Course #
Section Number
Spring 2024
Course Instructor

This course introduces students to the concept of legitimacy in policing, the related reform efforts implemented in police departments throughout the United States in recent years, and the challenges to reform from activist movements to defund or abolish the police. Policing in the United States is in crisis. Ubiquitous video records of police-civilian interactions have changed the relationships among the police, the public, local political authorities, and the media. At the same time, policing itself is changing in profound ways. New technological capabilities have increased public expectations of transparency and efficiency in policing while raising concerns about privacy and due process rights. Local police have taken on an expanding portfolio of responsibilities, including presence in public schools, mental health crisis response, and counter-terrorism. This course will equip students to understand the issues at stake in the contemporary policy debates surrounding policing and the foundational scholarly knowledge underpinning those debates. Course topics include: the organizational structure of policing, its functional purpose, the normative expectations of citizens and communities that rely on the police for protection and how police performance is measured.

Quarter Title Instructor Day(s) Time(s) Syllabus
Spring 2024 Police Reform and Police Legitimacy Robert Owens Tuesday, Thursday 8:00am-9:20am Syllabus