Sanja Kutnjak Ivković
This article is organized as follows. Section I focuses on the concept of police legitimacy, exploring it from the police agency perspective (i.e., why people obey the authority), and presents the empirical findings on legitimacy. Section II discusses what happens when police officers cross the line that separates legitimate and illegitimate conduct. Section III analyzes traditional and novel responses to the situations in which policing went wrong, including internal mechanisms (e.g., internal affairs, early warning systems), external mechanisms (e.g., criminal courts, independent commissions), and mixed mechanisms of control and accountability (e.g., accreditation, citizen reviews). Section IV reflects on the key issues and provides ideas for future research.
Jack R. Greene
This essay examines the rise of zero-tolerance policies in policing and in other parts of the social world with the aim of considering how such policies have come about, what they intended, and what they have accomplished for better or worse. The number and types of police strategies have ballooned over the past twenty years or so. Some focus on improving police and public relations, while others are associated with “crime attack,” “broken windows,” and other forms of increased police control. Zero-tolerance policies have their roots in “problem solving,” yet they diverge from the problem-solving model by focusing almost exclusively on aggressive order-maintenance enforcement toward less serious public order behavior. Evidence of the effects of such activities is mixed, with some studies finding that are positive, and others showing erosion of police legitimacy in the face of zero-tolerance actions. The implications of such findings for public policing are considered.