as guides to operations (Ratcliffe, 2016).Intelligence-led policing came about due to the rejection of some ofthe policing models that were not meeting the expectations of thecommunities. Initially, the intelligence-led unit would not discloseinformation from one department to another to deal with crimeeffectively. This was different from other policing models where allthe information was available for investigations. It later changedafter the September 11 bombing of the twin towers. ILP offersmanagement of crime services in comparison to other policing modelsin that it focuses on serious offenders and has integrated criminalanalysis in their work. The department is still not stable because itlacks a universal conceptual framework.
Improvementof Public Safety
Localsecurity does not only depend or rely on the police but also dependson the individual. It is the responsibility of any person to avoiddanger by any means necessary (Bullock, 2014). Local safety can beimproved regarding swift communication and response to reportedsituations. The police should have a faster response regardingaddressing a reported crime. Proper investigation of offenses beforeany conviction by the law is the duty of the police. Law enforcementdepartment should ensure that there is enough security through theday and night, there should be regular patrols in the neighborhood tocurb crime activities. In essence, the public safety can be improvedby the timely response to crime related activities.
Policelegitimacy is the basis of community perception and trust. Thefunctioning and productivity of the law enforcement can be affectedby the opinions of the community members. The history of policing hasconsiderably improved as the years go by with modern policestructures taking charge. Interagency collaboration within thecommunity can be improved by the police managers taking up theirroles efficiently and ensuring there is conflict management. Theintelligence-led department is important when it comes to trustrelations with the citizens this is dependent on its structures andhow it is integrated into the community. The design and structure ofthe police department have an influence on the city’s reliance onthe force. The relationship between the different internaldepartments affects the outcome of the larger force.
Bullock,K. (2014). Introduction. In Citizens,Community and Crime Control(pp. 1-24).
Bottoms, A., & Tankebe, J. (2012). Beyond procedural justice: Adialogic approach to
legitimacyin criminal justice. TheJournal of Criminal Law and Criminology,119-170.
Mazerolle, L., Antrobus, E., Bennett, S., & Tyler, T. R. (2013). Shapingcitizen perceptions of
policelegitimacy: A randomized field trial of procedural justice.Criminology,51(1),33-63.
Ratcliffe,J. H. (2016). Intelligence-ledpolicing.Boston: Routledge.
Walker,S. E., & Archbold, C. A. (2013). Thenew world of police accountability.London: Sage
No related posts.