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Policing Essay

618 words - 3 pages

After reading Policing Identities: Cop Decision Making and the Constitution of Citizens written by Trish Oberweis and Michael Musheno (1999), it was determined that there are multiple reasons behind the decisions that police officers make in their daily lives when on patrol. Some of these decisions are not always rule driven and fixed as described in the article. Oberweis and Musheno (1999) describe an officer’s decision-making process as “normative” and “contingent”. Oberweis and Musheno (1999) spent six months in the field with two squads of a metropolis of the Western United States. To come to all of the conclusions that Oberweis and Musheno (1999) made, this required for them to ride in patrol cars, attend briefings and interviews, and generally hang out with the officers within the department. Upon getting to know the officers, 10 officers were selected with the goal of diversifying storytellers across several identity categories. These categories included: race, sex, rank, age, and sexual preference. One of the major points that was expressed throughout this article was the point about a cops “identity” and how these can change from officer to officer.
An identity is how we come to recognize others, as well as ourselves. In addition to an identity, comes the term “subject position”. Subject position tells us who we are in relation to others. This can include how we behave, and how to expect others to behave. These subject positions include race, age, sex, rank, and employment. These positions help us identify who we are and to help identify where everyone else stands in accordance to ones self. Branching off of this idea as a whole comes the idea of a police identity. Included within this police identity are aspects such as job, duty, and performance of self. Every police officer has this identity;...

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