Police Effectiveness

Gary Cordner

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:
Police Effectiveness

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Police effectiveness refers to the extent to which policing achieves its proper, officially sanctioned goals. Consideration of police effectiveness turns out to be quite complicated for several reasons, including (1) the police have multiple goals, making their bottom line multidimensional; (2) the relative priority of police goals is subject to discussion and debate among the public and within the police field; and (3) assessing police effectiveness is methodologically challenging. Fortunately, these issues have gotten substantial attention in the police field since about the mid-20th century, and many effectiveness-oriented studies have been undertaken. These studies can be organized according to police practices (strategies, tactics, and programs) and desired effects (such as reducing crime, solving crime, and enhancing police legitimacy). Because researchers and police officials have made police effectiveness a top priority, we know much more about “what works” in policing than we did in 1970.

Article.  11962 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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