Crime Control pp 121-132 | Cite as

Purpose and Policing

  • David John Farmer
Part of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety book series (CJPS)


First on the agenda of policy issues for a community seriously concerned with effective crime control and with the quality of life should be public and realistic consideration, and continuing open consideration, of the mission and purposes of the police agency. Without appropriate definition of agency goals and purposes, police resources cannot be allocated with maximum effect: without optimal allocations, crime control and other results can only be disappointing. That “police departments do whatever police departments do” is a sociological reality in many communities, as agencies continue to be dominated by considerations of process and tradition. In such agencies, the principal determinant of today’s allocation of resources (to choose this major function as an example) is yesterday’s allocation. The professional police agenda, centering on a striving for results, will soon feel the effects of goal-orientation. The new form of police agency, with its goals and purposes developed in consultation with the community, will be in an even stronger position to deliver.


Organize Crime Crime Control Police Agency Police Organization Police Role 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • David John Farmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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