Harlan Hahn and Judson L Jeffries present a broad and comparative overview of urban policing in the United States. Synthesising their own research with information from an eclectic array of sources -- seminal social science studies of urban police departments, government documents, reports from organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, and think tank monographs -- they present a nationally oriented and historically informed understanding of the diverse and often conflicting roles police officers play on city streets. Hahn and Jeffries also demonstrate the ways in which race and ethnicity have influenced United States law enforcement since the creation of the nation's first police force. Ultimately, the authors call for a renewed emphasis on the social service dimension of police work -- a shift they argue would reduce crime and enhance community support for those who are sworn to project and serve.
Harlan Hahn is professor of political science at the University of Southern California and author of Ghetto Revolts: Violence in American Cities (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction, 1974). Judson L. Jeffries is associate professor of political science at Purdue University and author of Huey P. Newton, The Radical Theorist (2002); Virginia's Native Son: The Election and Administration of Governor L. Douglas Wilder (2000) and numerous articles on police brutality.