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Keeping Open Windows: Police as Access Brokers

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 43 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2003 Pages: 379-397
Willem de Lint
Date Published
19 pages
This article examines the roles of police officers and the responsibilities of policing.
Questioning the role of police officers and asking what unites the various types of policing, this article describes one of the roles of a police officer as exerting coercion or force in order to preserve the public peace. Focusing on the police as a framing authority, the article indicates that most police officers negotiate their identity according to a morality of coercion. Describing the police as knowledge workers, the author suggests that public police may well be characterized as knowledge workers in addition to being considered coercive authorities. Furthermore, the author examines the role of police officers in building cases and accounts by shaping what they do in regards to procedural rules. Addressing the ways in which police position themselves as portals of organizations, nation states, municipalities, and events to secure sites and protect the exercise of rights, the author details the importance and effectiveness of community policing in leveraging and managing crime control and criminals. Police authority is a mélange of self-government and state authority. References