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The State of the Police Field: A New Professionalism in Policing?

Ellen Scrivner, Deputy Director, Office of the Director, National Institute of Justice, Washington, D.C.; Christopher Stone, Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of the Practice of Criminal Justice, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; David Alan Sklansky, Yosef Osheawich Professor of Law and Faculty Chair, Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law; Ronald Davis, Chief, East Palo Alto Police Department, Calif.

Panelists debate the premise of a Harvard Executive Session working paper that suggests police organizations are striving for a "new" professionalism. Leaders are endeavoring for stricter standards of efficiency and conduct, while also increasing their legitimacy to the public and encouraging innovation. Is this new? Will this idea lead to prematurely discarding community policing as a guiding philosophy?

Date Published: June 1, 2010