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Police Role Descriptions In The Media

1327 words - 5 pages

"The public wants a general-purpose emergency service, available to handle problems that arise" (Katz & Walker, 2008, p. 10). The onus of this is left to the police, every hour of the day, every day of the year. Necessitating, through the sheer scope of its responsibilities, a range designation of specific roles best suited to manage its variant maintenances. These both include and supersede the attitudinal perceptions of the community and its observations of specific news events. This ties directly into recognition of a difference from the reality of law enforcement and its popular depictions. Shown through an exploration of current news stories based upon the four basic role perceptions of the police. That is, as a body focused on crime fighting, social service, order maintenance, and crime prevention. Viewed through an angle of each independent role via news outlets discernment on an occurrence. Noting a range of fiction to persist, forcing a scope of differing impressions in its wake. Herein highlighting an imperative standard of recognition with police responsibilities and roles for jobs to remain effective. Basely, when the media and populace portray law enforcement as mythologized figures with singular foci, communities suffer from the misrepresentation that ensues.

The first police role that examines this is that of the crime fighter. A mantle most widely maligned through stereotypes and fictionalized ideals of its reactive functions. Whereby expectations frequently exceed possible capabilities and result in communal backlash. However, the concept of certain police responsibilities directed strictly at the combating of crime is not unilaterally wrong. Evidence of this pattern in action is seen through the Castle Rock Police's efforts at surrounding the home of an armed assailant in Denver, Colorado. The shooter stands accused of shooting his pregnant wife in the upper torso to head region before she escaped with a child shortly thereafter. Still armed, using the weapon to fire off multiple rounds inside the home, a Specials Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team became the authorities answer for intervention (Associated Press, 2010). Seen through a bare synopsis, the article appears a valid account of events without invention. Showing that despite any predilection toward mythologizing the crime-fighter role, reality does bear accuracy in part of its perceptions. Of course, the reverse proves true that more serious consequences can bear fruition too. Evinced in unrealistic assumptions of what is possible judged against what takes place.
A second province of police classification is that of the social servant. This role has a multitude of facets, primarily as it pertains to conflict resolution and assisting individuals in needs. Fulfilling the definitions implicit in its assignment by working closely for and with the public in all aspects of duty. One avenue of its manifestation is thus witnessed through an article extolling the job of a...

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