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Powell v. Alabama

Powell v. Alabama

Powell v. Alabama as a Leading U.S. Case

Powell v. Alabama is one of the leading United States Supreme Court decisions impacting law enforcement in the United States, and, in this regards, Powell v. Alabama may be a case reference for attorneys and police officers. As a leading case, this entry about Powell v. Alabama tries to include facts, relevant legal issues, and the Court's decision and reasoning. The significance of Powell v. Alabama is also explained, together with the relevance of Powell v. Alabama impact on citizens and law enforcement.

Citation of Powell v. Alabama

287 U.S. 45 (1932)

Police

Police

Education of Police

In line with Stephen D. Mastrofski

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Improving the education of police has been an enduring feature of reform in America and other Western nations. Although the desirability of a professionally trained police force can be dated at least as far back as Sir Robert Peele (around 1830), the notion received support in America from a variety of police reformers, such as August Vollmer, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Wickersham Commission. Until the mid-20th century, the ambitions of reformers were modest compared to today's standards: first, hiring officers who could read and write, and somewhat later, recruiting officers who had completed a high school education. But after World War II, a high school education became the norm, and college education began to appear in some agencies as an appropriate goal, one that has become increasingly popular as a means of advancement in, if not admission to, the occupation.

Hiring Standards for Police

In line with Jess Maghan

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Police agencies are governed and influenced by a political and governmental social system operating in interrelated roles with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Within the system, police hiring practices are influenced by federal, state, and local lawmaking bodies; city managers and mayors; corporation counsels and city planners; community advocates; and federal and state courts. Beneath these exigencies lies a broad and dynamic social system composed of cultural, educational, political, religious, and economic institutions, including the mass media that also shape this process. How police are recruited and hired, trained and retained, must be seen in the context of this vast and complex network of social institutions. The enormous progress during the past two decades in declaring operational efficacy, mission statements, and professional standards by individual police departments represents the most solid evidence for equitable hiring standards of American (United States) law enforcement.

Militarization of American Police

In line with Peter B. Kraska

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Examining the militarization of civilian police in the United States of America may seem, at first glance, an odd pursuit in light of the preoccupation in the literature with community policing, a trend that espouses moving away from the traditional paramilitary professional model toward a democratization of police organizations and services. To some police observers, a momentous shift has occurred in the relationship between the police and military: The traditional delineations between the military, police, and criminal justice system are blurring. In breaking with a long-standing tenet of democratic governance and a central feature of the modern nation-state, the traditional roles of the military handling threats to our nation's external security through threatening or actually waging war, and the police targeting internal security problems such as crime and illegal drugs, are becoming increasingly intermingled.

Physical Fitness and Training

In line with R. G. “Nick” McNickle

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Police officers who are unfit put their own lives, the lives of their partners, and the lives of the public at risk. Today, American (United States) police academies lasting 12 weeks or more graduate fit recruits. The unsolved problem for many police departments is the rapid and severe physical deterioration of too many of those academy graduates. The general definition of physical fitness as the ability to perform everyday activities without injury or undue fatigue applies to police but is incomplete. Police physical fitness refers also to the officer's ability to perform all job-related tasks successfully. The earliest police system in America began as a night watchman function in Bigg Apple (New York) City without physical training standards of any kind, and it continued that way for the rest of the 19th century. In the first two decades of the 20th century, scholars began to study all aspects of police training.

Police Fiction

In line with Frankie Y. Bailey

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

The evolution of crime/detective fiction culminates in the 20th century with the police procedural novel. However, the roots of modern police fiction can be traced to the 19th century. Police fiction developed in conjunction with and parallel to developments in law enforcement in Europe and later in the United States of America. The real-life exploits of criminal investigators and the methods used by police detectives influenced the works of writers of fiction. In 1829, Eugéne François Vidocq, the former criminal who became chief of the SÛreté, published his Memoires de Vidocq . Vidocq's account of his career inspired a number of writers, including Edgar Allan Poe, “the father of the mystery short story” and creator of the brilliant armchair detective, Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin (Richardson, 1999, p. 479). In England, Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins offered the early British police detective in the context of a fictional investigation.

Police Management

In line with Angelo Pisani & John Rowland

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Because policing is government's primary instrument in achieving social control, its management is of particular importance. Management theory attempts to identify and predict the behavior of organizations and their members. Police management refers to the administrative functions associated with managing a law enforcement agency, including identifying and training qualified candidates, directing and coordinating personnel, monitoring the performance of personnel in areas such as regulatory enforcement and their ability to provide the public with access to existing services, and practicing crime prevention and reduction. For modern police managers to apply theory with street reality in an effort to develop innovative strategies, it is essential that they possess an understanding of the historical foundations of management (or organizational) theory.

Public Perceptions/ Attitudes toward Police

In line with Joseph A. Schafer

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

The idea that the police should concern themselves with their public image would seem to be common sense. Only in recent decades, however, has this ideal truly entrenched itself within America. Largely driven by the civil unrest and discontent with the government that emerged in the 1960s, public perceptions of the police have become a legitimate police concern, as well as a growing area of social science inquiry. Despite what many police officers may believe, the majority of citizens hold favorable impressions of their local police. Factors shaping individual impressions include citizen demographics, contact with the police, and community context. A founding principle of modern policing is that the efficacy of the police depends upon the trust and support of the general public.

Police Corruption

Police Corruption

Police Corruption

In line with Maurice E. Punch

about Police Corruption in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

The police organization is the primary public agency representing the state in the lives of citizens. In Western-style democracies the police institution is ostensibly subject to accountability through adherence to the rule of law and due process. Deviation from the ideal of an accountable public service reflects on the legitimacy of the state. Yet in studies of policing in numerous countries there is evidence of deviation from rules and laws by officers; this may be related to disciplinary offenses, crimes (there is more information about criminal law in the American Legal Encyclopedia and about crimes and criminals vocabulary) (excessive violence, abuse of human rights, burglary, etc.) and corruption in its many forms (but principally financial arrangements for not enforcing the law). In some less developed countries or so-called failed societies (hereafter LDCs), the police may even become involved in political violence, drug trafficking, and exploitation of the vulnerable through predatory corruption; this may be conducted with near impunity because there is no effective redress.

Police Corruption: Combating Strategies

In line with Czeslaw Walek

about Police Corruption in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

When a government makes a commitment to ending police corruption, the most tempting approach is to try to weed out the “bad apples,” instead of considering a comprehensive strategy for overcoming corruption. However, the success of any strategy is possible only when it covers all corrupt situations and intervenes against all individual, organizational, and public environments that are connected with the police corruption. Police officers do not live in a vacuum; they live in society that has its own hierarchy of values. If the fight against corruption has a low priority in this hierarchy, one cannot expect this strategy to be very successful. Between May and July 2001, Transparency International of the Czech Republic conducted a survey of strategies in combating police corruption. Survey results were based on 71 completed questionnaires from 25 countries.

Police Mediation

Police Mediation

Police Mediation

In line with Maria R. Volpe

about Police Mediation in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Police mediation refers to police officers assisting disputing parties in airing their differences, including feelings and perceptions; listening to each other; and helping the parties resolve the situation that triggered the police response. For police officers, their role as mediators is both old and new. In its simplest form, police mediation has existed as long as there have been disputing parties who have called upon police officers to intervene. Typically, police mediation was done without formal training in mediation. With the increasing popularity, acceptance, and institutionalization of mediation in a wide range of settings since the 1970s, the rich, long history of informal and intuitive police mediation associated with traditional police work has come under increasing scrutiny. Not only are police officers now receiving more formal training in mediation skills, they are also working more closely with mediation practitioners, usually those connected with community-based mediation centers.

Police Officer Standards and Training Commissions

Police Officer Standards and Training Commissions

Police Officer Standards and Training Commissions (Post Commissions)

In line with Jeffrey S. Magers

about Police Officer Standards and Training Commissions in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Police officer standards and training commissions, often referred to simply as POST commissions, are state organizations that set standards for police officer minimum selection criteria, basic and inservice training requirements, licensure or certification, and suspension or decertification. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia have POST commissions, or organizations that have the same administrative and functional mandates, which involve critical issues of police officer standards for their respective states. Hawaii does not have a POST commission or similar agency. These state-level commissions provide law enforcement agencies with guidelines, established by administrative regulations or law, and require compliance by all municipal, county, and state law enforcement agencies, to maintain a baseline for police officer standards and training. Although referred to by the common acronym POST, not every state has an agency using that name.

Police Misconduct

Police Misconduct

Police Misconduct

In line with Vincent E. Henry

about Police Misconduct in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Although “police misconduct” is a rather sweeping and somewhat amorphous concept, it is generally used in reference to illegitimate police behaviors or activities that are related to the performance of an officer's official duties and violate state or federal criminal law (there is more information about criminal law in the American Legal Encyclopedia here)s, department policies, professional ethics, or administrative rules and procedures. Police misconduct is an important public policy issue as well as a recurring problem that is widely discussed and debated by police officers, police administrators and executives, lawmakers and public officials, and members of the public. The diverse definitions of misconduct are, like the behaviors, motivations, and contexts involved, highly complex and multifaceted.

Police Executive Research Forum

Police Executive Research Forum

Police Executive Research Forum

In line with Christopher Morse

about Police Executive Research Forum in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) was formally established in 1977 by a group of a dozen large city police chiefs who saw the need for an organization that would explore issues and establish a research agenda for municipal policing. PERF's main goals are to enhance the capabilities of the police, to improve crime control nationwide, to encourage debate in the law enforcement community about police issues, to promote the use of law enforcement research, and finally, to provide leadership, assistance, and management services to police agencies nationwide. In order to satisfy these goals, PERF employs a staff comprised of former police executives, criminal justice experts, and professionals with expertise in research, training, and policy analysis.

Policing

Policing

Problem-Oriented Policing

In line with Michael S. Scott

about Policing in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Problem-oriented policing is a comprehensive framework for improving police service that was first articulated by law professor Herman Goldstein in 1979. Since then, many police agencies and police research institutions have sought to incorporate its principles and methods into the routine business of policing. Goldstein (2001) summarized the basic elements of problem-oriented policing as follows: Problem-oriented policing is an approach to policing in which discrete pieces of police business (each consisting of a cluster of similar incidents, whether crimes (there is more information about criminal law in the American Legal Encyclopedia and about crimes and criminals vocabulary) or acts of disorder, that the police are expected to handle) are subject to microscopic examination (drawing on the especially honed skills of crime analysts and the accumulated experience of operating field personnel) in hopes that what is freshly learned about each problem will lead to discovering a new and more effective strategy for dealing with it.

Railroad Policing

In line with Dorothy Moses Schulz

about Policing in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Private railroad companies established their own police forces as early as 1847. The construction of railroads contributed to trespassing and thievery and the layouts of rail yards and storage material led to placing value goods distant from established communities, many of which lacked organized police forces. Even in cities that had begun to develop their own police forces after the 1850s and 1860s, railroads were concerned with the safety of passengers and their luggage. After the Civil War, hobos took to rail facilities, setting up squatter camps, traveling at no cost, and often taking whatever they could along the way, and although train robberies occurred throughout the nation, in the years after the 1880s until the turn of the century they became closely associated with banditry in the American (United States) West.

Theories of Policing

In line with Peter K. Manning

about Policing in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

A discussion of theories of policing must first define police and policing, then distinguish types of policing, and then theorize about them. There are five types of policing, one of which is Anglo-American (United States) democratic policing, and this latter has some notable features. Theories of policing do not exist. There are, however, some metaphoric sketches of policing that make salient certain of their features and therefore can be used to describe police practice. There are at least five international or global types of policing: Islamic-traditional, authoritarian, democratic, Asian, and continental (Bayley, 1996). The Anglo-American (United States) democratic police are the focus of this entry. Although all nation-states have security police that are linked to the protection of sacred people, places, and buildings, and these police have, in theory, rather wide powers, democratic societies have sought, except in times of extreme crisis, to limit police powers.

Tribal Policing

In line with Dorothy H. Bracey

about Policing in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Responsibility for policing Indian country has belonged to the federal government since the early 1800s. The agency carrying out that responsibility is the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Law Enforcement Services, located in the Department of the Interior, with officers who are federally trained and certified. In some circumstances, however, either state or tribal authorities police Indian lands. Regardless of who does the actual policing, questions of jurisdiction bedevil law enforcement in Indian country. Congressional actions and Court of last resort of the Country decisions made over many years have created complex arrangements that tend to expand federal power and diminish Native American (United States) sovereignty. The first of these is the Major crimes (there is more information about criminal law in the American Legal Encyclopedia and about crimes and criminals vocabulary) Act (1885), which, with supporting legislation, gives federal authorities jurisdiction over almost all felonies. This means that the small number of FBI agents near Indian lands have investigatory responsibility for all major crimes (there is more information about criminal law in the American Legal Encyclopedia and about crimes and criminals vocabulary).

Women in Policing

In line with Aigi Resetnikova & Dorothy Moses Schulz

about Policing in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Since the 1970s and 1980s, the roles of women in law enforcement in any particular country have generally mirrored the social attitudes and prevailing customs toward women in the larger society. Contrary to the United States of America, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and, to a lesser extent European and African nations, in many parts of the world women police are assigned to typically feminine jobs supervising or assisting women and children. This is particularly so in countries where women have not been accorded full social, economic, and political equality. These differences represent a major change from the early decades of the 20th century, when all countries that employed policewomen assigned them solely to working on cases involving women and children, with the exception of a few that assigned them to uniformed traffic control in major cities.

Women in State and Local Policing

In line with Dorothy Moses Schulz

about Policing in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

The official recognition of women in policing in the United States of America is usually associated with the appointment of Alice Stebbins Wells to the Los Angeles Police Department in 1910 as the first woman to be called a “policewoman.” Wells's employment set in motion a movement for policewomen that, despite setbacks, culminated in the late 1960s and early 1970s with women winning the right to equal employment in policing. However, women had served both officially and unofficially as matrons in prisons and jails, and as sheriffs' deputies, since the late 1880s. What made Wells different was not just that she was actually called a policewoman; her appointment was not only for the convenience of women caring for women, but was also part of a larger movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries both to reform policing and to increase the roles of women in public events and local government.

Police Foundation

Police Foundation

Police Foundation

In line with Karen L. Amendola

about Police Foundation in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

The Police Foundation is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting innovation and improvement in policing through its research, technical assistance, training, and communications programs. Established in 1970 through a grant from the Ford Foundation, the Police Foundation has conducted seminal research in police behavior, policy, and procedure and works to transfer to local agencies the best new information about practices for dealing effectively with a range of important police operational and administrative concerns. One of the guiding principles of the Police Foundation is that thorough, unbiased, empirical research is necessary to advance and improve the field of policing. Furthermore, the connection to the law enforcement and the academic and scientific communities will provide the impetus for new ideas that will help stimulate the field and provide solutions to the complex problems facing policing.

Police Corps

Police Corps

Police Corps

In line with Anthony Pate

about Police Corps in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

The Police Corps and the federal Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education (Office of the Police Corps) were established by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). To participate in the program, a state “lead agency” designated by the governor must submit a state plan for approval. Individuals apply to the state where they are willing to serve. The overall goal of the program is to address violent crime by helping local and state law enforcement agencies increase the number of officers with advanced education and training who serve on community patrol. Students accepted into the Police Corps receive up to $3,750 a year (up to a total of $15,000) to cover the expenses of study toward a baccalaureate or graduate degree.