- Slides: 14
Pulling Together: Integrating Police Craft and Police Science James J. Willis & Stephen D. Mastrofski Department of Criminology, Law and Society
Key question ¡ How might the science and craft of policing engage to improve police science and increase the likelihood that it will be used well?
Two forces of influence on police decision making ¡ Science or EBP l ¡ Emphasis on scientific method and evidence Craft l Emphasis on knowledge, skill, and judgment based on daily experience
How much top leadership has tried to get employees to adopt/follow this approach (N=95 CEOs) % "great deal" or "top priority" Video recording Rapid response Compstat Affirmative action Evidence-based pol Early intervention Broken windows Prob-oriented pol Procedural justice Hot spots Crime analysis Community policing 0 20 40 60 80 100
Importance of EBP to police officers (N = 56) Not at all important 1 Scientific evidence on what works Crime analysis Computers & info technology Good relats w/community leaders Public speaking Persuasion Physical fitness Writing Defensive tactics Verbal coercion Negotiation People/places/customs Laws, rules, & regulations A little important 2 Somewhat important 3 Important 4 Very important 5
What should we do? 1) 2) 3) Replace those with little faith in science with true believers Convert non-believers through training and supervision Seek allies among street-level officers
Ways to move science forward 1. Make science more relevant to craft l l Science has tended to focus on crime prevention Order maintenance and service functions largely overlooked yet make up bulk of police work (Bittner 1990)
Example of neighbor dispute ¡ ¡ Video clip of actual incident of dispute between two neighbors Goals identified by patrol officers included l l ¡ safety on the scene maintaining order throughout the encounter satisfying the complainant’s concerns mitigating the likelihood the dispute would reoccur in the future Science’s contribution to our understanding of these goals or outcomes and their attainment is currently very modest
Science and the processes of street-level police work ¡ What can science tell us about pragmatic concerns of patrol officers? For example: l l How can police officers do procedural justice? How can police officers diagnose a problem most effectively?
2. Treat craft with respect ¡ The craft of problem diagnosis (Muir 1977) l l Can involve sophisticated decisionmaking techniques and careful observation of human behavior Neighbor dispute as: ¡ Mental health issue? Serious criminal matter? Minor dispute, or a family matter?
Treat craft with respect (cont. ) ¡ Science could consult with craft on discovering the best means to a given end l ¡ Requires systematically tapping into the best that craft has to offer ¡ E. g. , testing several fine-grained responses to neighbor dispute More efficient and insightful than just divining from scientific theory
In sum ¡ May well improve acceptance of science by: l l Allowing craft a hand in “crafting” research Conversing with craft rather than asserting virtues of science
Conclusion Though none but a fool or a madman will ever pretend to dispute the authority of experience, or to reject that great guide of human life -- David Hume (1748: 26)
Further reading ¡ ¡ ¡ Bayley, David and Egon Bittner. 1984. “Learning the Skills of Policing. ” Law and Contemporary Problems 47: 35 -39. Mastrofski, Stephen D. 1996. “Measuring Police Performance in Public Encounters. ” In Quantifying Quality in Policing, edited by Larry Hoover, pp. 20741. Washington, DC. Police Executive Research Forum. Willis, James. 2013. Improving Police: What’s Craft Got to Do with It? Ideas in American Policing. Washington, DC: The Police Foundation http: //www. policefoundation. org/sites/g/files/g 798 246/f/201306/IAP 16_Willis_2. pdf