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David H. Bailey

American criminologist, author of Police for the Future


Contrary to what many people think, the police do not enforce their own conception of order on an unwilling populace. Almost all they do is undertaken at the request of some member of the public. If the public stopped calling the police, they would have to reinvent their job.

Police budgeting represents the triumph of organizational process over rational decision making. Police resources are allocated by police managers according to formulas, institutional traditions, tacit understandings and contract rules, all of which have little to do with public safety. It is fair to say that the major determinants of police allocations are not considerations of community safety at all but organizational convenience and worker morale.