ABSTRACT

A police officer is the willful embodiment of the state's morality. An officer's actions are the morality of the state made kinetic, making sure that bad people are dealt with, public order is asserted, and laws are enforced. Values do not emerge whole-cloth from police training and police work. To understand the occupational predispositions of the police, one begins by looking at their family backgrounds. Groups of individuals who made up these cliques developed informal rules for getting along. In this sense, organizational culture represented a functional social and semi-professional adaptation to what was seen as a hierarchical, inefficient bureaucracy. The idea that police are value-based decision-makers makes sense when one thinks of the police as culture carriers. Cops are acutely aware of victims. This is an aspect of policing that many reformers overlook. Yet it is one of the central components of the noble cause.