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case law

is written law created by judges when deciding disputes.

Civil law

regulates social relations arising from private, commercial or contractual rela¬tions. Family law, the law of contracts, and business law are all considered forms of civil law.

constitutional government

describes the social arrangements between a government and its citizens.

convenience norms

This role includes investigating trafficaccidents, issuing traffic citations and parking tickets, directing traffic, and suggesting engi¬neering changes to facilitate traffic flow.


In the case of American policing this means that police forces are controlled at the federal, state and local levels rather than being cen-tralized at the national level.


includes belief in such fundamental principles as respect for the rule of law, individualism, civil rights, human dignity, constitutionalism, social justice, and majority rule

enacted roles

the actual activities and tasks carried out by the police that may or may not be in accord with legal authority or public desire.


a form of political organization that distributes authority and power among levels of government.


a political institution of the state that uses organization, bureaucracy, and formality to regulate social interactions and is most often recognized among societies that emerge as nation-states


the political or geographic location in which a police officer may use the authority to enforce the law.

law enforcement role

this role includes investigating criminal activities, arresting perps, invest crimes,arrest perps,serving warrants,interogating perps

legalistic style

style in which authority is highly centralized and requires officers to enforce one set of uniform standards on the public

norm enforcement

police function associ¬ated with standardized expectations of social positions. These expectations can be very specific or diffuse and are often associated with social institutions

order maintenance role

role includes forcing a panhandler or drunk to vacate an area, inves¬tigating suspicious persons or vehicles, inves¬tigating domestic disturbances, breaking up bar fights, quelling a riot or disorder, and intervening in noisy parties or gatherings.

police functions

are the tasks and activities associated with a role police nor their mission, and that the best way to improve relations with the public is to educate them about the police

preferred role

those tasks and activities that the public would have police do

prescribed role

those tasks and activities that are required of police by law.

procedural law

refers to laws that prescribe how police officers apply substantive laws

separation of powers

each branch of government operates independently acting as a source of checks and balances on govern¬mental power and authority.

service role

the majority of police work as opposed to the preconceived notion many officers have prior to joining the force in which they see their priority being law enforcement.

service style

usually found in homogeneous middle- and upper-class communities that generally sur¬round metropolitan areas.

social control

the collec¬tive practices by which a group attempts to ensure that individuals conform to the norms and values of the group.


the totality of networks and pat¬terns of social interaction occurring between members of a bounded social group including those interactions within organizations and institutions


a political creation that has the rec¬ognized authority to use and maintain a monopoly on the use force within a clearly defined jurisdiction

substantive law

refers to criminal statutes that define which behaviors are acceptable and which behaviors are unac¬ceptable in our society

watchman style

refers to policing that emphasizes order maintenance and crime control, and generally can be found

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