My Works in Progress

The Problem with Policing

Meghan E. Hollis

This book examines the problems with contemporary policing.  In this volume, I translate my academic expertise on policing into a book that anyone can read, understand, and learn from.  The goal of this book is to identify the problems with policing that scholars discuss and develop some solutions to fix what is broken about policing.  This includes discussions of police communications challenges, the challenges of emerging crimes (including Internet-based and cyber crimes), the ever-expanding police mandate, and how police must manage public perceptions in an information economy.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 – What is Democratic Policing?

Chapter 2 – History of Policing

Chapter 3 – Police Organizations and the Police Mandate

How police organizations have changed over time and how the police mandate is shifting with societal change.  Focuses on the challenges this creates for police departments in developing a mission that matches the needs of society.

Chapter 4 – Police Trust and Legitimacy

Focuses on traditional police trust and legitimacy challenges, but also examines new challenges for trust and legitimacy.  Looks at how changing technologies impact police trust and legitimacy and how police departments struggle to adapt to these changing technologies.

Chapter 5 – Police Public Relations and Police-Community Relations

Discusses the history of police public relations and community relations challenges and highlights how those challenges are increasing with increased use of technologies.  The introduction of the patrol car increased police distance from communities and made collection of localized information more difficult.  Increased use of technologies combined with increased anonymity have created additional public relations and community relations challenges for police.

Chapter 6 – Race, Gender, and the Challenges of Policing in the 21st Century

Explores historical and contemporary race and gender challenges.  In a society where the ethno-racial composition is shifting, this creates challenges for the police.  Highlights the challenges that are rooted in a history of distrust and animosity between societal groups and highlights a path forward focused on public safety for all and transparency.

Chapter 7 – Policing and Social Change – How Police Adapt to Changing Society

Includes discussions of changing technologies and how these are shifting the police mandate.

Chapter 8 – Developing Democratic Policing

Discusses how police departments can work to develop what Manning (2010) calls democratic policing.  Makes recommendations for police departments that focus on enhancing public safety for all, focusing on different forms of public safety, and highlights the importance of police organizations systematically examining their mandate and communications systems to provide high quality services for all citizens.

Chapter 9 – Policing Around the World

Includes discussions of how globalization and increasing local focus on counter-terrorism efforts is creating challenges for policing

Chapter 10 – The Future of Policing