Book Review: Controversies In Policing

Controversies In Policing, edited by Quint C. Thurman and Andrew Giacomazzi

This book is the example of someone trying to toss a loaded grenade into a conversation and finding that it bounces back on themselves.  The authors here are under the mistaken belief that policing does not have controversies involving it, which would be an immensely ignorant thing to say at any age but particularly our own.  Moreover, besides that amazingly ignorant statement, the authors in this book demonstrate a marked anti-police bias that makes this book a partisan attack on the legitimacy of policing and an opportunity to make a wish list and agitate for all kinds of bogus and dubious reforms that need to be foisted upon the police to make it acceptable to the leftist morons who wrote this text.  Indeed, the more I read about policing the more I see that books about it are written by those who do not respect or regard it.  Imagine trying to gain insight about a subject by reading what is said about it by those who are biased and hostile against it?  And yet that is regularly what it happens when one reads about policing, which leads one to suspect that this book is written more for sociologists who want to bolster their ignorance of the world and less for people that work in policing or who want to know what it is actually about.

This book is a bit more than 150 pages and is divided into ten chapters and four parts.  The book begins with acknowledgements and an introduction by one of the editors of the book.  After that there are two chapters on an introduction to policing (I) that discuss controversies in policing before 9/11 (1) along with the debate between order and freedom after then (2).  After that there are some essays on the role of police in a democratic society (II), including policing in an age of terrorism (3), community policing as not being soft on crime (4), and perhaps the worst essay here, a piece of garbage on the supposed police culture (5).  After that comes a discussion of various operational issues in policing (III), including the use of deadly force (6), racial profiling (7), and the expansion of the role of women in police work (8).  After this a discussion of ethical issues (IV) leads to predictably biased essays on ethical issues in policing (9) and civil liability (10), after which there is a conclusion, references, biographical information for contributors, and an index.

Since this book is written flamboyantly by the enemies of police, this book is worth reading, to the extent that it is worth reading at all, mainly as a guide to the wrong ways to think about the police and how they should operate.  While the lawyers and self-professed scholars here appear to be doing their best to gain leftist credibility points, the book is mainly of interest from a negative perspective.  The authors point out that the data lies, which is certainly an important thing to remember.  Other authors point out that women’s roles have expanded in police work, but the focus is more on how the police are portrayed in film and television rather than how women have fared in actual police forces, which is demonstrative of the greater interest that leftists have in media and its narratives rather than in reality.  Likewise, the comments the book makes about racial profiling and the ways that cops attempt to deal with scrutiny about it are well-told.  All told, this book would tend to bolster a belief by a policeman in the hostility of certain aspects of society and would tend to buttress their hostility towards such elements, which seems contrary to the intent of the authors here.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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