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Understanding Today’s Police, 4th edition

Mark L. Dantzker
Understanding Today’s Police, 4th edition
ISBN: 978-1-881798-62-0
2005/352 pages
A CriminalJusticePress Project
7" x 9.25" format

"Dantzker allows the reader a chance to understand the potential and the real world of everyday policing....  The reader will come away with a much clearer view and greater appreciation for what our police officers do for their communities."——Michael Heidingsfield, Memphis Crime Commission


Clearly introducing the complexities of policing today, Mark Dantzker—a former police officer himself—outlines key professional duties in the context of the changing nature of the field.

Dantzker explores the myths and realities of criminal investigation, the challenges of patrol, police misconduct, and the crucial use of officer discretion. He also discusses the importance of an officer’s work in the realm of both police-community relations and the larger criminal justice system. Throughout his comprehensive text, he offers an effective mix of theory and practice enhanced by real-life observations and grounded in scholarly research. 


Mark L. Dantzker is professor of criminal justice at the University of Texas, Pan American.


  • The Police Role in Our Society
  • From a Systems Perspective
  • Organization and Management
  • Patrol
  • Criminal Investigations and Other Support Units
  • Enforcing the Law
  • Police Misconduct
  • The Use of Discretion
  • Relating to the Community
  • Community-Oriented Policing
  • Quality Police Personnel
  • Women Police Officers
  • The Personality of Police Officers
  • Issues: Today and Tomorrow