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Emerging Paradigm for Policing Multiethnic Societies: Glimpses From the American Experience

NCJ Number
Police & Society Issue: 7 Dated: April 2003 Pages: 233-252
Date Published
April 2003
20 pages
This article explores a new paradigm emerging in the policing of multi-ethnic societies.
The article asserts that maintaining racial and ethnic harmony in multi-ethnic societies is taking precedence over enforcing laws. This emerging paradigm reflects a shift toward greater tolerance for diversity and multiculturalism. The article shows how this paradigm shift is timely because of the massive migration patterns that are reshaping formerly homogenous populations around the world. It illustrates key points by focusing on immigration within the United States since the 1970’s and how such migration patterns have affected local police policy. A cautionary tale of a disastrous police operation in Chandler, AZ, is presented to show how police policy should not replace good judgment and management. The author asserts that a country’s police force reflects the conditions of its society. A move toward privileging greater tolerance for diversity over enforcement of laws is a timely move that reflects greater migration patterns and greater tolerance toward multiculturalism. Community policing strategies may be the most suitable for achieving desired racial and ethnic harmony. Such strategies must involve the support of politically sensitive and local officials. Notes, references

Date Published: April 1, 2003