A system in old English law in which members of a tithing, a group of ten families, pledged to be responsible for keeping order and bringing violators of the law to court.
The police function of controlling crime by intervening in situations in which the law has been clearly violated and the police need to identify and apprehend the guilty person.
The police function of preventing behavior that disturbs or threatens to disturb the public peace or that involves face to face conflict among two or more people. In such situations, the police exercise discretion in deciding whether a law has been broken.
The police function of providing assistance to the public, usually in matters unrelated to crime.
The process by which the rules, symbols, and values of a group or subculture are learned by its members.
The symbols, beliefs, and values shared by members of a subgroup of the larger society.
A set of emotional and behavioral characteristics developed by a member of an occupational group in a response to the work situation and environmental influences.
Acting in response, such as police activity in response to notification that a crime has been committed.
Acting in anticipation, such as an active search for potential offenders that is initiated by the police without waiting for a crime to be reported. Arrests for crimes without victims are usually proactive.
A reactive approach to policing emphasizing a quick response to calls for service.
A patrol strategy that assigns priorities to calls for service and chooses the appropriate response.
The percentage rate of crimes known to the police that they believe they have solved through an arrest; a statistic used to measure a police department's productivity.
Police components that directly perform field operations and carry out the basic functions of patrol, investigation, traffic, vice, juvenile, and so on.
Police employees who have taken an oath and been given powers by the state to make arrests and use necessary force, in accordance with their duties.
Making the police presence known, in order to deter crime and make officers available to respond quickly to calls.
A proactive form of patrolling that directs resources to known high-crime areas.
A patrol strategy designed to maximize the number of police interventions and observations in the community.
An approach to policing in which officers routinely seek to identify, analyze, and respond to the circumstances underlying the incidents that prompt citizens to call the police.
Tennessee v. Garner (1985)
Deadly force may not be used against an unarmed and fleeing subject unless unnecessary to prevent the escape and unless the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious injury to the officers and others.
Internal Affairs Unit
A branch of a police department that receives and investigates complaints alleging violations of rules and policies on the part of officers.
Impressions from the ridges on the fingertips that are left behind on objects due to natural secretions from the skin or contaminating materials, such as ink, blood, or dirt, that were present on the fingertips at the time of their direct contact with the objects.
Kyllo v. United States (2001)
Law enforcement officials cannot examine a home with a thermal-imaging device unless they obtain a warrant.
Weapons such as pepper spray and air-fired beanbags or nets that intend to incapacitate a suspect without inflicting serious injuries.
Law Enforcement Intelligence
Information, collected, and analyzed by law enforcement officials, concerning criminal activities and organizations, such as gangs, drug traffickers, and organized crime.
USA Patriot Act
A federal statute passed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, that broadens government authority to conduct searches and wiretaps and that expands the definitions of crimes involving terrorism.
Officials' examination if and hunt for evidence in or on a person or place in a manner that intrudes on reasonable expectations of privacy.
Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
Standard development for determining whether a government intrusion of a person or property constitutes a search because it interferes with individual interests that are normally protected from government intrusion.
Any use by the police of authority to deprive people of their liberty or property.
Government officials' interference with an individual's freedom of movement for a suration that can be measured in minutes.
A police officers' belief, based on articulable facts, that criminal activity is taking place, so that intruding on an individuals' reasonable expectation of privacy is necessary.
Written statement of fact, supported by oath or affirmation, submitted to judicial officers to fulfill the requirements of probable cause for obtaining a warrant.
Reliable information indicating that evidence will likely be found in a specific location or that a specific person is likely to be guilty of a crime.
Plain View Doctrine
Officers may examine and use as evidence, without a warrant, contraband or evidence that is in open view at a location where they are legally permitted to be.
Open Fields Doctrine
Officers are permitted to search and seize evidence, without a warrant, on private property beyond the area immediately surrounding the house.
Terry v. Ohio (1968)
Supreme Court decision endorsing police officers' authority to stop and frisk suspects on the street when there is reasonable suspicion that they are armed and involved in criminal activity.
Limited search approved by Supreme Court in Terry v. Ohio that permits officers to pat down clothing of people on the streets if there is reasonable suspicon of dangerous actitivy.
Florida v. J.L. (2000)
Police officers may not conduct a stop-and-frisk search based soley on an anonymous tip.
Chimel v. California (1969)
Supreme Court decision that endorsed warrantless searches for weapons and evidence in the imediate vicinity of people who are lawfully arrested.
Where there is a threat to public safety of the risk that evidence will be destroyed, officers may search, arrest, or question suspects without obtaining a warrant or following other usual rules of criminal procedure.
United States v. Drayton (2002)
Police officers are not required to inform people of their right to decline when police ask for consent to search.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Before questioning a suspect held in custody, police officers must inform the individual of the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present during questioning.
Escobedo v. Illinois (1964)
Police cannot refuse access to an attorney for arrested suspects who ask to see one.
"Public Safety" Exception
When public safety is in jeopardy, police may question a suspect in custody without providing the Miranda warnings.
The principle that illegally obtained evidence must be excluded from a trial.
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Evidence obtained through illegal searches by state and local police must be excluded from use at trial.
"Good Faith" Exception
When police act in honest reliance on a warrant, the evidence seized is admissible even if the warrant is later proved to be defective.
"Inevitable Discovery" Exception
Improperly obtained evidence can be used when it would later have inevitably been discovered without improper actions by the police.
Nix v. Williams (1984)
Decision in which the Supreme Court created the "inevitable discovery" exception to the exclusionary rule.
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