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Transparency and the Police: External Research, Policing and Democracy (From Policing in Central and Eastern Europe: Comparing Firsthand Knowledge With Experience From the West, P 17-30, 1996, Milan Pagon, ed. -- See NCJ-170291)

NCJ Number
W F McDonald; S Paromchik
Date Published
14 pages
After a brief history of the American experience regarding police research, along with a few examples, this paper reviews the status of police research in Central and Eastern Europe.
Research studies have played a critical role in improving the quality of police work and increasing police accountability and commitment to the rule of law in the West. Such studies have used methods that include direct observation of police operations and analyses of police records by researchers from outside the police and the government. In the United States, studies by scholars, bar associations, as well as government inquiries have opened police practices to public scrutiny and have served as important checks on police power. In Central and Eastern Europe, however, such studies are still a novel concept. In today's world of increasing international police cooperation across borders, there is more reason than ever for cooperating nations to open their police operations to research by outsiders. The liberal- democratic police ideal is more likely to grow and thrive if there is also a robust community of researchers, scholars, and citizen activists watching, recording, and analyzing the police and making them "transparent." 7 notes