U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

The State of the Police Field: A New Professionalism in Policing? - Panel at the 2010 NIJ Conference

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2010
2 pages
This transcript and audio from the 2010 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Conference cover three panel presentations that examine whether a "new professionalism" for policing is currently emerging from an evolution of policing concepts.
The first presenter offers a framework for conceptualizing a "new professionalism" in policing based in a commitment to accountability, legitimacy with the public, innovation, and national coherence. All of these concepts are traced back to the emergence of the model of community policing in the late 1970s and early 1980s; however, these concepts are being understood and applied in new ways in current examinations of a "new professionalism" for policing. The first presentation addresses what is new about the police professionalism captured in current understandings of the four features of the proposed framework. The second presenter voices his agreement with the first presentation regarding a "new professionalism" in policing that features new applications of accountability, legitimacy, and innovation; however, concern is expressed about the meaning of the fourth concept, national coherence. The presenter believes that the concept of a new professionalism is not sufficiently coherent to be the banner for contemporary policing. He prefers to remain with the concept of community policing taken to a new level. He proposes the label "advanced community policing" as the framework for new understandings of police accountability, legitimacy, and innovation. The third presenter, a police chief, comments that in the interest of training police officers, the concept of a "new professionalism" is useful so long as it is linked to the implementation of community-policing priorities.

Date Published: June 1, 2010