Crime Control pp 191-197 | Cite as

The Elected Official

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


It may be difficult for some to understand why politicians should be permitted a more significant role in police policy-making and evaluation. A basic reason is that such involvement is the only way that the kind of order-enhancement program “that will do the job” can be mounted and executed in a community. On the debit side- of the occupational groups that have earned the public’s mistrust, politicians are considered by many surely to deserve it the most. For these the term “politician” is little more than a dirty word. In dealing with crime control and police matters a great many politicians certainly have acted shamefully and contrary to the public interest; a great many have behaved as if reelection were their primary or only moral imperative; a great many have proven misinformed; so many have been corrupt. Much of the history of American policing has been the struggle to throw off the confining and corruptive shackles of “bad politics.” Capping this, the power of the politician is relatively so great that—even if the entire breed were saints- Jefferson, Acton, and the rest of us would have good reason to distrust them.


Criminal Justice Police Officer Crime Control Police Agency Moral Imperative 
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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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