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CRM 3104 Law Enforcement Systems

Course Description

Law Enforcement Systems reviews the various national and international law enforcement systems including community policing, use of force, high-liability issues and policy review.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to

  • Compare and contrast the police of the early 19th century with that of the 21st century
  • Discuss factors in police officer recruiting, attrition, and retention
  • Explain the span of control and its importance to law enforcement organizations
  • Discuss the necessity for inclusive policy and procedure manuals in law enforcement
  • Explain the difference between management and leadership
  • Discuss law enforcement advances in technology
  • Discuss the challenges in minority recruitment
  • Discuss the use of force matrix and how less lethal technologies fall on the matrix
  • Explain Miranda and exceptions to Miranda
  • Discuss the multiple internal and external stressors related to law enforcement professionals and identify methods to minimize stress
  • Discuss police culture
  • Examine the issues and procedures of citizens' review boards
  • Describe the outcomes of the Kansas City study on patrol procedures
  • Explain the various controversies related to police pursuits, the dynamics of pursuit, and possible solutions
  • Explain the controversy of racial profiling and methods to minimize the practice or perception of the practice
  • Describe the concepts of the broken window hypothesis and community policing

Week 1

Lecture: History and Types of Policing in America


  • Discuss the rich, colorful history of policing
  • Explain how the U.S. police and the entire U.S. criminal justice system evolved from the English law enforcement experience
  • Describe early American policing both the colonial experience and the 18th and 19th centuries
  • Assess the history of policing in the first half of the 20th century
  • Outline the history and development of recent policing from the 1960s through the present time
  • Differentiate the many and diverse local, tribal, and state public agencies that enforce the law and ensure public safety in the United States
  • Discuss the numerous federal law enforcement agencies that enforce federal laws and regulations and assist local and state police departments
  • Describe the size, scope, and functions of law enforcement agencies in the public sector
  • Monitor the many changes made in law enforcement following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States
  • Evaluate the number and type of jobs available to the student in public and private policing

Week 2

Lecture: Organizing Policing in a Technological Age


  • Assess the organizational and managerial concepts necessary to organize and operate a police department and to introduce the student to alternative organizational models
  • Categorize the complexities of modern police organizations
  • Explain how police departments are organized on the basis of personnel, area, time, and function
  • Analyze the major ranks in a police department and the responsibilities connected with those ranks
  • Define the major units of a police department and the functions they perform
  • Interpret the latest technological advances in policing
  • Explain how the computer and technology are revolutionizing policing
  • Assess the latest uses of computers in police operations, criminal investigations, and police management tasks
  • Discuss the latest criminalistics and forensic techniques including DNA profiling
  • Analyze the threat to civil liberties caused by rapidly advancing technology

Week 3

Lecture: Police Officer Recruiting and Retention


  • Describe where to find information on jobs in law enforcement
  • Discuss the police selection process
  • Discuss the standards that must be met to be accepted for employment as a police officer
  • Describe the type of individuals police departments are interested in employing
  • Identify the police academy training, field training, community policing training, and probationary periods required in many police departments
  • Describe the history and problems of minorities in policing
  • Illustrate how discrimination affects minorities in obtaining employment and promotions in policing
  • Discuss the provisions of the U.S. legal system that enabled minorities to overcome job discrimination
  • Introduce the academic studies showing the performance of minorities in police work
  • Define the problems minorities still face in law enforcement, even in the 21st century
  • Explain the issues related to recruiting and retaining law enforcement officers

Week 4

Lecture: Police Discretion and Liability


  • Explain the police role and its many interpretations
  • Discuss the goals and objectives of policing
  • Classify operational styles of the police
  • Evaluate the concept of police discretion, seeking to understand how and why discretion is exercised, and the methods that have been used to control it
  • Explain the concept of discretion and police force including police shootings and deadly force
  • Discuss the amount and types of crime in the United States and the number and types of arrests made by the police
  • Appraise the role of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Supreme Court in regulating the actions of the police
  • Explain the role of the police in making arrests, searching people and places, and stopping automobiles
  • Discuss, through the exploration of case law, the changing philosophy of the U.S. Supreme Court in areas regarding arrests, search and seizure, custodial interrogation, and identification procedures
  • Assess the exploration of case law, of current standard police procedures in arrest, search and seizure, custodial interrogation, and identification procedures

Week 5

Lecture: Police Culture and Stress


  • Discuss the research indicating the existence of a distinct police culture or subculture to familiarize the student with studies of the police personality including attempts made to define the police personality
  • Present studies of police cynicism to familiarize the student with the Dirty Harry problem. Do good endings justify the use of bad means to achieve those endings?
  • Discuss one of the most serious police problems, police stress, why it occurs, how it is exhibited, and what means can be taken to deal with it
  • Discuss the serious and sad problem of police officer suicide and how it is frequently caused by stress
  • Analyze the awareness of dangers facing the police, including being killed and injured in the line of duty, and dealing with contagious diseases, such as AIDS

Week 6

Lecture: Ethics and Corruption


  • Compare the various definitions, the types, and the extent of police corruption
  • Examine various reasons for police corruption
  • Assess the forms of police misconduct other than police corruption including drug-related corruption, police deception, sex-related corruption, and domestic violence
  • Discuss the definition, types, and extent of police brutality
  • Explain various responses to police brutality, including citizen complaint review boards
  • Discuss the issue of liability and the effects of lawsuits on police officers and police agencies

Week 7

Lecture: Police Operations


  • Compare the three traditional methods of doing police work and examine their effectiveness
  • Examine the academic studies of police patrol
  • Explain police patrol, what the police do on patrol, and how they do it
  • Discuss how law enforcement has responded to the implications of the academic studies
  • Explain police traffic operations and special operations
  • Discuss some of the innovative ways of performing the patrol function including directed patrol, split-force patrol, and differential response to calls
  • List the methods of resource allocation that will lead to increased efficiency in patrol operations
  • Discuss new tactical approaches to patrol operations
  • List the various vehicles law enforcement is using for patrol activities
  • Discuss police automobile pursuits and the evolution to safer ways of handling these potentially hazardous situations
  • Address new efforts to combat the drunk driving problem and to target aggressive driving
  • Discuss special operations including SWAT teams, emergency service units, and K-9 units
  • Discuss traditional detective operations
  • Discuss the alternatives to retroactive investigation of past crimes by detectives
  • Evaluate the most recent proactive tactics being used by investigators including tactical operations, decoy operations, sting operations, civil liability and code enforcement teams, and multijurisdictional task forces
  • Examine undercover operations including police, federal, and private security operations, and undercover drug operations
  • Define entrapment and show how it relates to police tactical and undercover operations

Week 8

Lecture: Community Policing


  • Illustrate the meaning of police-community relations and their importance to the safety and quality of life in a community
  • Explore public attitudes regarding the police and efforts undertaken around the nation to improve public perceptions
  • Describe various minority populations and some of their issues regarding police interactions
  • Explore the challenges that various populations, including the aging population, the students, crime victims, victims of domestic violence, the mentally ill, and the homeless, face when interacting with the police
  • Identify efforts being made to better serve these populations
  • Describe some innovative community crime prevention programs that focus on crime reduction and improving the quality of life in communities
  • Discuss the most current thinking about corporate strategies for policing including strategic policing, community policing, and problem-solving policing
  • Explore the philosophy and genesis of the current corporate strategies of community policing and problem-solving policing
  • Discuss the effect of community policing and problem-solving policing on current policing
  • Discuss the implementation of community policing strategies, including the most recent methods, the role of the federal government, and some recent community policing successes
  • Explain why some scholars and practitioners do not agree with the implementation of community policing strategies
  • Discuss how community policing strategies can be useful in the fight against terror

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course. February 2012