Posts Tagged ‘police training’

“On the administrative, as opposed to the political, level,
the centrally appointed Superintendents of Police were not anxious to provoke
conflict. TA. Young in 1842 emphasized that “the men practically will be
under the direction of the Mayor.” Mayor Charles Alleyn commented that W.
K. McCord “was always ready to second the views of this Council” and
thus diminish the problems of a joint municipal force and judicial police. A
development in the office of the Superintendent also served to minimize
immediate conflict. Young’s successor in 1843 was Joseph-André Taschereau, a
prominent resident of the city appointed as a piece of political patronage.
While McCord was appointed in 1847 by a government largely hostile to the
dominant party on the municipal council, his successor in 1852 was John
Maguire, a Liberal organizer. Maguire was also the representative of Champlain
ward, the violent and largely Irish quarter, from 1846 to 1854. In addition, he
sat on the Police Committee from 1850 to 1854. Thus the Superintendent was a
member of the Committee. The central government’s control over the police was
exercised by a member of the local elite, and indeed often by a member of the
city council. The integration of the local leadership into province-wide
political structures helped to defuse possible conflicts over municipal policy.
As a result, policing in Quebec City achieved through political means a balance
between local and central authority.

A general consensus among the city’s official leadership
over policing was also supported by continuity among those involved in the
issue. This was particularly marked in the Police Committee. Between 1842 and
1858, Edouard Glackemeyer held the Chairmanship of the committee five times,
and George Hall held it seven times. An even more important force for
continuity was the term of office of Captain Robert Henry Russell, formerly of
the Scots Fusiliers Guards, who served as Chief of Police from 1840 to 1858.
His conduct was variously praised by the council, the Board of Trade, and the
policemen themselves.

The discussions in the council also show that the city
corporation was fully committed to the idea of a police force, and accepted the
general goals set out by W.F. Coffin. The council was not, of course,
representative of the city as a whole; indeed, the council was very
deliberately not representative of the city’s elites. Sydenham’s 1840 ordinance
incorporating the city had established the artificial predominance of the
commercial, argely English-speaking, minority in the urban wards. With minor
changes this system was to last formally until 1855. This division of power
was, during the early years, closely mirrored by the allocation of police
resources. Two police stations were established in the city, one within the
walls in Haute-Ville, the other on St Pierre, the heart of the mercantile district
in Basse-Ville. In 1843, 12 of the 28 men of the force were patrolling St Louis
and Palais in Haute-Ville. The operation of policing thus becomes a part of
another of Artibise and Linteau’s themes, that of the “Distribution of
Power” within the city. In many respects, the debate over the scale of
police operations in the city became an expression of the struggle for control
of the city between the small, affluent, anglophone wards and the sprawling,
poorer French-Canadian suburbs.

Initial support for the police came as a result of the crime
wave of 1835 and 1836, and was concentrated in the wealthier wards. A petition
for the continuation of the police in 1841 declared “although differences
of opinion may exist as to political questions there can be none with respect
to the necessity of suppressing by all possible means Robberies — Murders and
Arsons such as it is well known occurred previous to the existence of a Police
Force.” Its signatories were the leading members of the English-speaking
community: bankers, timber merchants and professionals. There is a conspicuous
absence of French-Canadian names. It was not until the reorganization in 1858
that a ward-by-ward system was entrenched and the entire city divided into five
Police Districts. It is to be noted that this development only took place after
the expansion of the representation of the suburbs in 1855 and the emergence of
such suburban leaders as J.-Ulric Tessier and L.-H. Langevin as mayors.

Demand for police resources was not restricted to the
wealthy wards. Petitions for the establishment of police stations in Champlain,
St Roch and St Jean multiply throughout this period. In these petitions and
requests there is not, however, the same preoccupation with violent and life threatening
crime that was expressed in the petition of 1841. Rather than a fear for lives
and property, there is a concern for civic standards. This is expressed in a
Report of the Committee calling for the establishment of four policemen in the
suburbs, “to exercise a proper vigilance on the houses of ill fame which
may be found in their neighbourhood” and repress the “scandal
occasioned by the inmates of such houses.” The behaviour of gangs of
young men who assembled in the Palace Market provoked another numerously signed
request for a police station in 1858, on the eve of the force’s reorganization.
The double objective of suppression and regulation matched the force’s dual
nature as both a municipal and judicial body.

The force’s responsibilities for municipal regulation in
fact expanded in response to needs in the urban community. The cholera
epidemics of the nineteenth century had a profound impact on concepts of
urbanism as they realted to public health. An increasing range of municipal
by-laws designed to protect the health and safety of the community were
introduced. Thus, the city’s constables found themselves seizing pigs found on
the street, poisoning dogs during rabies scares and clearing unlicensed
peddlers from the city markets. Appointed officers of public health, the police
became responsible for the prosecution of those contributing to filth in the
city. A public pound was established. The Chief of Police found himself
responsible for supervising the exhumation of bodies from cemeteries within the
city. The enforcement of other city by-laws also became a police
responsibility. With the abolition of the office of High Constable, the
supervision of carters was transferred to the Chief of Police.

The enforcement of tavern licensing became more important as
the city gained control over its procedures and profits. The city’s markets
were a major source of profit, and the police were in constant demand to
exclude independent pedlars from undercutting established merchants. Russell
was ordered to supervise the weighing of bread from bakers’ shops to ensure

The apparent rationality of such measures nonetheless masks
the tensions generated by a new urbanism defined by middle-class desires for a
clean, orderly and healthy environment. Many of Quebec’s residents were too
poor to be able to afford such standards. Each of the events mentioned above
created a conflict between the police and the people. The seizure of pigs
proved abortive. The carters engaged for the task “refused to go any
further… stating that they did not want to get their heads broken.” The
responsibility for poisoning dogs proved so onerous that the constables
petitioned for exemption from a duty “calculated to bring on us the
contempt of the respectable Inhabitants & revenge from the humbler class of
Citizens.” Finally, it required the Chief of Police to disperse a mob in
the market who had gathered to resist the police attempt to exclude peddlers.
This resistance was not always restricted to small protests. In 1849, at the
height of the cholera epidemic, the council decided to use the police barracks
in Basse-Ville as an emergency hospital. A large mob razed the building to
prevent the establishment of the hospital.

It can be seen, then, that both the Sydenhamite advocates of
the police as a tool for social control and the supporters of the force as an
agent of improving community standards could be anxious for a strong, well-disciplined
body of men. One index of this consensus was the requirement that the men
reside in barracks. W.F. Coffin commented that the “most useful
improvement” introduced by Lord Sydenham was the creation of a police
barracks. Coffin justified this in terms of increased economy and efficiency;
local leaders did not engage in such rationalizations. In 1845 the city asked
the Provincial Secretary for the use of the New Custom House in Champlain as a
police barracks because “it has been found from experience that the Police
force is much more efficient when they do not reside among the people whose
irregularities they are intended to suppress.” In 1849 the Comité de Police resolved that
“tous les hommes de police soient logés à la caserne.” Finally,
the by-law establishing the new municipal police in 1858 declared that the
“Officers and Men … shall be lodged and shall mess in such Barracks …
as this Council may determine.”

At the beginning of 1848, W.K. McCord produced his
“Regulations for the Governance of the Police Force.” His image of
the ideal member of the force was clearly a professional, career policeman,
with strong military overtones. He started with the premise that “every
Member of the Police Force may expect to rise to superior situations by his
intelligence activity & general good conduct … A knowledge of the French
& English languages, combined with reading & writing & good
character will ensure promotion.” The men were to be sober, obedient, and,
except by special permission, wear full police dress at all times. The city
by-law of 1858 was informed by exactly the same spirit. Indeed, under McCord,
policemen were required to give only a month’s notice of intention to quit;
after 1858, the Chief Constable and men were bound to three year terms by legal

It can thus be seen that while the administrative structure
and many of the functions of the police force had evolved since 1838, the
fundamental model for the force had changed little. It was conceived primarily
as an arm of order separate and distinct from the community. The extent to
which this conception matched the reality of the city’s policemen is crucial in
understanding the nature of police evolution in Quebec….

One single factor shaped the selection of policemen and the
attractiveness of their occupation. As T.W. Acheson remarks, “All
nineteenth-century cities were woefully underfinanced,” and Quebec City
was in a constant state of financial chaos. The amateurism of its municipal
officials and the perennial optimism of its municipal leaders made fiscal
caution rare. The old capital’s anxiety to recover from Montreal its status as
British North America’s foremost city lead it into major expenditures for gas
lighting, road construction, water development and railway promotion. The
resulting web of bonds, loans and debentures left the city with little room for
retrenchment in periods of depression. One of the few areas where the city had
direct, year-to-year control over expenses was the police force. Temporary
patrols, expansions of the force during the summer and a variety of other
expedients were attempted. The formal strength of the force ranged from a high
of 42 in 1840 to 27 in 1849. In 1858 there were 34 men in the force. These
shifts matched the succeeding waves of prosperity and crisis in the city’s
accounts. It is to be borne in mind that during this period the city’s
population grew from a little over 30,000 to nearly 57,000. The policing ratio
thus changed from approximately 1:715 to approximately 1:1680.

These figures make it immediately apparent that, despite
Durham’s invocation of Robert Peel’s example, policing in Quebec City followed
the pattern of British provincial boroughs rather than of London. As Palmer
points out, “the Government did not foresee … that municipal ratepayers
would often be more committed to fiscal economy than to paying the costs of
preserving public order.” While in England the lowest possible effective
policing ratio had been calculated at 1:1,000, the great majority of English
boroughs fell well below this standard. Indeed, Quebec would appear to have had
about the same policing ratio as that of a representative city of its size in
England in 1856. Thus the Corporation’s ambition for a disciplined and
professional force was checked by its disinclination or inability to pay for
it. In 1840, under Sydenham’s ordinance, the police accounted for 14.4 percent
of municipal expenditures; by 1850 this had fallen to 7.8 percent.

The city police were consequently recruited from the general
pool of unskilled labour. Policing followed the seasonal cycle of all of
Quebec’s labour force. Wages were raised from 2/6 to 3s. from the first of May
to the end of November, and six men were added to the force. Not only was there
then a greater threat of disorder; there was also more employment available and
hence more competition. For many, policing was but one of many seasonal jobs.
This situation seriously weakened the city’s ability to control its men. Strike
action proved effective. 1854 was a year of economic expansion. As a result of
the “general prosperity” food prices had more than doubled. On
parade, the police demanded that their pay be raised from 4s. to 6s. a day in
summer, and 5s. in winter. The strike lasted less than a week, and was resolved
finally in favour of the men.

The clearest indication, however, of the city’s inability to
maintain its control over the force lay in its failure to enforce its barracks
rules. In 1849, the Police Committee noted hat several policemen had moved from
the barracks without permission. Russell’s consequent attempts to enforce the
regulations resulted in at least one act of violence. While by 1850 the police
again seem to have been lodged in barracks, the system had collapsed completely
by 1854. A return of police men for that year shows them scattered throughout
the city. The same situation obtained in 1858, on the eve of the Corporation’s
reestablishment of its regulations. McCord’s 1848 Regulations had sketched an
image of the force as a career with the prospects of promotion through the
ranks. It is true that Russell’s immediate subordinates, the constables, were
usually men of long service. In 1858, of the nine men of this rank, six had
more than a dozen years in the service. Two of these had been in the force
since 1841…

The turnover rate was certainly high. At least 121 different
men served in the force between April 1841 and December 1842. Only twelve of
these appear on the police list of 1844.86 Of 23 men taken on between 4 May and
June 241853, for example,  4 resigned and
3 were dismissed or resigned during that period. Some left for better
situations: Joseph Dubé was discharged after receiving a tavern license in
1844. On the other hand, three policemen died of cholera during the epidemic of
1849. The corporation was not a good employer. Its seasonal reductions were
not based on seniority, and this created a sense of grievance.  Illness was common.  In 1855, Russell testified that 9 of his 35
men were unfit for duty. Some policemen, after recovering from illness, found
themselves unemployed and unpaid. The constant changes in numbers and wages
must also have discouraged many.  

In the light of all this, the number of policemen requesting
readmission to the force is striking. For many of them, it was the best job
available. John Murphy, a subconstable of ten years’ standing, requested
readmission to force after being dismissed for drunkenness

“Gentlemen I hope yous will forgive me for this time,
it is a hard time in the year to go to travel I will never trouble yous agane
for the same occxion.(sic)”

This particular nature of the force is best explained by its
social composition. The most striking characteristic of the force is its
predominantly anglophone nature in a majority francophone city.

The names of the men throughout the period give a strong
impression that the force was dominated by the Irish…

McCord had also emphasized the importance of literacy as a
characteristic of the professional policeman he was trying to create. Of the
108 subconstables listed on the pay lists before the city took over control of
the force in 1843, as many as 37 could not sign their own name. Many of the
petitions presented by individual policemen to the police committee were also
marked with a cross. These included the petition, in 1855, of Joseph Bechette,
a veteran of 11 years on the force. Clearly, even the most basic literacy was
not a prerequisite for a prolonged career in the force.

On April 22, 1858 the Comité de Police expanded the force as
part of its new organization. The 155 applicants for the vacancies included
applications from many ex-soldiers, labourers, carters, a tailor and the unemployed.
Of these, 19 were hired…

Manifestly, the corporation was taking advantage of the
restructuring of the force to increase the number of French-speaking policemen.
One of the consequences of this was to keep the literacy level of the force
lower than it might otherwise have been. This was not simply the result of a
lower literacy level among the French Canadians. Of the French-Canadian
applicants, 29 were at least partially literate. An examination of surviving
certificates of character suggest another factor: municipal politics. Six of
the newly-appointed French-Canadians resided on St Olivier, in St Roch and all
but one policeman resided in the suburbs. The successful applicants were those
whose certificates were endorsed by prominent French-Canadian suburban figures.
Germain Guay, Edouard Rousseau and J.-G. Tourangeau had all represented St
Roch. Two illiterates were endorsed by JeanBaptiste Bureau, the Councillor for
St Jean who was about to resign to become the new Police Chief. It is difficult
to avoid the conclusion that the integration of the police force into the
municipal power structure had made it another arena for local patronage, where
loyalty and services rendered in politics were more important than specific

In short, the
exigencies of local politics were more important than statist concepts of
policing. These figures strongly suggest that the police force in many ways
resembled the ‘dangerous classes’ that it was designed to counteract. Irish
immigrants between 20 and 40 years old were the mainstay of the force, and
there was a strong bachelor contingent. The single, young, male anglophone was
the mainstay of the city’s criminality. Jean-Marie Facteau, in outlining the
urban and anglophone nature of the “population-cible” of the justice system,
emphasizes the overrepresentation of soldiers, servants and sailors among those
arrested in the Québec District. Among the police, dismissals and suspensions
for drunkenness and brutality were common, and readmissions were frequent. A
certain level of violence was accepted among the police; in 1854, Martin
Mullroney (sic) was only censured for “attentat à la pudeur sur une femme

– Michael McCullouch, “Most Assuredly Perpetual Motion : Police and Policing
in Quebec City, 1838-58
.” Urban History Review, Volume 19, #2, 1990. pp. 103-107.

Sketch is, “Police station, Rue Saint-Louis.” from The City of Quebec Jubilee Illustrated. 1887.

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In the traditional training academy, trainees were shaped by a highly visible
status-dependent authority which asserted itself in a hard binary between the
superior and the compliant and obedient servant. Rules and regulations acted
as a dispensation of the right to act, and there was the notion that all action
could be regulated through such rules. One thus trained up through code and,
in gradual increments of permission, played the role of the superior, always
understood in the terms of this status distinction between the order-giver and
the order-taker. This distinction also denoted how discipline was perceived:

it was understood according to the police themselves as a ’training to obey’. Discipline comprised the means by which trainees became police officers: it
was only through various rote exercises in order-taking or subservience and
obedience that the neophyte could develop the appropriate understanding of
police authority and thus become a capable police officer. 

Indeed, if one reviews the conferences of the Canadian chiefs of police in
the first third of the century, ’discipline’ is understood as ’the self-control
[resulting from] a series of acts of obedience to authority’ (Archibald, 1912).
It is also the ’state of being under perfect command’ (Barnes, 1936: 77). Discipline
was also useful in perpetuating the systemic continuity of this hierarchical
control of men. According to a Montreal police executive and training
expert Charles Barnes, ’if foot drill is carried out by thoroughly competent
instructors, it practically makes every member of the squad a potential
instructor himself, as the ability to respond promptly and intelligently to
command is the first step in the making of a finished instructor’ (Barnes, 1936:
76; emphasis added). Discipline ’teaches a man the value of being able to
respond so quickly and intelligently to a command that it prepares him to be,
in turn, in a position to impart to others the importance of instant obedience’. 

This definition of discipline as a training to obey or training through obedience
and the attendant use of the binary power relation has been gradually
eclipsed. We noted that developments in management elsewhere have reconsidered
the agency of the worker and undertaken to deploy his/her will rather
than to view this as an obstacle to efficiency. We also just noted that the ’discovery’
or the ’outing’ of police discretion forced a new approach to the regulation
of the police, one which could no longer present this as a simple binary relation, one which, instead, placed the subjectivity of the police officer front
and centre. In the police academy itself the slippage between the regime of a
discipline and the reality of the culture became notoriously apparent and the
subject of internal probes. That the traditional training academy glorified individuality and personal authority whilst operating under cover of the
presentations of bureaucratic and depersonalized practices was, during the
1970s and 1980s, becoming an unwieldy irony. Consequently, and also in the
context of larger social and political movements, the understanding that regulation
itself could be equated with discipline could no longer hold. 

Beginning in the late 1960s and into the early 1970s, there began a re-evaluation
of discipline and of the styles of management of police. In 1974, the
Task Force on Policing in Ontario reviewed the methodology of reinforcing
’appropriate behaviour’ on the part of the constable. It noted that ’military
personalities and military structures’ have been influential to policing
in Ontario. It credited the military tradition in bringing uniformity,
improved standards and ’forced objectivity’ to police officers. The military
tradition also ’gave forces the ability to deploy men swiftly and efficiently to
meet crisis situations’. The Task Force argued, however, that there were
’new requirements today’ which were inconsistent with this tradition and its
assumption ’that the important decisions are taken at senior levels’. It noted

that motivation under the military tradition was generally ’negative’, stressing
sanctions while underutilizing positive motivators. Deploying an evolutionary
model of policing, the Task Force concluded that while traditional
discipline was useful in its time, it was no longer consistent with ’modern

Concurrently, in the Report of the Steering Subcommittee on Police Training
in Ontario
(1975) and in the International Association of Chiefs
of Police
’s (IACP) (1976). Major Recommendations for Management of Effective
Police Discipline the term ‘discipline’ was being revised according to
similar profiles. In the former, the concept was divided according to two distinct
sets of circumstances. According to the first of these, it was understood
that there was a persistent need to have police officers ’act as one body’ in
obeying orders ’without question’ (Ontario, 1975: 61 ). Under the conditions
of large demonstrations, for instance, a public order policing mobilization
still needed to prevail, and ’discipline, training and good leadership’ (p. 61) was understood to ensure that optimum force would be used. According to
the peacekeeping function, however, the term ’self-discipline’ best described
the ’self-control’ and appearance management which was necessary for the
individual ’job at hand’.

In the report by the IACP, it is only this latter ’discipline’ which is perceived
– not as a ’technique to prevent negative behaviour on the job’, but
rather as a ’much needed management tool’ which might ’replace a system
which too often acts to reduce morale and motivation, and which strains
police-citizen relations’. The IACP noted, in the same way
the Task Force did, that the military model is unsuited to these police-citizen
relations. They say that the military has different sources of motivation and
control, and different patterns of work and working environments. In a clear
break with this ’past’ they noted that, indeed, the police have more in
common with business. ’[B]oth police and business exist to deliver a service
or a product to the same market – the public’.

Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, discipline was being reframed. In a 1991 Royal Canadian
Mounted Police (RCMP) discussion paper by Queens University management
professors, ’positive discipline’
is discussed as aimed at ’educating the employee’, in contrast to the ’punishment and deterrence’ focus of ’negative discipline’. Rules and regulations are
recast as ’responsibilities’ which are ’of benefit to all’. The
discussion paper cites B. B. Boyd, who argues in Management Minded Supervision
that ’discipline is the training and development of the cooperative
workforce striving together for the realization of management goals’. It adds
that ’punishment has no place in thinking about discipline’.

These documents illustrate a movement from a conduct-shaping grounded on strict discipline to one rooted in co-management. ’Discipline’, though still
too much a central feature of police administration to be thrown out
altogether, was reframed as one piece of an administrative and human resources arsenal: it is something exercised by the individual employee in the
furtherance of managerial goals. The earlier version of discipline is shunted
to the less visible (to reform discourse) arena of public order policing. While
the craft of policing is being colonized by action-structuring technologies like
judgement drills and templates, supervision was
also being reconceived. The discipline of trainees is well under way to no
longer being considered a management problem.


– Willem de Lint, “New Managerialism and Canadian Police Training Reform,” Social & Legal Studies. Volume: 7 issue: 2, 1998. pp. 267-71

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In policing reforms in the nineteenth century, there was a pronounced effort
to restructure the subjectivities of police constables by installing disembedding
technologies. Technologies like drill and prohibitions on gossiping on
the beat had the intention of insulating the constable from horizontal influences
and accesses and of muting his reliance on personal charisma. It was the
aim of nineteenth-century reforms to build a vertical pillar of authority
through which police officers would be graduated up, thus ensuring constables’
dependence on institutional sources for communitarian intimacy and
personal validation. At the same
time, the welfare state was promoted as a vehicle in the standardization of
individuals (their citizenship), and police were also agents of this discourse
of standardization. The police institution in which the
subjectivity of the police officer was shaped therefore stressed adherence to
procedure, personal detachment and the rational separation of public/private, personal/official, objective/subjective. 

One of the primary vehicles of the shaping of police officers as disinterested
and depersonalized subjects has been the traditional training academy.
We all have images of the police academy, and these are much like what we
think of when we picture boot camp or military training. The trainee has his
hair cut, is made to wear a uniform, is assigned a bunk in a dormitory (and to peer group or troop), and is subjected to a rigorous regimen of drill training,
intended, ideally, to fill his whole waking day. The neophyte thus enters
into a near-total institution, is stripped of previous
identifiers, is subjected to a military command (told he knows nothing and is
nothing until he passes through basic training), and is incessantly corrected
according to an ideal of obedient, unquestioning response. In short, what
occurs is a stripping and infantilizing, a vigilant correction and surveillance, a deployment of peer group loyalties in the service of conduct regulation, and
a reinforcement of impersonal, status-dependent authority. 

One way of characterizing this depersonalizing training is that it subjects

the body and the mind to endless routines, but still misses the soul. Rose  has documented the emergence of an expertise on subjectivity and the
development of its use by the military and educationalists. With this expertise,
brought on by ’psy’ sciences, souls, once the province of the Church and
associated with ’the private’, could become the province of routine organizational management. Rather than leaving individual interpretation and ’personality’ out of the equation of governing, new nomenclatures became
available which offered probing penetrations into how people interpreted themselves into roles and identities. Previous to such probing, interior landscapes
were more easily depicted in contrasts of black/white and good/evil. 

Indeed, the records of the Chief Constables’ Association of Canada include
a remarkable paper in which ’personality’ appears to be discovered by Canadian
police executives. In the convention of 1938, Chief Goodman asks,
’what is personality?’. Goodman then offered to explore the concept of ’personality
in police work’ by dividing it into three dimensions: mind, language
and appearance:

There are none of us so blind as not to visualize the necessity of making our
respective departments the best that we possibly can, and place it upon the
highest dais possible in the estimation of our public. Besides Police Curriculum,
there are other abstract things that play just as important a part in bringing out this much desired condition, and Personality is one of them.

The traditional training institution and its paramilitary order did not attend
to the souls of trainees and its governance was thus partial. This can be seen
in two features of the traditional training regime. Firstly, it excludes a whole
category of training from its purview. The training academy was limited to
formal training, and this formal training was comprised of proper procedure and appearance management. Excluded from its jurisdiction
was informal training or the apprenticeship learning. This took place ’on
the street’ in the assignment of the rookie to a coach or training officer. A
consequence is that the traditional training academy has been ill-equipped to
guide the use of judgement or discretionary decision-making. Discretion
requires a decision about whether and how to deploy a set of rules (the
decision to invoke to the law). However, trainers in a bureaucratic structure
are responsible for the content of their training and overstep their jurisdictions
at their peril. This division of formal and informal learning between the
academy and the street gives the street privilege over discretion, or interpretative
profiles of the ’way things are done’ or the ’ways and means’. The training
academy, like management in general, is limited to an appearance
management or a training in the proper presentation of police work, and this
is not to be confused with the way things must be done in reality. We see the
stark contrast between the management of appearances in the drill halls and
classrooms, and the rough language, off-colour humour and cynicism of the
’bull-sessions’ after class.

While formal protocol and appearance manage- ment comprise the formal agenda, an informal agenda of the traditional
academy is gaining an understanding of discretion.

Secondly and consequently, the traditional training academy has been
partial in penetrating the occupational culture. The management/street division has been solidified on a
long-standing disbelief in the possibility of quantifying the ’intangibles’ of
street knowledge. There is also occupational scepticism towards the motives
(disengenuous, political) of administrators who confuse or blur the division
between managing appearances and doing good police work. Nevertheless,
the socialization of police is accomplished and begins in earnest at the training
academy. It does indeed facilitate the transmittal of the ’working personality’  of the police officer and has been an instrument of
the regeneration of the occupational culture, but only inasmuch as the informal
curriculum has also been off the books. The informal lesson is that
appearance protocols and representations are indeed useful as a shelter or
cover for backstage activity. ’Discretion’ comes to mean not only the exercise
of a practical knowhow on the slippage between rules and practice, but
also of a respect for secrecy and the usefulness of this cover. In the traditional
training academy, discretion, while central, has been more or less avoided as
an explicit curricular topic. Instead, it has been learned as a kind of counter-discipline
after classes and after hour bull-sessions. 

It has been this slippage between rules and interpretation, formal protocols
and practice, and appearances and reality which has undermined the
integrity of this traditional training. The bureaucratic ideal was exposed most
dramatically with civil rights agitation in the 1960s. Under the pre-eminence of a rights discourse, the differential treatment of women (domestic assault),
blacks and aboriginals, the poor, and the young became a focus of reform,
Policing research began to switch focus from analyses of top-down reform
to looking into the operation of discretion in conditions of ’low visibility’. The ’discovery’
that discretionary practices were at the core of policing and that this
core was left unstructured by formal or routine procedures and training, produced
a rift between the past and the future of police management.

– Willem de Lint, “New Managerialism and Canadian Police Training Reform,” Social & Legal Studies. Volume: 7 issue: 2, 1998. pp. 267-68

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The history of policing is a series of retranslations of its objects and purposes.
One such retranslation stemmed from the adoption of a disciplinary discourse
in the movement to a bureaucratic organization in the mid-nineteenth
century. The purpose of policing was reframed to place emphasis on
adherence to rules, the cultivation of impersonal authority, and the develop- ment of technologies in the neutral delivery of service (cf. Walker, 1977).
Under occupational professionalization in the early twentieth century,
another retranslation was promoted. The crime-fighter was touted and
encouraged through the adoption of industry standards and professional ethics, self-regulation, and the continuation of highly stratified bureaucratic
structures. Recently, there has emerged a model which can be called new
managerial policing. 

New managerialism rests on a number of premises or assumptions. One of
these, which is sometimes the least obvious, is a privileging of the product producing
organization – assumptively a corporate and for-profit organization
– as the root unit of society. A related assumption of
a managerialist discourse is a de-emphasis of the state. As Enteman argues,
the ’social decisions’ produced by managements of corporate organizations are not oriented to the furtherance of a national ethos,
but are instead aimed at global markets, clients or consumers. Regulation, it
is the prevailing view in new managerialist literature, is best achieved in the
proactive (re)construction of the organization, and this requires not standardization,
rules and punishments in a (hopeful) representation of objective
and literal truth, but rather dialogue and engagement in a recognition of
dynamic processes and positive ’imaging’. New managerialism is given meaning through its putative evolution
out of bureaucratic organization. 

Various mechanisms give substance to this anti-bureaucratic ethos of new
managerialism. Drawing from Japanese corporate and organizational models
of the 1960s, and from the organizational systems work of the late 1960s and
early 1970s, management moves discipline and authority behind the lines and
diminishes their use as first-instance reasons for compliance. Instead, intermediary
devices are installed, implicating the worker in the managerial
agenda of the organization. These include peer review, organizational missions,
quality circles, team problem-solving, network-building and organizational
learning. In addition,
while bureaucracies are seen as punitive and past-possessed, new managerialism
is future (or loss prevention) focused.

New managerialism understands the corporate organization in terms of 

dynamic change or ’learning’, and individuals in terms of the tailored competency
profiling the organization needs. Key to the transformation of police
agencies according to a new managerialist ethic is the importance placed on
training, missions and competencies both at the organizational level and at
the level of the individual.
In this way, the discourse of new managerialism is consistent with neo-liberal
strategies of governance and is pushed ahead by them. Neo-liberalism ’reactivates
choice’ as the ’fundamental human faculty’. It is
through this ironic re-articulation of choice that the individual is seen as an
enterprise, an enterprise, moreover, who presumptively cares for her own self. Enterprising individuals are putatively free to
negotiate working conditions and continuously to adapt their competencies to changing demands in quickly saturated markets (Harvey, 1989). Work is
redefined as the translation of innate and learned competencies and skills into
value as enterprise. So fully is the individual responsibilized that leading edge
organizations develop rigorous training programmes which continuously test the worker’s ability to manifest pro-organizational values. During such
training workers ’freely choose’, as du Gay puts it, to partake in a ’reflexive
self-monitoring’ on their progress.

Neo-liberalism and new managerialism are thus close bedfellows in promoting
a compelling version of subjectivity. In these emphases new managerialism
takes a post-structuralist view to the continual (flexible) reproduction
of, not individual agents and social institutions, but corporate organizations
themselves. As Morgan puts it, ’images and ideas people hold of themselves
and their world have a fundamental impact on how their realities unfold’. Breaking from the public power/private enterprise distinction
of nineteenth-century liberalism, new managerialism, in language
and in emphasis, rejuvenates the power of ideas and creativity in the social
construction of reality. Neo-liberalism, appositely, understands personal choice not as opposed to, but of a piece with, corporate power. Neo-liberal
empowerment also sees the individual not as made up by others or as depen- dent on social-structural conditions, but as freely adapting to market transitions, a free adaptation favourably termed ’lifelong

But although appearing to promote individuality and creativity and the
unfettered enterprising visionary, new managerialism is a discourse directed
not at the articulation of the individual in society but at the organization in
the free market. While individuals and essences are not the foundation of
society, individuals can nevertheless be discursively made up in the service
of organizational ends. New managerialism likewise aligns all the virtues of
autonomy and enterprise with the character of the mission-driven ’learning
organization’. Against a neo-liberal backdrop, new managerialism offers an
antidote to the problem of the spirited ’individualist’ straining against an
external authority. Spirit, initiative, enterprise and charisma are recast as
qualities belonging not to the individual standing opposed to organizations
and their collective thinking, but rather as virtues which individuals acting within organizations may partake of. Today, one is most likely to encounter
words like ’iconoclast’ or ’rebel’ in the marketing or promotion of organizationally aligned individuality. Individual expression comes to be understood,
with empowerment politics, as the self’s maximization of corporate privilege.

 Indeed… we can better appreciate subjectivity under new managerialism by viewing it in contradistinction
to its cultivation under the bureaucratic organization. The manager in the
bureaucratic organization was ideally impersonal, objective, dispassionate, detached and knowledgeable: an expert. He was insulated by rules and by rank in a vertical hierarchy, and through clear delineations of diminishing authority which passed down through the ranks of the vertical pillar. In turn,
the worker in the bureaucratic organization was separated in his work and
life, bifurcated into reason and emotion and between pleasure and duty, and
knew very clearly the limits of his authority, knowledge and competence. 

An outcome of bureaucracy’s ’foundational exclusions’ and ’constitutive
splits’ was a worker who was said to lack initiative and was also ontologically
(as opposed to presentationally) under-identified with the public missions of
the organization. A rule-driven shaping of subjectivities rewards rote
adherence to procedure while punishing creative enterprise. Skolnick identified this dilemma as a key organizational problem of policing. A further
consequence (with further relevance in policing) has reputedly been a subjectivity
characterized in a split between a public self of impersonal proceduralism
and austerity and a private self of abuses and secret excesses
(where initiative finds expression).
Liberal oppositions have helped to shape subjects as neutral agents through the application of bureaucratic rules and in the distinction between public and
private expression. But in being so shaped, individual enterprise has been
understood as the cost, expression being associated with favouritism, abuse
of office and corruption. 

New managerialism has offered a new image of subjectivity, one which
is conceptualized in opposition to the rational separations and forced objectivity and neutrality of liberal oppositions and bureaucracy. The executive
in the new learning organization is characterized by risk-taking, entrepreneurship,
involvement and a ’calculatingly charismatic’ personality. Rather than being seen as a commander, he is seen explicitly as
a people- and organization-shaper: s/he shapes ’the conduct and self-image of employees … encouraging them to acquire capacities and dispositions that will enable them to become enterprising persons’.
In contrast to the foundational exclusions and subjectivity splitting of the
bureaucratic worker, the worker in a new managerialist organization is
made whole again through work-based participatory technologies such as
work teams, continuous learning and peer review procedures. S/he is made
up to be ’empowered’ and personally interested.
S/he is to find ‘pleasure in work’ rather than pleasure through work. Finally, s/he is to be made responsible or responsibilized to care for the self and take pleasure by making herself a project or enterprise.

– Willem de Lint, “New Managerialism and Canadian Police Training Reform,” 

Social & Legal Studies.

Volume: 7 issue: 2, 1998. pp. 263-266

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Training of policewomen, possibly 1909. 

National Photo Company, Library of Congress.  No additional information is provided about these trainings, but another photograph that comes up identifies another training of the Women’s Bureau of the D.C. Police Dept.


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