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The Politics of Policing
Julian Fantino, former Chief of Police, Toronto and Member of Canadian Parliament for Vaughan 

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Book Review: Police for the Future

David H. Bayley, Oxford University Press, New York 1994

Review by: John J. Coleman, Doctoral Student, School of Public Policy, George Mason University, Spring 2000

March 2001

On April 23, 1998, near Exit 7 of the New Jersey Turnpike, two state troopers stopped a van for a minor traffic infraction. What happened next is subject to controversy, but at some point as the police were approaching the stopped van, it began rolling backwards towards them and brushed the side of their patrol car. The police pulled their service weapons and fired eleven times into the van, seriously wounding three of the four occupants. Upon inspection, the police found no weapons or contraband in the vehicle. The four young men in the van were, according to media reports published later, en route to a basketball tournament in South Carolina. What made this story newsworthy, aside from the shooting itself, was that the two police officers were white and the occupants of the van were black and Hispanic.

Following a number of citizen protests, the Attorney General for the State of New Jersey ordered an investigation into the incident, specifically to be focused on checking reports of "racial profiling" attributed to the police. Racial profiling, as generally used in a police context, is a form of intentional disparate treatment of minority motorists. (Verniero and Zoubek 1999) After an exhaustive study of the New Jersey State Police, a special review team concluded that, although racial profiling was never an official policy of the police, "there is a significant need for change." (John J. Farmer and Zoubek 1999)

Subsequently, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) conducted a review of the New Jersey matter pursuant to the federal civil rights laws and concluded that there were grounds to bring legal action against the State of New Jersey for a practice and pattern of racial profiling by the state police. On December 31, 1999, the DOJ entered into a consent decree with the State of New Jersey, and agreed not to press charges in return for the state's promise to implement changes and accept a court-appointed independent monitor to oversee compliance with the decree. (USA v. State of NJ, et al. 1999)

Racial profiling has become an important topic of concern to policing today and has increased the level of tension between the police and individuals most in need of public safety services. It is of paramount concern to police managers and policy makers, alike, and has the potential, according to police experts, to undo innovative policing techniques such as community policing that have enjoyed widespread acclaim for reducing crime and improving police-public relations. Further confounding the issue of racial profiling is the uneven treatment that the subject of race has received in certain cases before the courts. For example, in US v. Weaver, cert. den. 507 US 1040 (1992), the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that race could be considered, but only in addition to other factors giving rise to probable cause. As of April 1999, nine state legislatures were considering bills that in one form or another would specifically outlaw racial profiling by the police. In addition, legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives that would outlaw the practice under federal law. (Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act 2000)

Where did racial profiling come from and how does it relate to policing today and in the future? To answer this question, one needs to briefly review the history of society's quest to prevent crime - a notion that some modern criminologists, notably David H. Bayley, author of Police for the Future (1994) consider akin to social alchemy.

In the mid-eighteenth century, as a result of growing dissatisfaction with repressive and ineffective crime control policies, reform minded intellectuals began to articulate more rational approaches to crime and punishment. For example, Cesare Bonesana, Marchese di Beccaria (1738-1794), the founder of the classical school of criminology, argued that the crime problem was not the result of bad people, but of bad laws. (Adler, Mueller, and Laufer 1995) Beccaria' s radical ideas for treating people equally and being respectful of the public could today easily fit into a lesson plan on community policing. Nonetheless, Beccaria' s followers were up against rising crime statistics and a public that was demanding greater protection and harsher treatment of wrongdoers. As the nineteenth century dawned in Europe and the United States, there was a general feeling that science and the Industrial Revolution would solve the social and economic problems of modern life. Baccaria's 18th century version of community policing soon gave way to an authoritative system that reflected biased scientific assumptions and stratified social conditions of the day.

Consider the following description of a theory of criminology that was heralded by the intellectual elite of the mid-to-late nineteenth century:

If we examine a number of criminals, we shall find that they exhibit numerous anomalies in the face, skeleton, and various psychic and sensitive functions, so that they strongly resemble primitive races. It was these anomalies that first drew my father's attention to the close relationship between the criminal and the savage and made him suspect that criminal tendencies are of atavistic origin. (p.116) (Lombroso-Ferrero 1911)

The words quoted above were written by the daughter of Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909), the founder of the Italian or positivist school of criminology. By the late eighteenth century, significant advances in the physical sciences led some to conclude that human behavior, including criminal behavior, had a scientific or positivist basis. The biological discoveries and theories of Charles Darwin (1809-1882), linking modern man to primitive apes, added to this belief and shattered philosophical and theological paradigms that had influenced much of human thinking up to this time. (Adler, Mueller, and Laufer 1995)

Throughout the mid-to-late nineteenth century, Lombroso's work aroused interest in a world moving rapidly towards the modern age. Outspoken writers like Karl Marx and Charles Dickens, social and political commentators of their time, aided the positivist movement by writing of class disparity and often depicting the poor as exploited by the rich. Marx, in particular, viewed the law of the state as a form of class domination. Writing of class conflict and the law, Marx said:

Crime, i.e., the struggle of the single individual against the dominant conditions, is as little the product of simple caprice as law itself. It is rather conditioned in the same way as the latter. The same visionaries who see in law the rule of an independent and general will see in crime a simple breaking of the law. (p. 94) (Marx 1956)

Marx was known to have read Darwin's Origin of Species, which he found informative. "The book contains the basis in natural history for our view," he wrote to his collaborator and friend, Friedrich Engels. (Payne 1968) Ironically, adherents to the positivist school of criminology are credited, among other things, with developing the theoretical basis for status or condition crimes (see below). Modern examples of this theory in the extreme were the Soviet Union's penal code under Stalin that made it a crime to be related to a deserter from the Red Army and, of course, Adolph Hitler's Germany where the status crime was to be Jewish, and the penalty was death. (Adler, Mueller, and Laufer 1995)

Having established the world's first public police force in 1829, the English were also among the first to study the role of the police in relation to social class structure. Miller (1975), in his article, Police Authority in London and New York City 1830-1870 (cited by Klockers and Mastrofski, eds. 1991), describes in detail the undeserved deference shown by the London Police for "respectable persons." Miller points out that, "respectable persons were not always middle-class, but the Victorian middle classes did see themselves as custodians of respectability." The London Police, like their counterparts in New York, were primarily peacekeepers. In the nineteenth century, most arrests were for drunkenness and vagrancy, decidedly lower-class crimes, easily recognizable by the appearance and behavior of the offenders. (Miller 1975)

Throughout most of its history, American policing, like its British counterpart, relied a good deal on the ability of trained officers to recognize "status offenders" - individuals that by their appearances or status might reasonably be considered criminals. By 1962, however, as the result of Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660, the US Supreme Court ruled that a status or condition (e.g., Robinson was a drug addict), alone, cannot be considered a crime. (Adler, Mueller, and Laufer 1995)

Since 1962, police arrest practices based solely on status - a logical outgrowth of positivist criminological theory - have been outlawed as unconstitutional. Police are no longer authorized to arrest someone merely because he or she looks like a criminal. Yet, as David H. Bayley, author of the 1994 book, Police for the Future, points out, the public and, in some cases, even the police themselves, continue to believe that police can prevent crime by other than reactive or interventionist means. Bayley describes this as a myth on the part of the public and believes it to be part of the basis for what he calls a crisis in policing.

Bayley's Police for the Future is written in three parts. The fist deals with the problem of trying to answer a question that Egon Bittner and others have asked: What Do Police Do? This section addresses whether under any circumstances police can reasonably be expected to reduce crime. Bayley is at his best describing the universal field perspective of police culture and the performance of comparable departments in his study. The book's second section addresses the possible improvements in crime prevention that, according to Bayley, could be realized by adopting certain reforms. The third section of the book deals with solutions to these problems and addresses the choices that democratic societies have with respect to the crime prevention role of the police. It is only at the end of the book that Bayley begins to address the subject matter implied by the title of his book. In the final chapter he discusses plans for future policing strategies that, he states, are compatible with present-day democratic social values.

In chapter one, "The Myth of the Police," Bayley's opening sentence sets the tone for his iconoclastic view of policing: The police do not prevent crime. Bayley spends a good deal of effort defending this statement, sometimes too stridently, in the opinion of this reviewer. Parenthetically, with police officers expected to be a good portion of his potential readership, Bayley does not hesitate to put them squarely in the center of this controversy as the deliberate deceivers of public virtue. This unseemly bias reaches a crescendo about three-fourths of the way through the book, when Bayley, presenting options for improving policing, states the following:

Dishonest law enforcement, the first option, is by and large what we have now. It occurs when the police promise to prevent crime but actually provide something else - namely, authoritative intervention and symbolic justice. (p. 124)

Several things about this passage, besides its harsh language, are disturbing. Bayley, like Egon Bittner and others before and after him, makes a persuasive case that police are primarily reactive to crime and have far less ability to prevent it than they or the public would like to believe. But it is incorrect to state, as Bayley does on several occasions, that the police do not prevent crime. Such an unqualified blanket statement, easily rebutted by Bayley's own research, fails to take into account the numerous non-reactive and non-interventionist crime prevention programs that police departments all over the world establish and participate in with the public.

For example, criminologists of the rational-choice perspective, such as Derek Cornish and Ronald Clarke, have written convincingly of the process of choice that a criminal makes when he or she is contemplating the commission of a crime. The risk of apprehension, according to Cornish and Clarke, is but one criterion that must be weighed by the would-be criminal before he or she decides to commit the crime. (Adler, Mueller, and Laufer 1995) Increasing the risk of apprehension, for example, through focused police patrols or hot spot surveillance, will influence the rational choices available to the offender and, assuming the correct choice is then made, prevent crime.

Bayley's assertion that police do not prevent crime is also refuted by the routine-activities perspective theory of crime asserted by noted criminologists Lawrence Cohen and Marcus Felson. Similar to the rational-choice theory, the routine-activities perspective focuses on the characteristics of the crime, rather than those of the offender. Cohen and Felson point out that crime rates rise along with the number of suitable targets and the absence of people to protect those targets. (Adler, Mueller, and Laufer 1995)

Situational crime prevention, derived from the above criminological theories, includes measures such as target hardening (e.g., taking steps to make it harder for criminals to commit crime, like installing better locks, etc.), organizing Neighborhood Watch groups, and changing environmental designs of buildings and streets to afford more protection (installing brighter streetlights, for example). (Adler, Mueller, and Laufer 1995) Police not only play, and are expected to play, a direct role in these strategies, but they also play an indirect role by helping to organize and set up these crime prevention situations. A cursory survey of websites for a dozen police departments throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, and Canada, shows that each provides detailed information and assistance for setting up situational crime prevention programs such as those listed above.

To be fair, Bayley is trained as a social scientist to expect that a widely held public belief that the police prevent crime should have an empirical basis that can be observed or tested. In the absence of this, Bayley correctly concludes that the belief is little more and nothing less than a myth. As Maxfield (1998) explains we live in a world of two realities; one is our experiential reality and the other is what he calls agreement reality. According to Maxfield, "things that we consider real because we've been told they're real, and everyone else seems to agree they are real, "constitute agreement reality. On the other hand, experiential reality can be measured and tested and independently known from empirical research. (Maxfield and Babbie 1998) The statement, police prevent crime, is an example of agreement reality for which there is no empirical evidence. Even so, it is counter-intuitive to imply, as Bayley does in his opening sentence, that the police do not prevent crime. In the absence of empirical evidence it is misleading to accept the null hypothesis, that is, to assume that there is no relationship between the police (the independent variable) and crime (the dependent variable).

Klockers, in a discussion of community policing and the work that Skolnick and Bayley (1986) did on the topic, makes an interesting comment about the inability to measure crime prevention. Klockers states that while crime prevention cannot be measured, crime reduction can be measured by simply comparing the before and after statistics. Klockers states:

It is possible, though difficult, to test promises of crime reduction by determining whether there is more or less crime today than last year or the year before. By contrast, the success of crime prevention can only be evaluated against a prediction of what would have happened had the crime prevention effort not been made. Given that such predictions are presently impossible and that prevention efforts of any kind are able to produce at least some anecdotal evidence of occasional successes, the promise of successful prevention is virtually irrefutable. (p. 537) (Klockers 1988)

Recognizing the above dilemma, Bayley himself makes the amazing observation more than halfway through his book that, "If social science cannot show that the new approaches (i.e., community policing) are succeeding either, then perhaps it has not shown that the old ones failed." (p. 119)

The second part of Bayley's book deals with "possibilities" and agendas for change. This is where his global experience begins to manifest itself. Less argumentative and more analytical, Bayley captures the essence of police management, from street patrol officer to department head. Here he makes a powerful case for scientific management and better ways to assess actual police performance. To illustrate his point, Bayley tells us that far too much of police performance assessment is not directed towards measuring outcomes but instead is designed to simply measure process variables, i.e., response time, beat and mobile patrols, numbers of arrests, etc.

In the mid-1970s, a study known as the "Kansas City Preventative Patrol Experiment" produced empirical evidence suggesting that focused mobile patrols produced no difference in crime rates, citizen satisfaction with police, fear of crime, or other measures of police performance. Later experiments by Van Kirk in 1977, in Kansas City, showed no difference in arrest figures when response time was decreased. (Maxfield and Babbie 1998) Bayley describes police evaluation as "presumptive, self-serving, and too generic," and states that it is the "fourth" major reason that the police have not been effective in preventing crime. He suggests, instead, that police be evaluated on the basis of three elements: effectiveness, efficiency, and rectitude.

By chapter 6, Bayley begins to talk about ways that the police can begin to do the job that they and the public believe they should be doing: preventing crime. Bayley backs into community policing but insists on putting his own spin on it by calling it CAMPS - an acronym for consultation, adaptation, mobilization, and problem solving. Much of what Bayley presents as his CAMPS program is boilerplate Broken Windows theory, articulated in 1982 by Wilson and Kelling and expanded by Kelling in his and Coles' 1996 book, Fixing Broken Windows. (Wilson and Kelling 1982; Kelling and Coles 1996)

Bayley, the social scientist, appears at times ambivalent about community policing or CAMPS, as he calls it. On the one hand, he offers it as the only hope for the police to begin to achieve any success in preventing crime. Its alternative - the authoritative intervention/symbolic justice model - is, in his words, dishonest for misleading the public into thinking it could prevent crime. Bayley appears willing to accept that even if CAMPS cannot prevent crime, that the problem solving aspects of improved police-community relations might be worth the effort. Bayley is clear in pointing out that community policing is not simply a change in tactics but a change in the source of the demands placed on the police. Community policing, he states, represents a renegotiation of the social contract between the police and society.

In Part Three of his book, Bayley presents solutions to the problems he sees as a basis for declaring the crisis in policing that, he explains, underpins the need for writing the book. He returns in Part Three to his original theme, only now he presents it as a decision yet to be made: should the police be held responsible for preventing crime? In an attempt to answer this question he raises an even more important issue: given the nature of crime itself, the police may not be able to prevent it. Moreover, if preventing crime means that the police must become more aggressive, is this something that the public needs or really wants? He states, for example, that:

Successful crime prevention justifies, indeed obliges, the police to collect information about all aspects of community life, not simply about circumstances surrounding specific crimes.

It is here that Bayley presents his most coherent and noteworthy discussion of the risks and opportunities of community policing. He describes a theoretical point of social equilibrium that exists between the supply of police and the demand for crime prevention. Both curves in this theoretical supply and demand graph have costs. On the one hand, police resources are expensive and even a large increase (e.g., as Bayley describes the administration's plan to put 100,000 new police in service) has only modest impact by the time it reaches the front line. Secondly, a greater demand for crime prevention might lead to decreased liberties and further infringements on personal freedoms that many citizens value as high, if not higher, than crime control and personal safety. After discussing the relative merits of more-versus-less crime prevention, Bayley settles for improved management of police and policing strategies as a way to increase police efficiency.

Bayley's last chapter is titled "A Blueprint for the Future." This chapter is a disappointment in that it is little more than a restatement of bits and pieces of things discussed earlier in the book. Bayley draws upon some of his field research to identify best practices that he then fails to develop adequately into practical strategies. He recommends the adoption of a three-tired system of policing predicated on the elimination of the militarized model that currently defines most policing throughout the world, including virtually every department in the United States. Although Bayley states that the new model will require a complete change of attitude by the police, he overlooks what effect such an unfamiliar image of the police would have on the public.

To illustrate this point, in the mid-1980s, a town in New Jersey decided to demilitarize its police force. Uniforms were exchanged for blue dress blazers and gray trousers for both male and female officers. Police ranks were eliminated except as they related to functional specialties. The police were given extra training in courtesy and "customer relations." After the first six months of the new program, the head of the department conducted an assessment and asked for public comments. The reaction was almost overwhelmingly negative. People reported being confused when a call for assistance resulted in the arrival of non-police looking police. People reported that the appearance of a uniformed officer on call or on patrol gave them a sense of security that they didn't have with the "blue blazer folks." For their part, the police reported that they, too, felt uncomfortable in having to perform police-like tasks while appearing to be civilians. The only positive factor was that police and public alike appreciated the improved courtesy. In the end, the chief scrapped the program and went back to the militarized model. It had become a matter of what the police and public were accustomed to expect. (Coleman 1997)

In his chapter on "Blueprint for the Future," Bayley misses an opportunity to use his vast policing experience to project what the title of his book and the title of the chapter implies, namely, the future of policing. Much of what Bayley has to recommend for the future, in terms of management and organizational development of police departments, is already well underway in the foreign departments of his study and certainly in the departments throughout the United States. Published in 1994, there was ample time for Bayley to consider the impact of the information age and technology on policing. Computers and their ability to assist and improve policing are only briefly mentioned in passing and the Internet is not mentioned at all.

The premise of the book and the core of the purported crisis in policing is the claim that despite public and governmental claims to the contrary, police don't prevent crime. Yet, Bayley never reveals to his readers where the requirement that they should prevent crime comes from. In a review of a dozen websites for the following police departments, not a single one mentioned crime prevention in their mission statements: New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Osaka (Japan), National Police Agency (Japan), Kanagawa (Japan), Ontario Provincial Police (Canada), Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada), Derbyshire Police Authority (UK), Australian Federal Police, Israel National Police, and the New Zealand Police. Three departments were found that included "crime prevention" as part of their mission: Singapore Police Force, South African Police Service, and The Garda Siochana (Republic of Ireland Police). This, of course, is only an informal survey, conducted with less than scientific soundness. Nonetheless, it confirms the observation, made earlier, that the notion of the police preventing crime is what Maxfield has called an example of agreed reality.

To be fair, as Kleinig describes the "General Instructions" of the London Metropolitan Police in 1829, the "principle object" of the police was "the prevention of crime." (Kleinig 1999) There is, as Bayley implies, perfectly good reason to believe that the original marching orders of the police have remained unchanged from the days of Sir Peel. Nonetheless, in the opinion of this reviewer, Bayley spends far too much time discussing why police, particularly American police, from 1829 to the present have been unable to prevent crime. By comparison, he spends far too little time addressing what police for the future might do with the assistance of modern information technology to improve their crime preventing and crime controlling strategies. Despite a legendary adherence to organizational behaviors and cultures that are out of touch with modern principles of management and organizational theory, policing does respond - in its own way, perhaps - to advances in technology. Every major technological discovery from the automobile to the two-way radio has redefined how police approach their work, The arrival of the computer and the Internet, largely ignored by Bayley in his futuristic look at tradition, has already redefined many routine police services all over the world.

From Halifax, Nova Scotia to New South Wales, Australia, and just about everywhere in-between police departments are reaching out to the public in ways that are decidedly nontraditional. The Internet, no doubt, has had a profound effect on this. Police-hosted, web-based information sites post warning notices, wanted notices, tips on how to crime-proof your home, car, personal belongings, etc., as well as instructions on how to file an on-line report of loss, theft, vandalism, etc. In many communities, police no longer respond to calls about lost dogs and cats. Instead, interested parties may scroll through digitized photos of lost animals posted and updated daily by the local animal shelter. With a few additional mouse clicks they can scroll through the latest photos of America's Most Wanted Fugitives, if they so choose.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state police Internet site allows one to check the registry of convicted sex offenders by postal zip code. (VSP 2000) The website for the Australian Federal Police is highly interactive and provides volumes of useful information, as well as an on line application for criminal records checks. (AFP 2000) The Osaka Prefectural Police website can be accessed in English, Chinese, Korean, and native Japanese. (Osaka 2000) In the UK, the Derbyshire Police Authority's website provides Ministerial Priorities and local objectives and regularly publishes police performance data, along with the results of public satisfaction surveys. (Derbyshire 2000)

The New York Police Department's elaborately designed website provides visitors with information about every possible issue involving the police, even including detailed instructions on how to hire an off-duty police officer to provide armed security service for your business or social event. (NYPD 2000)

With its commitment to community policing explicitly contained in its mission statement, the website for the Ontario Provincial Police of Canada, among other things, presents technical research on crime and social disorder in a way that ordinary citizens might better understand the philosophical rationale for law and order. (Ontario 2000)

The Internet has become an efficient instrument for providing police services that heretofore were considered to be administrative or "order maintenance"- type tasks. (Greene and Klockers 1991; Bittner 1991) Similarly, online private security companies have joined the Internet e-business trade and provide everything from instant credit checks to detailed dossiers on individuals and corporations. Criminals, too, have benefited from this technology. Presently, one may purchase online a foreign passport (cost depends on which country is selected), or open an off-shore nominee bank account to shelter cash and conduct international trade in arms, drugs, or lawful commodities. Controlled substances and hard to get pharmaceuticals are also available on the worldwide web, not to mention the sale of pornography. Anonymous anarchists in chat rooms casually discuss the relative merits of using simple ingredients from the neighborhood hardware store to construct bombs and explosives that can easily level an office building. These unsavory things have occurred so quickly that policy makers in the United States and elsewhere have been unable to assess their social and political implications, much less control them.

By the very nature of its work, policing is an information-based enterprise well suited to benefit from the wonders of the information age. Gone forever are the days of master detective Hercule Poirot's meticulously kept notepad. In its place, today's police detective is likely to carry a cellular phone and a PalmPilot® capable of storing and retrieving thousands of names, addresses, phone numbers, as well as an assortment of memos, reports, and email messages.

Gone, too, are the days of "Bobbies on Bicycles, two by two," - replaced by officers in patrol vehicles equipped with more on-board computing power than Neil Armstrong's lunar module. On the biotech front, prisons have begun collecting and archiving samples of inmates' DNA for future use in crime solving efforts. Forensic experts in DNA technology report that police officers in the near future will be able to carry portable devices capable of collecting and electronically matching samples of DNA while working active crime scenes.

Airport security personnel, such as those assigned to the departure facilities at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, routinely use special swabs to swipe along the outer edges of briefcases and other carry-on materials submitted for fluoroscopic examination by departing passengers. The swabs collect emitted microscopic colloids and gases that are quickly analyzed for traces of certain chemicals and ingredients commonly used to make explosives or illegal drugs. While the unsuspecting passenger collects his or her pocket change, cell phone, and keys from the operator in charge of the walk-through galvanometer, a second operator has already flouroscoped the carry-on luggage and analyzed the test swab by placing it into a machine the size of a small microwave oven. In about three seconds or less, the device performs a gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis of the collected effluents and compares the results with a database of known molecular signatures. In an instant, the security operator knows whether to "pass" the examined container or single it out for a secondary inspection. Less than a decade or so ago, this form of forensic analysis was available only at special testing laboratories where it might take several days to perform a typical examination. Advances in technology have had profound effects on every aspect of modern society, including the field of policing.

Bayley's book ignores all of the above and suggests that the police for the future will be very much like those of today with, perhaps, some improvements in management and organizational structure. Bayley's attempt to describe the future of policing without a discussion of the above issues is akin to one attempting to describe the future of transportation without a discussion of the airplane. Despite these drawbacks, Bayley's book provides solid and credible research data to support most analyses that are surprisingly well reasoned at times, despite the occasional and largely irrelevant distraction of bringing foreign departments into the discussion. Bayley is not a "cop's writer," although he understands and knows the cop's world quite well. He is strongest on the culture of American policing and understands, and gets his readers to understand, the proper role of police in a democratic society. Moreover, he clearly understands and conveys to his readers a good understanding of police management, both as seen from the top-down as well as from the perspective of the line officer.

Bayley's 1994 book, Police for the Future, explores competing theories of policing in democratic societies, setting out the advantages and disadvantages of what Bayley calls the authoritative intervention - symbolic justice model and the CAMPS or community policing model (Bayley 1994). Along the way, he provides the reader with a good deal of discussion on the relative merits of policing systems that adhere generally to one or the other of these theories. At times, Bayley's book is a polemic on policing, as, for example, when he dives into one controversy after another, only to surface with a reasonable explanation for why the "other side" holds to its views. By the end of the book Bayley appears squarely in the camp (pun intended) of the community policing advocates, although, even by his own admissions, he is not certain of why this should be so [If social science cannot show that the new approaches are succeeding either, then perhaps it has not shown that the old ones failed. (p. 119)]

Bayley is Dean and Professor of the School of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York, a well-known and highly reputable school for studying the role of police in a democratic society. He writes from the vantage point of having worked and studied policing in five countries: Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Japan, and the United States.

As Lipset (1996) tells us in his book, American Exceptionalism, "Those who only know one country know no country," and so it is enlightening at times that Bayley compares policing in the United States with policing abroad. With the exception of Japan, the countries discussed by Bayley are quite similar in many respects and are, therefore, satisfactory models for examining policing paradigms. Bayley is a self-confessed critic of American policing, often calling attention to the weaknesses, shortcomings, and myths surrounding what it is that police purport to do. With rare exception, Bayley diplomatically avoids criticizing foreign police organizations, many of which share a common ethos with their American counterparts. This imbalance tends to highlight his critical assessments of American policing and brings into question his objectivity as a writer. As one who has lived and worked as a police official in some of the same countries that Bayley used in his study frame, this reviewer knows first-hand that the police services described by Bayley are not quite as perfect as he often portrays them to be, nor, for that matter, are the American departments as dysfunctional or poorly managed as he occasionally portrays them to be. Truth, in the opinion of this reviewer, is probably located somewhere in between.

Bayley states in the preface of his book that the countries selected for the study do not constitute a representative sample but that they were chosen, he asserts, because they are similar politically and economically. While this may be so with respect to Australia, Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, there are significant differences in culture and tradition between the Anglophile common-law countries and Japan. To be sure, Fukuyama and others have observed that Buddhism is to the Japanese work ethic what Max Weber said Protestantism was to the European work ethic. (Fukuyama 1995) Despite such comparisons, Japan and her Western counterparts are known more for their differences than for their similarities. In a macro sense, perhaps, Bayley is correct if one takes into account that all the nations he compares are democracies and have free market economies.

Bayley's book raises a number of interesting questions about policing, including, for example, whether community policing actually works. The way to find out, he suggests, is to study Singapore and Japan, where "community policing is the operating paradigm for the entire police system." Bayley makes an honest attempt to address several big questions like this, but after one or two chapters on the pros and cons of community policing, even he concedes, perhaps with fading zeal, that "Community policing, like love, is a many-splendored thing."

A problem with a longitudinal study such as Bayley's is that by the time the field research is completed and the book is published, the original purpose may have diminished. Early on, Bayley advises the reader that the book's purpose is to discuss the "crisis in policing and the choices available to us." By the mid-1990s, however, when Bayley's book was published, crime was already declining all over the United States. What, then, was the crisis all about? Bayley never identifies with any specificity what the basis for declaring the crisis is, nor does he explicitly state what can or should be done about it. The best he offers in this regard are the rising crime rates, the public's fear and apprehension, and, above all, the uncertainty of the ability of the police to prevent crime.

When all is said and done, this is a good book with a very bad title. The value of this book is in the insights it provides to readers interested in understanding the evolution of policing in democratic societies. In its attempt to address the past and present, the book ignores the future or at least a large part of the future. Bayley's thesis for the future is that improved management and rational stratification will produce better cops, able to catch more crooks and maybe even prevent some crimes. While some of this will be important and useful, Bayley ignores what, in this reviewer's opinion, will be more important in future policing. Policing is, and has always been, a consumer-driven enterprise. It wasn't long after Sir Robert Peel's London Metropolitan Police was founded that Marxist criminologists claimed that the Bobbies (nicknamed for Sir Robert) were not really intended to prevent crime but to control the poor and protect the elite. (Adler, Mueller, and Laufer 1995)

The young men whose lives were shattered by two police officers on the New Jersey Turnpike on April 23, 1998 may not be Marxists in the economic or political sense of the word but it is likely that they nonetheless share the Marxist sentiment that the primary role of the police is to control the poor and protect the rich. What is remarkable is not that police administration and management have changed so little from Sir Robert's day, but that the role of the public has become so much more important in determining how public police services will be delivered. Within hours of the New Jersey shooting, political and civic leaders were pressed into service to find a solution to what clearly was a major problem. Investigations were commenced and the state conceded, "there is a significant need for change." By the close of 1999, the Department of Justice and the State of New Jersey had reached accord on how to restructure the state police.

It is unlikely that left to their own devices the New Jersey State Police would have adopted the radical changes that have been ordered by the consent decree. What happened in New Jersey came about because of public opinion and consumerism. Bayley gets it wrong when he states, "Community policing represents a renegotiation of the social contract between the police and society" (p. 120). In a democratic society, the coercive power of the state is transitory. The authority of the people is permanent. The current experiment with community policing is not a renegotiation of the social contract. It is, instead, the fulfillment of that contract.

References Cited

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The National Executive Institute Associates Leadership Bulletin editor is Edward J. Tully. He served with the FBI as a Special Agent from 1962 to 1993. He is presently the Executive Director of the National Executive Institute Associates and the Major City Chiefs. You can reach him via e-mail at or by writing to 308 Altoona Drive, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401.