Police generally perceive the risk of injury, assault, and even death to be greatest for domestic violence calls. Why do police have these beliefs, and what is the reality of the situation? When responding to calls few inspire more dread among police officers than answering to a domestic call. Police have generally the perception of risk of injury, assault and even death. There is always this perception among police officers when answering domestic calls. Such perception cannot be avoided because domestic calls most often than not have the element of unpredictability.
Emotions are high and this can run even higher if coupled with drugs and alcohol. Indeed, responding to a domestic call can be very risky on the part of the police officers. When they respond to such call, they are perceived as the threat instead of being the protector. Traditionally, a police officer would respond to a call and restore peace as soon as possible and then clear from the call.
The community policing philosophy dictates that the officer review of the problem, analyze it and try to come up with a solution to the problem. (Denise Papagno). However, this theory is not realistic at all.
Upon responding to a domestic call, the police officer enters into a domestic abode as a protector, but in the eyes of the owners of the abode despite his good intentions, he will always be the intruder. Hence, the police officer cannot effectively do his job especially if the victim refuses to leave and instead would insist in not doing anything or even file a complaint for that matter. It is essentially difficult for police officers to face and respond to domestic calls as society now views domestic calls as a serious crime and not merely a private family quarrel.
The fact that not all of the police are educated in handling domestic issues or why the victim does not leave her abuser or why the batterer abuses the victim. Because of this, the police fail to understand victims of domestic calls and are less inclined to help them in the next call. In your opinion, what is the most problematic myth associated with policing? Explain your answer. As early as the 18th century, police work or policing is associated in being a night watchman. The job basically entails maintaining order against threats to order itself – wild animals, fire or unruly behaviour.
However, at the turn of the century, policing has evolved into something more than being a night watchman. Police not only has to maintain order in their respective communities but they are also tasked to solve and fight crimes. Hence, the notion that police can solve any crime reported to them grew. As crime fighters, this notion has proven to be an additional burden to policing. Even simple and private nuisances such as littering, drunkenness and unruly behaviour are called in and reported to the police.
Hence, this takes up on the workload of policing instead of focusing more on the serious crime-solving work. But together with the notion of being crime-fighters came the myth of police brutality. The average citizen sees policemen as having “zero-tolerance”. For example, in domestic calls, instead of turning in their abuser, victims would opt not to do anything for fear of the police. If they fear their abusers, victims fear the police more. It does not help that there are also police mandates such as that of Rudy Giuliani who implemented a version of Broken Windows policing across New York City.
Thus, policemen were tasked to become aggressive in stamping out public disorder such as drunkenness, jaywalking and noisiness. In reality however, policing is not just being brutal and aggressive towards those lawbreakers. The concept of “community policing” has made advancement in policing. Thus, police officers who are on foot patrol have elevated the common myth about policing because admittedly, an officer who is inside the squad car and safely sealed inside cannot relate with the other people from the neighbourhood.