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date: 20 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay examines the role of politics in policing over time. “Politics” is defined in terms of the functions and activities of those involved in the conduct of government. Both the sources and consequences of political influence are explored across four eras: the political era, the move toward professionalism (reform era), the community policing era, and the modern era, the latter of which is concentrated on preventing terrorism and promoting evidence-based policing. Two key themes emerge from the essay, namely that political influence can be both beneficial and harmful and that political influence in policing is a moving target, taking on different forms and permutations over time.

Keywords: politics, professionalism, community policing, evidence-based policing, terrorism

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