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Civilians and the Federation

NCJ Number
Police Volume: 22 Issue: 2 Dated: (November 1989) Pages: 30,34
L Williams
Date Published
2 pages
The vast growth in numbers of civilians employed in the police services in recent years has brought both benefits and problems.
The most significant contribution made by civilians to the cause of freeing police officers for operational duties is the undertaking of the bulk of paperwork formerly performed by beat officers. The important principle of civilianization is that a police officer should not normally be employed regularly on duties that did not require police powers, police experience, or police training. However, the Audit Commission has drawn attention to the cost of employing a civilian, which in broad terms is about two thirds the cost of employing a police officer. Under pressure to increase employment of civilians for administrative duties, the Police Federation fears that the situation will arise in which a civilian employee is in a position to give operational orders to an officer. It must be remembered that civilians do not have the specialized expertise that police officers have and therefore cannot be mobilized as an emergency reserve in the same way that many forces are able to redeploy officers from administrative into operational duties.


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