Police culture is an example of an occupational culture to which new recruits become socialized through socialization. It is thought that police culture is one of several demand characteristics which shape routine decision-making by the police. The term police culture can refer to several different aspects of policing.
It can refer to the us versus them attitude that is attributed to police forces almost everywhere, whereby "them" can be variously meant society at large, criminals and also senior police officials. Police culture can also refer to police attitudes towards the use of their discretionary powers, especially where the end is thought to justify the means, like unlawful searches and excessive use of force.
Finally, Police culture can refer to the strong feeling of loyalty towards and social solidarity with fellow officers, a feeling which goes beyond what is normally encountered among employees, even other professionals. I use police culture in this last sense. Police Culture and the "Code Of Silence" By John Westwood, Ph.D.
A Brief Discussion of Police Culture and How It Affects Police Responses to Internal Investigations and Civilian Oversight.
While most elements of police culture are universal, each agency possesses its own personal and distinctive organizational culture. What is police culture? According to McDonald, the concept of police culture is comprised of the merging of the image of impartial and professional crime fighters that the police have of themselves, and a system of belief and behavior not described in agency values statements. This definition, while not necessarily identifying a compelling positive element, does recognize more than just the negative.
All police officers must accept a higher standard of
professional culture. An integral part of the process of police acceptance of this higher
standard is police culture.
Shedding Light on Police Culture: An Examination
of Officers Occupational Attitudes - Eugene A. Paoline, III, University of
Using oral history to investigate police culture, Tom
Cockcroft, Canterbury Christ Church University College.
Police Culture - Janet Chan
A social constructionist account of
police culture and its influence on the representation and progression of female officers:
A repertory grid analysis in a UK police force - Dick P. Jankowicz D.