CJ 210: Introduction to American Policing

Class Program
Degree Code
Specified Elective
Credits 5 Lecture Hours 55
This course examines the role of policing in American society. Theories and practices are covered from historical and contemporary perspectives. This course identifies challenges in law enforcement including the political, social, organizational, and legal environments where the police perform their roles.


Completion of CJ& 101 or Instructor Permission
Quarters Offered
Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge or skills:

  1. Identify and effectively use a broad range of policing and law enforcement terminology.
  2. Describe the origins and historical evolution of policing, and how that evolution impacts current policy and practice.
  3. Compare and contrast basic patrol procedures, investigative processes, crime control theories/practices, and operations.
  4. Identify the law enforcement department organization, special units, and administration structure from local to federal levels.
  5. Describe the various policing agencies, both public and private, and their jurisdictions in the local, state, and federal governments.
  6. Discuss the role and responsibilities of discretion, ethics, accountability, code of conduct, corruption, professionalism, police culture, sub-culture, and integrity and how these impacts the field of law enforcement.
  7. Identify the psychological, physical, and physiological impact of the law enforcement professional.
  8. Analyze how diversity issues, bias, and use of force by law enforcement affects civilians and community relations.
  9. Explain the relationship between politics, crime, the media, and policing in current society.
  10. Discuss the legal limitations placed upon the exercise of police powers in the United States of America.
Institutional Outcomes
IO1 Communication: Students will be able to execute effective oral and written communication skills related to their discipline (e.g., report writing).
IO3 Human Relations/Workplace Skills: Students will be able to explain ethical decision making and know why high personal ethics is vital in criminal justice.
Course Content Outline
  1. History of Policing
  2. The Police Role: Social Functions and Operations
  3. Police Typologies
  4. Levels of Law Enforcement
  5. Organization of the Police
  6. Police Stress
  7. Police Professionalism, Discretion and Ethics
  8. Police Procedures: Search and Seizure, Interrogation, and Lineups
  9. Patrol Function
  10. Community Policing
  11. Other Police Functions: Investigation, Auxiliary
  12. Police and Technology
Department Guidelines
PO4, PO5, PO6, PO7, PO8, and PO9 should be assessed.