Metaphors and Modern Policing

author Peter K. Manning
journal Cahiers Politiestudies (ISSN: 1784-5300)
volume Jaargang 2012
issue 25. Tides and currents in police theories
section Artikelen
date of publication Dec. 12, 2012
language English
pagina 69

The role of metaphor is significant in police studies. It was salient in the Report of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (1967), and unlike continental systems where the idea of a system of justice was accepted, it was the first representation of the idea that a functioning justice system was present. This metaphor both broadened and narrowed thinking about policing. This paper, a response to Greene’s sea metaphor, argues that there are many metaphoric versions of theorizing in policing, those based on metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and cultural or class-based ideas. Greene’s metaphor, based primarily on studies of Anglo-American policing, describes cultural forces both inside and outside policing that may lead to change. Ironically, these changes are minimized by the structure of police organizations. Police reform will require more than shifts in metaphor, and will require real reconstruction of police organizations.