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Dalton Lehrer

Peter Fields

English Composition 2

02/14/2019

An Analysis of Modern Crime and How it Can be Stopped

It’s a brand-new world! An unexpected advancement in technology has caused crime to

skyrocket. Due to technological advancements, crime has become easier than ever and more

widespread than ever. Technology like social media, email scamming, and phone scamming

have made modern crime easy. Now criminals can access vast amounts of information and

recruit more members by having a strong social media presence. This may cause others to

wonder how crime can be stopped. Although law enforcement agencies are trying their best, they

haven’t been received well by the American public in recent years. The mixture of unfair media

coverage and an increase of crime has caused a gap in the relationship between police and the

communities they serve. When examining multiple peer reviewed articles from reliable

databases, an individual can realize that law enforcement is stepping up to combat modern crime,

and an improved relationship between the public, and its local law enforcement agency can

create a safer environment. Also, by interviewing several lieutenants and officers around the

Appleton Police Department one can get an idea on how police are taking a stand against an

evolved onslaught of crime, and how a strong bond with the community can help prevent said

crime.

American policing has undergone numerous changes, and reorganizations since its

inception in the late 1700’s. Police were originally organized locally and maintained an
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allegiance to the local municipalities. As a branch of government, it also had to be prevented

from intruding upon the affairs of the American public. The primary role of law enforcement was

to react to calls that were handed out instead of taking proactive roles to stop crime. In the late

1800’s and early 1900’s, policing became far more organized. In Aronowitz’s article she states,

“Law Enforcement became a bureaucracy organized along paramilitary lines.” Aronowitz

believes that, “This was done to professionalize the police force and shift the allegiance to the

organization and chain of command” (Aronowitz 68). By doing this, law enforcement agencies

were able to strengthen their resolve against corruption. Although, times like the 1960’s and the

1970’s caused law enforcement to reexamine its ways. There was mass public upheaval,

mistrust, and hatred due to certain social events that were taking place during the time such as

The Vietnam War for example. After looking over massive amounts of data and statistics, police

found that they were quite ineffective at preventing, and solving crime within the United States.

Improvements needed to be made or crime would have run rampant throughout the nation.

Over the last three decades, the world has undergone extraordinary change. In an article

written by Wilkinson, it is stated that, “Globalization has impacted every aspect of human life

and has revolutionized the face of modern organized crime” (Wilkinson 15). The advancement in

technology has provided new ways for criminals to commit old crime types, and allowed new

crime to evolve, as well as shockingly challenging traditional policing traditions. Wilkinson

proclaims that, “These crime types can be gun running, cyber-crime, human trafficking,

counterfeiting, large scale fraud, extortion, and far more” (Wilkinson 16). The cost and scale of

crimes have increased astronomically due to the change in times as well. Crime is an expensive

aspect of society and the emotional cost can be drastic as well. This “Modern Era” is pushing law
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enforcement to the limit and challenging them to come up with new ways to get the upper hand

on criminals looking to harm the innocent. Wilkinson explains that, “Modern crime can be

international, multilayered, multicultural, highly developed, ambitious, profitable, and

technologically sophisticated” (Wilkinson 22). With the evolution of modern crime and

technological advancements that causes crime to become easier comes the struggle to stop those

activities.

Investigators and law enforcement need to be able to build partnerships across law

enforcement agencies, across sectors, and even across borders. Sectors and borders can be

defined by the word jurisdiction. By definition, a jurisdiction is the territory or sphere of activity

over which a legal authority of a court or other institution extends. By having strong partnerships

across jurisdictions, law enforcement can have access to valuable information on possible

subjects, crime scenes, and evidence. This access can help departments everywhere in their

pursuit of justice. The Ted Bundy murders are an excellent example of the lack of

communication between law enforcement agencies in the past. During the 1970’s, the term serial

killer wasn’t thought about. Ted went on a killing spree that spanned multiple states and

jurisdictions. Law enforcement agencies had little to no idea on how to identify Ted, or a

possible suspect because they had no communication between areas. After Ted was finally

caught, law enforcement began to build better communication across sectors, but the damage

was already done. Also, multiple languages, cultures, international politics, and legislation must

be understood. The safety of communities is the top priority of most law enforcement agencies.

An article written by Wilkinson explains how “A clear vision such as this helps when balancing

demands and managing risk” (Wilkinson 22). Although crime has evolved in the past several
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decades, law enforcement has followed in its trail every second of the way. An increase of

communication across agencies, strengthened partnerships between departments, advances in

technology that assists law enforcement in preventing modern day crime has given police the

edge it needs to stop this evolved crime.

There are many important factors that go into better policing strategies, but perhaps no

other factor is as crucial as the relationship between the local law enforcement agency and the

community it is sworn to protect. In a section of his article, Lyons explains that, “Advocates

assume that more proactive policing of disorder, including fear reduction and problem-solving

partnerships, will revitalize communities and allow for citizens to contribute their informal forms

of social control to the provision of public safety” (Lyons 15). In order for a community to

remain safe and secure, its citizens must trust its local police force, otherwise it is less likely that

crimes will be reported in the area. That relationship between community and its police force is

crucial to the protection of innocent individuals. Lyons believes, “police-community partnerships

to address neighborhood problems are expected to empower citizens in communities to

overcome their fears and contribute to the coproduction of social order” (Lyons 15). It is very

important to allow citizens to have a role in keeping the social order of the community because

then it seems like there is less of a power imbalance. When the power gap becomes too large it

can have dire consequences upon the police-community relationship. Allowing individuals

within the community to have some sort of say in the way they are being policed will result in a

higher likelihood that those individuals will report crimes, work with local law enforcement, and

even take steps towards removing some levels of local crime. A more in-tune relation between

the community and police force can create a safer environment for everyone involved.
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A new concept of team policing was introduced in the 1970’s. A section written by

Aronowitz notes that, “With an emphasis on strengthening the relationship between police and

the public, this philosophy introduced decentralization to improve service delivery and

permanent geographical assignment” (Aronowitz 69). New ideas like foot patrol were introduced

to bring officers out of their squad cars, and closer to the American public. This increased public

perception of safety and improved police-community relations. Aronowitz utters “These

strategies also served as a predecessor to the current community-policing models” (Aronowitz

69). The shift from traditional policing to community policing has worked miracles upon the

American public. The idea that the community is not “them” but instead the community is part of

“us” in law enforcements eyes began to strengthen. By viewing the public as part of the

department, there is less of a rift between the two. The public and local law enforcement should

not be their own separate factions, but instead should be a team. By trusting each other and

working together the community can fight modern crime. Due to rising crime rates, citizens cried

out for more officers and law enforcement agencies did just that. Also, the technology used to

prevent crime took a huge jump and made it difficult for criminals to get the upper hand.

Technology like mobile fingerprinting, mobile investigation management, social media, body

cameras, dash board cameras, and most importantly cellular devices. Also, police decided to take

a more preventative approach and began stopping crime before it was able to begin.

Communities started to report that they felt safer, and that was due to a strong bond between

community and police.

Another way to build a strong community-police bond is transparency. In an article

written by the International City/County Management Association it is stated that, “During 2014

less than half of residents thought that the police department in Durham, NC, was doing a good
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job” (ICMA 2015). The city decided to change that by insisting on transparency within the

Durham Police Department. The police chief, Jose Lopez, made their department’s two main

objectives to increase departmental transparency by having better communication and increase

the public’s trust in Durham Police. The International City/County Management Association

stated that, “Not only did they establish goals, but they identified specific measures, such as

increasing the number of community events that the Durham Police Department would

coordinate and take place in” (ICMA 2015). By partaking in these community events, officers

are moved from their squad cars and begin to be involved with the public. Officers can

communicate directly with citizens and even develop friendships with others. Also, citizens love

to know that their local law enforcement is there to protect them from any danger. The process of

working, helping, and protecting these community events can be very important to the

community-police relationship.

The life of a law enforcement officer in today’s world is not easy. It is extremely

dangerous due to the amount, and complexity of crimes nowadays. The issue with some of the

information provided is that there is no real statistical data that can reliably back up the claims.

Having a lack of statistical data can cause the public to wonder if their local law enforcement

agencies are succeeding in performing their duties. If the public could be provided with

information such as crime rates nationally, globally, or even within their own communities they

may feel more at ease. By releasing this data, police can have a goal to work towards annually.

Also, departments must implement new strategies and philosophies on a larger scale. No

difference is made if only one department changes its ways for the better. There must be a large

shift when law enforcement agencies improve their protocols. In order to be a police officer one
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must exude hard work, commitment, honor, passion, and pursue excellence in the enforcement of

laws.

Dalton Lehrer

English

Peter Fields

03/29/2019

Bridging the Gap

The field of law enforcement is a tough and gritty field that takes a special kind of

person to perform its required tasks. Unfortunately, with all that action, comes mountains

of paperwork. It is a give and take kind of relationship. Some may view this paperwork as a

burden, but it is extremely valuable to the process. Proper documentation of events and

statistics make the world of law enforcement a better place. By having proper

documentation, officers can prove their findings and that their actions were justified.

Having written reports on the call allow officers to recall exactly what happened and why

they took certain actions. There is already a massive amount of paperwork and report

writing but it ultimately may not be enough. The most worrisome gap in current police

research is the lack of actual statistical data. This can make it extremely difficult to provide

factual accounts and reliable arguments. With the number of arrests, drug busts, warrants

served, and other occurrences in the field one would think that there would be an easy way

to access that information. With no real statistical data regarding law enforcement
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dealings, there is no way to prove their reliability. This lack of reliability may cause trust

issues for the public.

Not having a clear and easy to attain database of statistical data can leave the public

feeling unfulfilled, especially in today’s world where potentially every action taken could be

questioned. If there was an accurate database available to the public that explained all

police activity quarterly, it may help the public trust its law enforcement agencies. In a way,

this holds law enforcement agencies responsible for its actions on every call. When not

providing actual statistical data it can seem dishonest to the public, and potentially give off

the vibe that there is actually something to hide.

The gap may exist due to a massive influx of crime. Law enforcement is a fast-paced

field with many confusing aspects. It is difficult to keep up with the ever-changing world

and the barrage of crime that citizens have unfortunately become accustomed to. There is

no question that crime has skyrocketed due technological advancements and criminals

becoming more intelligent. These advancements in technology and evolving crime types

are putting a strain on law enforcement. It can become a strenuous task to keep track of

and paperwork may be the least of law enforcement's worries. With all that crime, there is

a heavy emphasis on stopping the activities. Perhaps there is such a heavy emphasis on

stopping the crime that there is a diminished emphasis on recording it. Another reason for

the gap existing is that it is becoming hard to find individuals who want to join the field of

law enforcement. Criminals are becoming more dangerous by the day and the public’s

opinion about police officers is dropping to hazardous levels. Not everyone may view the

field as honorable anymore, and this can cause a downfall in recruiting. This inability to
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find new officers can put a heavy strain on the field. If something is not done now to fix

these issues it may one day be too late; Something must be done now!

The gap should be filled before crime has become so widespread that it is

uncontrollable. By having a reliable database to look at, citizens could feel more at ease in

their communities. They would be able to see the work that their officers are doing and feel

safe in their neighborhoods. Agencies would be able to look back on their work annually

and see what they could improve on and also feel proud of the good work they have done.

It would hold law enforcement accountable for their actions and give the public something

to refer to when they begin to doubt. All of these things would help strengthen the

important relationship between law enforcement and the citizens they are sworn the

protect. This relationship is crucial to stopping crime in its tracks. Data has shown that

when departments and communities work together, crime plummets.

In order to fill such gap an implementation of a reliable database that is nationwide

should be heavily considered. This database would record and keep track of things such as

arrests, crime rates, crime types, and other important aspects in the world of law

enforcement. The database would be released quarterly in order to give agencies

something to compare to. By comparing numbers quarterly, law enforcement would

provide more up to date information. When releasing information quarterly, law

enforcement agencies would be operating like a normal business. Information would come

out often and be accurate. The database would be run by a trusted government agency.

Every three months law enforcement agencies would send their recorded statistics to the

specific governmental agency and the data would be compiled. The information would be
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released to the public and would be made easily accessible to all. Private information

would be kept away from the public though in order to protect the privacy of others. This

database will work because it is a reliable representation of the actions being performed by

law enforcement. The database works in two ways. One way being that it provides

statistical data that is readily available to American Citizens. The second way would work

in a psychological way. It would hold officers responsible and make them strive to perform

their duties to the fullest. Plus with today’s technology it would not be difficult to create

this database. It seems like a simple solution with positive effects for all.
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Works Cited

Aronowitz, A. A. (1997). Progress in community policing. European Journal on Criminal Policy

and Research, 5(4), 67-84. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02677663

Lortz, Mitch. “What Is Community Policing?” Everbridge, Mitch Lortz, 28 Dec. 2016,

www.everbridge.com/blog/what-is-community-policing/.

Lyons, William. "Community (Policing)." In The Politics of Community Policing: Rearranging

the Power to Punish, 15-34. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3998/mpub.15188.7.

Menon, S., & Teo, G. S. (2012). Key challenges in tackling economic and cyber crimes. Journal

of Money Laundering Control, 15(3), 243-256.

doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13685201211238016

WILKINSON, SUE. “The Modern Policing Environment.” Dealing with Uncertainties in

Policing Serious Crime, edited by Gabriele Bammer, ANU Press, 2010, pp. 15–26.

JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt24hbrf.6.
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“3 Ways to Improve Police/Community Relations.” Icma.org, IMCA, icma.org/articles/article/3-

ways-improve-policecommunity-relations.
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