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The Police-Community Relations Movement:Conciliatory Responses to Violence

American Behavioral Scientist , Volume 16 (3): 402 – Jan 1, 1973


Sage Publications
Copyright © 1973 by SAGE Publications
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The Police-Community Relations Movement:Conciliatory Responses to Violence


The Police-Community Relations MovementConciliatory Responses to Violence SAGE Publications, Inc.1973DOI: 10.1177/000276427301600312 Gary A. Kreps College of William and Mary Jack M. Weller Franklin and Marshall College All necessary qualifications aside, police departments are agencies of social control. They control by coercion. Civil disturbances presented a massive and violent challenge to the supremacy of their social control capabilities. It was not surprising that police met the challenge with new measures for implementing coercive control. Thus, police departments adopted a number of changes in emergency procedures, training, and equipment designed to improve the effectiveness of their control of civil disturbance participants. However, changes have not been limited to more guns and communications equipment. Faced with the political sensitivity of applying stringent control measures to large numbers of a disaffected minority and the sheer tactical difficulty of meeting the immense demands of civil disturbances, police also developed more conciliatory responses. Most of these noncoercive responses to the threat of civil disturbances are lumped under the label "police-community relations programs." Authors' Note: The research in this paper was supported in part by PHS G/w~ ~07 ~-~PP-O~ ~-o~ ~e C~~/by ~~~M o/M'M~/~/</! Grant 5 R 01 MH-15399-04, from the Center for Studies of
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