Title

The Influence of "Working Rules" on Police Suspicion and Discretionary Decision Making

Document Type

Article

Language

eng

Format of Original

23 p.

Publication Date

9-2008

Publisher

Sage Publications

Source Publication

Police Quarterly

Source ISSN

1552-745X

Original Item ID

doi: 10.1177/1098611107313029

Abstract

This study examines the role of “working rules” that define what officers interpret as suspicious people, places, and situations. Data were drawn from observational studies of police decision making in Savannah, Georgia and Miami-Dade, Florida. Current theory and research on the use of police discretion and biased policing is focused on the decision to stop, search, or arrest a suspect. Only a few studies focus on processes through which police determine behaviors to be suspicious that influence them to initiate official police action. An analysis of the “working rules” used by officers uncovered 12 substantive categories. The article concludes with a discussion of how this information can be useful in formulating training for police departments.

Comments

Police Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 3 (September 2008): 315-337. DOI.