History as a Vehicle for Sharing and Demonstrating a Law Enforcement Agency’s Culture and Values




White, Richard L.

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


This paper addresses the need for police organizations to be able to transmit their culture, traditions, and values within the agencies themselves and with the communities they serve. The paper examines the capacity of police history to transmit knowledge and values to agency members; how an agency can increase its transparency with its community by sharing its history; and how police history may present opportunities for moving past injustices to restore and rebuild community trust and relationships. For these reasons, every policing agency should know its history and share its story with its personnel and with the public. The paper also considers the resource requirements required of an agency history program, as well as the potential scarcity of available historical information about an organization. In each case, strategies are available to overcome those obstacles to success. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for future action by agencies wishing to develop and share their own history.



Police Department--History