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Perspectives on Police and Violence

Lawrence W. Sherman
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 452, The Police and Violence (Nov., 1980), pp. 1-12
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1042755
Page Count: 12
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Perspectives on Police and Violence
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Abstract

Police and violence are central to our conception of government, yet they form a troublesome paradox: in their efforts to stop violence, police must often be violent themselves. This paradox leads to the three related questions addressed in this volume. First, how can the police act more effectively and justly against violence in society? Second, how can we better understand and reduce the violence committed against police? Third, what accounts for the wide variations in police use of violence, and what can we learn from that variation to reduce police violence to the lowest possible level? The three questions are to some degree artificially distinguished, since most of what they encompass are police encounters with citizens from which violence emerges. But to understand the whole of police and violence, we need first understand its component parts.

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