1. Why was the modern police force “invented” in the first part of the nineteenth century? How did the concept of the police force differ from that of the military force?
2. Describe the problems of patronage and corruption in nineteenth-century police forces. In what ways do professionalism reforms reduce these kinds of problems within policing?
3. Describe the impact of technology on the methods of policing, on the effectiveness of patrol, and on relationships between the police and the community.
4. What is the purpose of preventative patrol? What evidence do we have today that patrol “works” to prevent crime? Describe the Kansas City experiment. What does this research suggest about the most effective use of police personnel? Describe the different strategies of patrol and discuss the relative advantages of each type of patrol.
5. What are forms of police misconduct? How widespread is this behavior within policing?
6. What is the “fleeing felon doctrine”? Why was it declared unconstitutional in Tennessee v. Garner?
7. Describe the evidence concerning the disproportionate shootings of minority citizens. How has the pattern changed since the 1970s? What does the evidence suggest about the role of racism in the use of lethal force against minority suspects?
8. What are the code of silence and the concept of the “blue curtain”? Why do researchers believe these develop as features of police subculture? How does the culture of policing contribute to the problem of police brutality?
9. What is the “working personality” of police officers? What are the origins of this set of attitudes and values?
10. Describe how the military model of policing may contribute to the prevalence of police brutality.
11. In what way is the metaphor of cops as soldiers inaccurate for modern policing?
12. What is the paradox of coercive force? How does the use of force undermine police authority to use force?
13. What do police really do and how does this contrast with the “image” of policing? What are the three functions of policing? Which is most important in your view and why?
14. What is community policing? Do you support the image of police as “problem-solvers”? Why or why not? In your view, is community policing the latest fad or an important and lasting trend in police reform?
15. What is the status of minorities and women in modern policing? What steps, if any, would you advocate to increase the diversity of police?