Criminal Justice & Law

Introduction to Policing

Considering a career in law enforcement? Interested in the criminal justice system as a whole? This course offers students a window into the fascinating and difficult work of policing American cities from street to street. To give students the most in-depth look at policing possible, this course examines the history, structure, actions and strategies of American police. Students will explore a number of interesting topics including the structure and purpose of federal, state and local police forces, their inner-workings and interconnectivity as well as the various ways each individual force plays a role in the collective effort to keep American cities and streets safe. At a deeper level, students will gain an understanding of everyday police patrol functions, police discretion, police accountability and the relationship between law enforcement and the community that maintains public order. Finally, students will also take a look at the way in which police function within the bounds of the Constitution balanced against the pressing need to protect the public from certain threats.

This course gives students an overview of the police and their mission. It examines the evolution of policing as well as methods, issues, and challenges to present-day policing. The course also looks at technology in the service of law enforcement and explores the future of policing.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Define terms related to law enforcement
  • Examine the organization of law enforcement
  • Examine the roles, functions, and styles of policing
  • Describe the impact that history has had on the current law enforcement system
  • Analyze the use of forensic science and criminalistics in the criminal justice system
  • Examine challenges faced by law enforcement
  • Analyze laws as related to policing
  • Appraise the use of technology in policing
  • Analyze issues related to policing in foreign countries

This class includes the following eText:
Peak. (2012). Policing America: Challenges and Best Practices; 7/E; ISBN: 0135101824

This course does not include tutoring.

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