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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

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.

Keywords: police legitimacy, police agency, police officers, police conduct, control, accountability

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