A Consultant's Casebook

              about me:   Andres Inn, Ph.D.


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Full Circle

Closure is nice.  I confronted a problem that my training had not prepared me for, but by gently probing at the details I discovered a coherent theory that explained the phenomenon.  

Police officers in Dallas were indeed equally likely to be involved in shootings because management allowed them considerable flexibility in policing the entire city, instead of only their assigned beats.  By allowing, and even encouraging police discretion to stop and engage citizens, the time necessary to respond to the scene of a crime was degraded - considerably.  

So, an examination of the nitty-gritty details of policing explained the phenomena I was assigned to investigate.  The assignment taught me to listen to the people I worked  with.  Veteran police officers taught me that shootings were an aberration.  Most of my police friends have never drawn their weapon from their holster - and their experience appears typical.  The sergeant who drew my attention to the "war between the poh-liis and the humans" was also right.  The police had adopted a no-win strategy in trying to clear the streets of "suspicious" people.  

I was very satisfied with my research effort.  We published a number of articles on police performance and police behavior.  I was less than satisfied, however, with the reception to my work.  

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Last modified: October 19, 2000