Approximately 50 years ago, William Westley’s (1953) pioneering study of police officers brought to the forefront the special characteristics of police work. The present research raises the question: how far have thepolice come since Westley? Using focus group interviews and surveys collected from alarge Southwest police department, the study examines the situational role context of physical force. In doing so, it provides an explanation of physical force today, compared to explanations offered by Westley. The current research examines whether officer use of physical force and its severity are determined by the situation. The results confirm this hypothesis by suggesting that physical force is determined situationally, according to low‐order excessive force and high‐order violent force. As a way of understanding the lack of change in attitudes and practice of physical force, a possible explanation is the patrol culture.
Cancino, J. (2001), "Walking among giants 50 years later: An exploratory analysis of patrol officer use of violence", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 144-161. https://doi.org/10.1108/13639510110390918Download as .RIS
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