The Future of Policing: A Practical Guide for Police Managers and Leaders

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ISBN 9781439837955
Cat# K11722



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  • Presents futures thinking as a tool for more effective police administration
  • Provides case studies and vignettes that demonstrate both the complexity of situations and possible ways to employ futures studies as a management tool
  • Contains voices from the field essays providing insights and experiences from practitioners
  • Includes practical tips and strategies, including more than two dozen textboxes describing future challenges and trends


As communities continue to undergo rapid demographic shifts that modify their composition, culture, and collective values, police departments serving those communities must evolve accordingly in order to remain effective. The Future of Policing: A Practical Guide for Police Managers and Leaders provides concrete instruction to agencies on how to promote successful policing by proceeding on a course informed by future trends and emerging community forces.

Explores critical variables necessary for decision-making

Designed for typical police departments with common structures, problems, and opportunities, this book offers a unique juxtaposition of real-life examples, futures research, emergent trends, and management implications. Each chapter provides a discussion of the professional literature, current and projected trends, and situations faced by agency executives and leaders. Through this multidimensional and contemporaneous approach, the book explores community and political variables crucial to the decision-making process. It describes methods that managers can employ to explore the future and prepare their agencies for possible, probable, and preferable trends and opportunities.

Provides specific, concrete examples

Drawn from the authors’ research, as well as their own instructional and practical experience in the policing profession, this volume goes beyond esoteric, theoretical analysis and instead provides practical and well-grounded strategies for those who aspire to become police managers or current managers wishing to improve their proficiency. Using futures research and methodologies as the foundation for the text, this volume prepares practitioners to meet the challenges of policing and police management in the 21st century.

Table of Contents

Setting the Stage
Challenges in Police Organizations
Leadership, Management, Supervision, and Administration
Problems with the Present Police Organizational Model
An Analysis of Failure
The Potential Benefits of Futures Studies for Policing
Five Key Themes
The Emergence of Futures Thinking Within and About
American Policing
The Organization of This Book
Futures Thinking and Research
The Acceleration of Change
What Is Futures Studies?
A Short History of Futures Research
Futures Studies as a Leadership Tool
Methods of Forecasting the Future
Future Trends
Technological Trends
Demographic Trends
Economic Trends
Social and Community Trends
Political Trends
What Does All This Mean for Policing?
The Police and the Community
The Evolving Nature of Community
Communication Technology and Community
Communication Technology and Policing
Social Networking Tools and Social Engagement
Policing Implications of Social Networking
Involving Communities in Policing
Trust, Transparency, and Leadership
Challenges and Opportunities Created by the Changing
Nature of Community
Boundaries: Disappearing, Reemerging, and Merging
Three Examples in High Relief
Why Boundaries?
Technologies and Policing
Jurisdiction, Mandates, and Threats
The Influence of Money
Federal vs. Local Responsibilities
External Oversight and Influence
The Future of Crime
Economic Drivers
Health Care
The Drug War
A Problem of Identity
Gang-Based Crime
Other Trends in Crime and Policing
Citizen Resilience
On the Beat
Future Law and Governance Considerations
What Works in Policing? Evidence-Based Operations
Predictive Policing
Police Personnel: Culture, Hiring, and Development
Cultural Forces
Employee Development
Organizational Solutions
Mission, Vision, and Values
Economic Realities in Policing
Managing through Tough Times
Employee Input
Organizational Evaluation
Policy Development and Accreditation
Progressive Approaches to Employee Discipline
Opportunities Emerging through Change
Leadership and Care
From Where Will Future Police Leaders Emerge?
On The Horizon: The Police Organization of the Future
A Brief Look Backward
Structures and Processes
Maximizing the Power of Generations
Eligibility for Employment
Creating a Preferred Culture
The Nexus between Training and Education
Purposive Career Development
Radical Change
Putting It All Together
Revisiting the Book’s Themes
Other Considerations for the Future
Wild Cards
Leveraging Culture
The Role of Community
Using the Leadership GPS to Navigate into the Future
Practical Strategies
Reconceptualizing Police Management and Leadership to
Create Better Policing
Appendix: Principles of the Wheaton Police Department

Author Bio(s)

Editorial Reviews

"This well-crafted book, replete with anecdotes, systematically addresses issues such as technology, hiring practices, training, budgets, labor relations, evolving communities, and post 9-11 trends that challenge today’s police departments. The reader will come away with a wealth of information from sections in the book called ‘Voices from the Field.’ These are the words of law enforcement professionals who have shared their experiences, which augment the authors’ own perspectives. … Written specifically for law enforcement executives and police officers striving for advancement, this book will also encourage those dedicated to promoting the police profession through the use of foresight to continue with their futurist ideology."
—Dr. Brian L. Royster, Saint Peter’s University, in Security Management