Introduction to Herman Goldstein. Policing a free society FOR EXAMPLE; The late

by | Aug 1, 2022 | Criminal Law

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Introduction to Herman Goldstein. Policing a free society
FOR EXAMPLE;
The late Herman Goldstein (1931-2020) was a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and the original architect of the problem-oriented approach to policing. His first experiences in working with the police were in Philadelphia as a graduate student in governmental administration at the University of Pennsylvania and subsequently as an assistant to the city manager of Portland, Maine. He spent two years observing the on the street operations of the police in Wisconsin and Michigan as a researcher with the American Bar Foundations Survey of the Administration of Criminal Justice, and then participated in the analysis phase of that landmark project. From 1960 to 1964, he was executive assistant to the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, O.W. Wilson, the widely recognized architect of the professional model of policing. Professor Goldstein has published widely on problem-oriented policing, the police function, police discretion, the political accountability of the police, and the control of police misconduct. He was co-author of the American Bar Association Standards Relating to the Urban Police Function. His 1977 book, Policing a Free Society, is among the most frequently cited works on the police. He first described the problem-oriented approach to policing in a 1979 article, which he expanded upon in his 1990 book, Problem-Oriented Policing. Professor Goldstein’s research and writings have inspired many efforts to implement and advance problem-oriented policing in police agencies around the world. “ Herman Goldstein grew up in New London, Connecticut. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1953. Goldstein’s first acquaintance with the workings of a police department was with the Philadelphia police when he was a graduate student in governmental administration at the University of Pennsylvania. Subsequently he was an assistant to the city manager of Portland, Maine. There he assisted O.W. Wilson in a study of that city’s police administration. In 1956-1957 he worked as a researcher for the American Bar Foundation’s Survey of the Administration of Criminal Justice. In this capacity Goldstein observed the street level operations of police in Wisconsin and Michigan. Among other things, this research documented beyond doubt, despite the denials of police administrators, that police do not simply enforce the law; police exercise great amounts of discretion in choosing which laws to enforce and whether to enforce them by powers of arrest or by less formal powers of coercion. From 1960-1964 Goldstein was executive assistant to O.W. Wilson, who was then the reform minded superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. In 1964 Goldstein became Professor of Criminal Justice Administration at the Law School of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.”(Panzeralla & Vona, Pg# 245, 2013). “ Goldstein has been a consultant to numerous local and national organizations and government commissions, including, among others, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, the Police Foundation, the Knapp Commission to Investigate Allegations of Corruption in the New York City Police Department, and the Police Executive Research Forum. Goldstein wrote extensively on the role of police, police discretion and policy making, control of police conduct, police relationships with minorities, and the political accountability of police. He worked on numerous specific problems and on developing innovative programs with police agencies throughout the United States and in various other countries.”(Panzarella & Vona, Pg#245, 2013).”The police, by the very nature of their function, are an anomaly in a free society. They are invested with a great deal of authority under a system of government in which authority is reluctantly granted and, when granted, sharply curtailed. The specific form of their authority to arrest, to search, to detain, and to use force is awesome in the degree to which it can be disruptive of freedom, invasive of privacy, and sudden and direct in its impact upon the individual. And this awesome authority, of necessity, is delegated to individuals at the lowest level of the bureaucracy to be exercised, in most instances, without prior review or control. Yet a democracy is heavily dependent upon its police, despite their anomalous position, to maintain the degree of order that makes a free society possible. It looks to its police to prevent people from preying on one another; to provide a sense of security; to facilitate movement; to resolve conflict, and to protect the very processes and rights such as free elections, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly on which continuation of a free society depends. The strength of a democracy and the quality of life enjoyed by its citizens are determined in large measure by the ability of the police to discharge their duties.” (Herman Goldstein, Policing in a Free Society, 1977). These words above, from Herman Goldstein ring as true today as they did when he wrote them, some 40 years ago. They demonstrate the paradox of policing a free society. Herman Goldstein’s words speak to the importance of policing while balancing persuasion and force, discretion and rote enforcement, letter of the law verses spirit of the law, controlling events verses reshaping circumstances and keeping the peace which at times means using reasonable force. To do this effectively we must learn to police on purpose. How do we do this? We must adapt and learn how to remedy community problems. Personally I call it old school policing because it’s how prior to the mid 1960’s policing was done but, in modern times, most in our profession call it “community policing.”

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