UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Negotiating the decision : what is a police matter Errington, Barbara Gene 1973

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1973_A8 E77_5.pdf [ 4.83MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0101417.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0101417-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0101417-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0101417-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0101417-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0101417-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0101417-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0101417-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0101417.ris

Full Text

NEGOTIATING THE D E C I S I O N : WHAT IS A POL ICE MATTER by BARBARA GENE ERRINGTON B . A . , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1958 M . S . W . , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1964 A THES IS SUBMITTED IN PART IAL FULF ILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n t h e D e p a r t m e n t • f ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY Ue a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERS ITY OF BR IT I SH COLUMBIA S e p t e m b e r , 1973 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission fo r extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representatives. It i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Anthropology and Sociology The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date September 28, 1973 i i ABSTRACT Most s o c i o l o g i c a l studies Df the police tend to be con-cerned with aspects Df their s o c i a l control function in society. Feu researchers have treated the day to day duties of the police as part of the performance of a work r o l e . This study reports on the s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s performed by police and c i v i l i a n personnel in a s p e c i f i c phase of police organ-i z a t i o n — the phone room. It i s through these routines and practices that t h i s aspect of police work i s done. The study i s based on observations made in the phone room of the Vancouver Police Station. Tape recordings uere made of a number of c a l l s . As an adjunct to observational data, interviews were held u i t h members of the s t a f f . Members of the community phone in to the police to report a variety of troubles. S t a f f , through th e i r routine practices, select and uork up from these c a l l s , those which w i l l be treated as "police business." "Police business" i s thus viewed as produced by the routine practices of the phone room s t a f f . This study examines some of these routine practices through which police business i s accomplished. A section of t h i s study deals with the kinds of c a l l e r s s t a f f consider are e n t i t l e d to make a report because of their relationship to the event they are reporting; c a l l e r s who stand in a spec i a l relationship to the police; and those features of the c a l l e r ' s account that police attend to in assigning the event i i i described in the c a l l ta an administrative category. The police mandate to take action i s discussed, and con-sideration i s given to some of the organization factors that phone room s t a f f take into account i n exercising discretionary power to use that mandate. A f i n a l section deals with two t y p i f i c a t i o n s of people commonly made by phone room s t a f f — "missing persons", and "crank c a l l e r s . " Phone room s t a f f make these t y p i f i c a t i o n s based on their knowledge of the community and the exigencies of phone room work. TABLE DF CONTENTS Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION - Method Df g a t h e r i n g data - The s e t t i n g and s t a f f - S t a f f t a l k about phone room work - Work r o u t i n e - Incoming phone l i n e s : the t r e a t m e n t of emergency l i n e s and o t h e r s - E s t a b l i s h i n g o n e s e l f as a q u a l i f i e d answerer - An o v e r v i e w F o o t n o t e s 2 MATCHING CALLERS *: ACCOUNTS TO ADMINISTRATIVE CATEGORIES - Shared competence i n d e f i n i n g a p o l i c e m atter - Who can and cannot make a r e p o r t - Matching c a l l s to c a t e g o r i e s t h a t c o n s t i t u t e a p o l i c e m a t t e r - P o l i c e t e r m i n o l o g y 3 SOME ORGANIZATIONAL FACTORS IN EXERCISING DIS-CRETIONARY POUER - C r i m i n a l m a t t e r s - C i v i l m a t t e r s - Keeping the peace - F a m i l y d i s p u t e s - a s p e c i a l problem - Some o t h e r j u s t i f i c a t i o n s f o r e x e r c i s i n g d i s c r e t i o n t o i n t e r v e n e F o o t n o t e s U "MISSING PERSONS" AND "CRANK CALLERS": TUO TYPIFICATIONS - M i s s i n g Persons - Crank C a l l e r s 5 CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to take t h i s opportunity to express my gratitude to the s t a f f of the Vancouver City Police for their patient co-operation and w i l l i n g assistance in my research. I wish also to express my deepest appreciation to Dorothy E. Smith for her encouragement, guidance, and helpful c r i t i c i s m throughout my studies in t h i s , f i e l d and p a r t i c u l a r l y during the research and writing of t h i s t h e s i s . Special thanks are due to Mildren Brown for the typing. -1-CHAPTER 1 IIMTRDDUCTIDIM Ue tend to think of police largely i n terms of their s o c i a l control function in society. This i s true not only Df the ordinary lay person, but i s also r e f l e c t e d in much of the research done by s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s . I l l u s t r a t i v e of this concern are some of the studies i n Bordua's book, The Police: Six S o c i o l o g i c a l Essays; notably those by S i l v e r , Reiss and Bordua, and Uerthman and Piliavin.''" S i l v e r gives an h i s t o r i c a l account of the development of modern police as the result of a need for a body of 'specialists', to exercise coercive control over and on behalf of the community. Reiss and Bordua pursue the same theme in a discussion of l e g a l control in a modern urban s e t t i n g . Lderthman and P i l i a v i n are con-cerned with studying the balance between e f f e c t i v e law enforcement and respect far the c i t i z e n r y in police encounters with IMegroes. SkDlnick, even though he accompanied the police, indicates in an essay in Bordua's book and in Justice Without T r i a l an interest in the consequences of the organization and bureaucratization of s o c i a l 2 control i n a democratic society. Study of the police force as a "rational organization" charged with maintaining s o c i a l control i s based on the concept of organization as stable associations of persons engaged in concerted a c t i v i t i e s directed to the attainment of s p e c i f i c -2-objectives. It i s thought to be a decisive c h a r a c t e r i s t i c Df such organizations that they are deliberately i n s t i t u t e d r e l a t i v e to those objectives.3 This concept of a r a t i o n a l organization becomes regarded as a normative i d e a l i z a t i o n and carries uiith i t some notion of "what ought to be" with subsequent lack of emphasis on hou the work of the organization i s accomplished. There are feu studies that have treated the policeman going about his duties, looking at the performance of these duties as a uork role in the same way that one might look at the work role of a postman, a mechanic DT a laboratory technician and taking into account such aspects of uork as time, expectations, orders, c o n f l i c t s , material resources, personal reactions, pressures and f r u s t r a t i o n s . Some of the research that i s p a r t i c u l a r l y inform-ative in this area includes those studies of the police done by Egon Bittner, Harvey Sacks and Roy Turner. Comparing the tuo approaches, ue f i n d , for instance, that both Bordua and Bittner, discuss police a c t i v i t y in preventing a potentially troublesome situa t i o n from accelerating. Bordua, however, simply states that the policeman in t h i s situation uses his authority, and f a i l i n g that, force. The use of such terms t e l l s us l i t t l e of hou this i s accomplished. It remains for Bittner to describe what a p o l i c e -man attends to in evaluating the potential for trouble and what he actually does in attempting to prevent i t . S i m i l a r l y , both Skolnick and Sacks discuss the policeman's interest in i d e n t i f y i n g possible transgressions, but while Skolnick i s concerned with the possible misuse of t h i s in i n f r i n g i n g on individuals' c i v i l l i b e r t i e s , Sacks studies i t as a s k i l l that police acquire in -3-monitoring th e i r environment. Further, Turner discusses aspects of the policeman's job -- time pressures, or the v i s i b i l i t y of some of his work to the public, for instance — that the policeman takes into account in shaping the a c t i v i t i e s of his work day. It i s Bittner's suggestion that i t i s necessary at t h i s time to do more of t h i s ; to study police work as a c r a f t , to uncover those organizational routines, pa r t i c u l a r procedures, s k i l l s and standards that policemen use in carrying out their uork. It i s his contention that u n t i l more of t h i s i s done i t i s perhaps too early to discuss whether the police use of discretion to exercise s o c i a l control i s desirable or not. It i s through t h i s kind of study that a more r e a l i s t i c basis can be established for such an appraisal.^ This study, therefore, seeks to look at how a s p e c i f i c aspect of police work gets done. Focus i s on the actual routines and practices which are part of the daily duties of the s t a f f in a s p e c i f i c phase of police organization -- the phone room — and how i t i s through these routines and practices that police business i s accomplished. Determining what i s police business seems to be st r a i g h t -forward enough. We a l l have some "common sense" notion of what i t i s . The process by which these determinations are made, however, are not o r d i n a r i l y observable to us. What we consider as "fact" — a crime, a misdemeanor, and so on, i s an accomplishment that i s an i n t r i n s i c part of police practice, and i s the product or r e s u l t of interactions between the police and the public. * General concepts of what i s police r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , such as Fighting crime, keeping the peace, enforcing law, and even such notions as s o c i a l control or maintainance of order must be seen as accomplished by the concerted actual interaction of actual individuals i n the concrete everyday world. This ordinary daily work of the police i s oriented to how such work can be made sense of in such terms as "fighting crime", etc. The actual mundane operations that make up police work are not adequately described or prescribed by such terms. This study i s an ethnographic study of the phone room. The phone room i s o r d i n a r i l y the place where incoming c a l l s are received; where s t a f f who respond to the c a l l s decide whether the c a l l i s police business and i f so what kind of intervention i s necessary. It i s only one part of a larger organizational process, but i t i s a c r i t i c a l point i n intervening. A l l kinds of problems arise that people in the i r everyday l i v e s see as properly a matter for the pol i c e . These don't neces-s a r i l y coincide with police categories of what constitutes a police matter. It i s a feature of the everyday world that much of what happens i n i t may not be amenable to such c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . It i s the job of the.phone room s t a f f to f i t the a c t u a l i t i e s of the r e a l world into administrative categories. Since these a c t u a l i t i e s do not always correspond to- such categories, and since the largest part of public contact with the police i s made through the phone room, police themselves describe t h i s setting as that setting where the decision as to what i s to become a police matter i s most problematic. I avoided using a framework such as "roles" within which to -5-discuas uhat police do, but am concerned as much as possible with the concepts they themselves use, and uhat pr i n c i p l e s of co-ordin-ated action they use i n accomplishing the r a t i o n a l i t y of phone room uork. Because of the nature of my interest in the setting — the process of negotiating the decision re: uhat i s to become a police matter — my observations uere mainly of the i r t a l k . Since observation i s of talk, and since the aim i s to bring out the rules, etc., that s t a f f themselves use in accomplishing th e i r uork, the focus i s on conversational material recorded in the se t t i n g . I look for the categories s t a f f members use, the procedures folloued in selecting them, and the uays in uhich they sometimes talked to j u s t i f y , excuse, or explain pa r t i c u l a r procedures. I uanted to knou uhat policemen do, uhat they consider the r e a l i t y of th e i r circumstances, uhat they f e e l they must do in order to do a good job. It i s not u i t h i n the interest of t h i s study to determine uhether the performance i s desirable or not, but only hou i t i s that phone room s t a f f produce a 'police matter'; hou i t i s that they go about organizing the uorld and generating appropriate courses of action such that the uork of the phone room i s accomp-plished. -6-Method of Gathering Data In t h i s section the method of gathering data for this kind of ethnographic study i s discussed, as well as some of the d i f f i c u l t i e s i t presented and hou i t i s f e l t these uere s a t i s -f a c t o r i l y overcome. The study i s based on observations made in the phone room and i n the adjoining radio room Dver a six month period. Access was granted by permission of the Staff Sargeant in charge of the Report Centre, who then introduced me to the Corporal in charge of the phone room. Staff uere not consulted. Their co-Dperation was f e l t to be insured since I was there by permission of their senior o f f i c e r s . I was able to come and go f r e e l y on these premises at any time of the day or night. A head set was provided for me monitor c a l l s , and in addition permission was granted to tape-record c a l l s coming in on one l i n e , a lin e that was also being recorded by the police, and was done by plugging in my tape recorder to the police machine. Police do not have the equipment to record more than one l i n e at a time, and this therefore i s used mainly to provide a sort of "spot check" to determine whether c a l l s are being handled c o r r e c t l y . In addition, I was t o l d that the recorder can be switched to any phone line to keep a record of abusive c a l l s i n case of further complaints or trouble from the c a l l e r , and to capture necessary information from an excited c a l l e r i f i t i s f e l t that such information would otherwise be l o s t . Neither of these was done in the time that I was there. -7-Phone conversations quoted throughout t h i s study uere transcribed from tape-recordings made in the manner described. The following conventions are used: a sequence of dots (..) indicates a b r i e f pause, and a slash (/) indicates an interruption. A l l i d e n t i f y i n g information — names, addresses, s t a f f numbers, and phone numbers — have been changed. Otherwise the transcripts are verbatim. In addition to observational data and tape recordings, the study was supplemented by informal! interviews and discussions with s t a f f and administrators. F i e l d notes were made at the time and were expanded upon at the end of the day. A l l the s t a f f knew the nature of my study and knew I was being allowed to record the one li n e that was already being taped. My notebook was l e f t open and in plain view and occasionally at the beginning the corporal would come and read what I had written down, but he soon no longer bothered. The reception was a fri e n d l y one, and some s t a f f members expressed pleasure that I was interested in that p a r t i c u l a r aspect of police work, since i t i s not one that gains much public attention. Only one s t a f f member objected to the Staff Sargeant about my being there. This was a c i v i l i a n , and her concern was that I might misinterpret angry behaviour on the part of the s t a f f to an abusive c a l l e r . Such angry behaviour was often mentioned at the beginning as a feature of phone room a c t i v i t y . Since police work i s to be seen as a r a t i o n a l enterprise, and since my purpose was to seek, and the s t a f f in some sense to display to me the r a t i o n a l i t y of that enterprise, the concern was that the angry - s -behaviour which she saw as r a t i o n a l in the context in which i t was displayed might be misunderstood by me. In discussing t h i s complaint with me the Staff Sargeant expressed the hope that I would r e a l i z e the pressure that the s t a f f were under and not " c r i t i c i z e " them. In fact, I saw very l i t t l e of t h i s kind of behaviour at a l l . This may have been a-result of my presence, though i t i s my feeling that after the f i r s t few v i s i t s , my presence made very l i t t l e difference to the actions of phone room s t a f f . On the f i r s t of the few occasions that I witnessed an angry reaction on the part of the s t a f f , the Corporal came and read my notes, and, apparently s a t i s f i e d with my written remarks did not do so again. Subsequent c a l l s of t h i s nature were completed without comment to me, and the impression I received was that such behaviour was presumed to be understood, since at other times, when i t was f e l t I would not understand the way a c a l l was handled, an explanation was usually offered. In order to obtain the information necessary for t h i s kind of study, to find out how i t i s that s t a f f accomplish the work of the phone room, whathhas to be done and who does i t , and to d i s -cover the relevant judgemental and administrative concerns that s t a f f bring to bear in a r r i v i n g at p r a c t i c a l decisions, i t i s necessary as much as possible to take on the role of the s t a f f member and to see the world from his or her L standpoint. I attempted to do t h i s , although I was never a f u l l y p a r t i c i p a t i n g member. My monitoring and observational a c t i v i t i e s , however, were, in fac t , the same procedures by. which c i v i l i a n s t a f f were trained to work in the phone room. IMew s t a f f members, I was t o l d , were given head - 9 -sets, listened in to c a l l s , and observed and questioned other s t a f f members. After doing this for some time, they uDuld then begin to answer c a l l s under supervision. Though I did not do t h i s , at the end of my period of data c o l l e c t i n g I could have answered the phone and handled the other tasks of the phone taom as well as most of the s t a f f . In addition I had lunch with the s t a f f and did other small chores that o r d i n a r i l y would have been done by s t a f f such as making coffee or carrying messages. From thi s experience I think i t i s possible to discover and to make e x p l i c i t the practices and procedures by which some aspects of routine police work get done. The Setting In t h i s section the physical features of the setting w i l l be described, as well as the way these features affect the work of the phone room s t a f f . Composition of the s t a f f w i l l be discussed, along with those features of the setting and of working in the setting that help to determine how s t a f f see their job in r e a l t i o n to the public and to the rest of the force. The room i s located in a corner o f f the Report Centre which takes up a large area of the main f l o o r . It i s not v i s i b l e by the public who come to the front desk of the Report Centre, and i s further indicated tD be inaccessible byaa "No Admittance" sign on the door, though the sign was ignored by police station personnel. The room i s cramped and cluttered, and the Corporal in charge Df the phone room was quick to mention that i t was an obsolete set-up as compared with the Edmonton and Calgary stations. The s t a f f s i t at a rectangular table, three to a side when there i s a f u l l s h i f t . - I D -One end Df the table i s against the wall of the adjoining radito room and i s connected to t h i s room by s l o t s through which dispatch s l i p s r e q u i s i t i o n i n g cars can be passed and warrant s l i p s requesting information on whether there i s a warrant for a person being de-tained by a patrolman can be received. They are also used to speak through. The corporal has his desk at the other end of the table and attends to a l l sorts of paper work — a l l phone room reports, items for an i n t e r n a l b u l l e t i n , and other miscellaneous items such as applications for liquor licences. He answers c a l l s i f the l i n e s become busy, and w i l l take over a c a l l i f one of the s t a f f i s experiencing d i f f i c u l t y i n responding to i t . The table i s l i t t e r e d with equipment and papers. Electronic banks similar to a switch-board face the s t a f f and indicate i n -coming c a l l s . As well, there are direct incoming lines-.from electronic burglar alarm systems such as from B. 0. D i s t r i c t and Chubb, private companies that provide such services to businesses. Alarms register at the central premises of these companies, who then report the location of the alarm d i r e c t l y to the p o l i c e . There are also direct lines from the f i r e department, and a l l f i r e alarms register almost simultaneously with the p o l i c e . There are direct outgoing l i n e s to one of the ambulance services and to the RCMP, and as well, there are ordinary phones, which s t a f f use to c a l l out as necessary. Staff wear operator's head sets. A pigeon hole arrangement in the centre of the table contains the forms that w i l l be required for different kinds of c a l l s ; a large c i r c u l a r device supports clipboards containing constantly updated l i s t s of impounded cars, stolen cars, stolen bicycles, s t a f f time sheets and monthly -11-det a i l s of duty for the entire farce. A l l these are more or less in reach of the s t a f f and are constantly referred to. IMot so handy against a u a l l behind are other f i l e s ; a f i l e of old people who are frequently missing from nursing homes and residences; a f i l e of children who frequently run away; the owners of electron-i c a l l y guarded premises; pr i n c i p a l s of a l l schools; a "Crank F i l e " of people who frequently phone in with what are considered i n -appropriate complaints or requests; a book containing the names and descriptions of missing persons; a l l information which w i l l be useful in some types of complaints, both to the phone room s t a f f and to be passed on via the radio to patrol cars. In addition, the room contains lockers for various uniformed o f f i c e r s , r i o t equipment, a hotplate, coffee urn, dishes, and a kitchen sink. .There i s always a l o t of a c t i v i t y ; senior uniformed o f f i c e r s come i n to change clothes before going out to lunch; the coffee urn, kept f u l l by one of the female phone room s t a f f , supplies coffee for patrolmen, detectives, almost everyone on the force i t seems, who wants to drop i n . Female o f f i c e s t a f f from elsewhere i n the building come in and make themselves lunch. Police o f f i c e r s working i n the phone room s i t without jackets and with loosened t i e s and c o l l a r s . There are magazines lying around l e f t by the night s h i f t . There i s a great deal of informal conversation among v i s i t o r s and between v i s i t o r s and the s t a f f of the phone room. The proximity of the phone room s t a f f to each other, the informality, and the amount-of talk function so that a l l can know quite e a s i l y what the rest of the s t a f f i s doing, can exchange a great deal of information, and can ask for and give advice. -12-The rest af the phone ream s t a f f i s almost instantly aware when someone has a c a l l e r that i s being d i f f i c u l t , or i s receiving a c a l l that i s apart from the more routine. Given the way the c a l l s come i n , the way records are kept, etc., this informal use of some of the aspects of the physical setting seem important in increasing the e f f i c i e n c y of the system. Since no record i s kept Df some c a l l s , or the same person may phone in several times about the same incident, i t i s not uncommon for someone to address the room at large, i . e . "Did anyone take a c a l l on a red Buick '63?" or "Who took the c a l l on the B & E at the Esso station on i+lst?" It i s often possible by this means to provide a certain amount of con-t i n u i t y and to avoid duplication. If someone i s talking taoa troublesome complainant or a drunk, everyone else i s quickly aware. This also makes i t possible to keep track of "repeaters", — i . e . one of the s t a f f who had just "got r i d of" a drunk was able to t e l l when the man phoned i n again and said with a laugh, "He's got that guy now." This, as well as s t a f f sharing the contents of unusual phone c a l l s with each other, resu l t s in a shared accumulation of contact with one i n d i v i d u a l , i . e . "Who's that woman with the strong English accent that i s always phoning in? I've just had her again", and i s one of the organizational steps whereby people come to be lab e l l e d 'cranks' and are o f f i c i a l l y entered in the "Crank F i l e " . This process w i l l be discussed more thoroughly in chapter k. The number of c a l l s about the same event occurring in the community provides some indication to the s t a f f as to the extent of the disturbance i n much the same way as a three alarm -13-f i r e indicates t h i s tD the fireman, and again such information i s accumulated through the proximity and informal sharing of inform-ation already discussed. For example, "That's the t h i r d c a l l ue've had on those kids behind P.U." or "I've got another c a l l on those guys at the Abbotsford", i s information that i s useful in determining whether supplementary cars w i l l be sent out to help cover the si t u a t i o n . Staff The phone room i s staffed by both policemen and c i v i l i a n s and headed by a corporal who i s , in turn, responsible to the Staff Sargeant of the Report Centre. Policemen who work i n the phone room are often on the injured l i s t and are placed in the phone room u n t i l they are able to go back to more strenuous duties. Occasionally, r e t i r e d or au x i l i a r y police are hired. Policewomen are sometimes assigned duty there and c i v i l i a n women are hired as "report clerks", though they do exactly the same duties as po l i c e . In addition, women who are accepted as applicants to become pol i c e -women are often hired for the phone room to keep them employed by the department u n t i l classes s t a r t , since women enter training at less frequent intervals than men. This also serves the function, according to the Staff Sargeant, of f a m i l i a r i z i n g them with the kinds of situations that make up routine police work. For c i v i l i a n s t a f f the educational requirement i s grade twelve. Personal requirements are "the a b i l i t y to remain cool-headed and not get emotionally involved." The Staff Sargeant, who i s in charge of hi r i n g c i v i l i a n personnel, stressed that the person must -14-be able to "keep cool" when being subjected to abuse from a c a l l e r -- a matter which i s of continuing concern to the s t a f f — and he stated that in an employment interview he w i l l often try to provoke the person by treating him or her i n a ho s t i l e fashion to see howhhe or she i s able to handle i t . This screening tech-nique again i l l u s t r a t e s an orientation to possible responses to what s t a f f consider to be the pressures Df the phone room. Though the Procedure Manual states that a l l c a l l s are to be dealt with "in a c i v i l manner", some angry response on the part of the s t a f f i s expected and tolerated in certain circumstances, even at the ri s k of such response being "misunderstood" as i r r a t i o n a l . It i s perhaps partly owing to thi s screening that such responses never-theless appeared to be kept to a minimum, and were rarely observed. women are f e l t to have a tendency to become more emotionally involved with family disputes and ta give advice that gees beyond what i s f e l t to be the scope and j u r i s d i c t i o n of the p o l i c e . Such behavior i s relevant to the organization in that advice given by s t a f f answering the phone i s taken by the public to be " o f f i c i a l " and often, therefore, to have le g a l status. More relevant to the department, such advice may be taken to be "expert" by the courts, and one of the "horror s t o r i e s " that was repeated to me as the undesirable e f f e c t of such action concerned a woman report clerk who had been subpoened.to t e s t i f y concerning advice she had given a woman regarding her husband, and which put the department in an "embarrassing l i g h t " . She was f i r e d . •nly one policeman I met had actually applied to be trans-ferred to the phone room from his duties as a patrolman and this -15-uas a s u f f i c i e n t l y rare occurrence that he f e l t i t necessary to offer an explanation. His marriage had broken up, he stated, and duty in a one-man patrol car had been too lonely, giving him too much time to brood, so uhen a vacancy had come up in the phone room, he had requested a transfer so that he could "be uith people and have someone to talk to". Staff Talk About Phone Room Uork Features of the setting that members attend to are displayed in t h e i r t a l k . Since as an observer I am also a member, although a non-participating one, I can in some uay attend to the same features, and can participate in and l i s t e n to talk about the setting in common uith other members. At the same time, being an observer and being knoun as an observer e l i c i t s other kinds of talk that i s s p e c i f i c a l l y designed by the speakers to display some features of the setting in a different kind of uay. Those features of the setting singled out to be talked of for the benefit of the observer are s i g n i f i c a n t , though not necessarily in the uay that the talk i s intended. It i s interesting to note those features uhich s t a f f f e l t uere important to mention to an observer as being necessary for a f u l l understanding of hou the setting functions. The relationship betueen the police and the public i s a continuing source of tension for phone room s t a f f . The rookie policeman i s taught during his course of training to vieu the o f f i c e of the police as having' arisen h i s t o r i c a l l y from the duty and need of the c i t i z e n to protect himself and his family from urong-doers. -16-The police are seen to have developed as a special force or body when the community became too complex for the ordinary c i t i z e n to ensure this protection in the course of his daily l i f e . The policeman i s taught that whatever he does by virtue of his o f f i c e (as a servant of the Crown rather than as an agent of any government department) i s to some extent his own r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . He alone i s accountable for what he does. Even though he i s controlled by the government for administrative purposes, no recourse can be had against that government for his actions. One lecturer at the police academy, a lawyer, stated that i t was very doubtful that the police had ever been recognized by the courts as a force apart from the general body of c i t i z e n s . In the case of alleged i n d i v i d u a l b r u t a l i t y , for instance, t h i s means that the i n d i v i d u a l policeman alone i s held responsible, and his defence w i l l consist of attempting to demonstrate that he did what any c i t i z e n would do i n his place. The lecture notes stated that the p r i n c i p l e s t i l l remains that a policeman, in the view of the law, i s only a person paid to perform, as a matter Df duty, acts which, i f he had SD desired, he could for the most part have done voluntarily.5 Zimmerman has stated that the history of the setting forms an element of the "occasioned corpus" of that s e t t i n g . ^ Whether or not t h i s refers in t h i s case to the h i s t o r i c a l origins of the police force, to recent history of r e l a t i o n s between the police and the public, or ta the history of shared experiences among at least some of the phone room s t a f f i n a r r i v i n g at their present jobs, or i s even an element in the setting being dealt with here, the way the s t a f f of the phone room talk about themselves and their jobs often appears to r e f l e c t these concepts. Staff describe what -17-they do as being "just common sense" and "uhat anyone else uould do." At the same time they are auare that they alone are respons-i b l e for the result s of the i r actions, as in the case of the uoman uho uas f i r e d because her advice uas considered by others to be on behalf of the department and uas subpoened by the courts. C i v i l i a n s t a f f p a r t i c u l a r l y are auare of her fa t e . Their concern regarding my reaction to "rough" talk in dealing uith c a l l e r s uas dissipated uhen they f e l t I "understood the pressures" and had "had an e a r f u l " of the kinds of abuse they f e l t uarranted such'treatment. "Getting an e a r f u l " uas f e l t by the s t a f f to be an important part of my experience i n the phone room, though, as has been mentioned,it uas actually a comparatively rare occurrence. •n another occasion, a d i s c i p l i n a r y hearing of one of the o f f i c e r s uas a subject of conversation. The s t a f f uere auare of this event since the Staff Sargeant in charge of the hearing came into the phone room to get his Sam Broun belt and revolver from his locker in order to be i n f u l l drees uniform. Sympathy uas expressed for the o f f i c e r involved and I uas told that a c o l l e c t i o n had been taken up among the rest of the force to pay his salary during the time he had been suspended before the hearing. Resentment uas expressed against the c i t i z e n uho l a i d the complaint, an action that uas interpreted as interference uith a policeman trying to do his duty "to protect the public". One o f f i c e r said, "I'd l i k e to see some of them try to handle the characters ue have to deal u i t h . " Staff of the phone room also, houever, see themselves as "experts" and c l e a r l y see the public as non-experts. Citizens -18-have the "righ t " to phone i n and ask for police service and frequently invoke that right i f i t becomes apparent that the s t a f f does not consider the c a l l e r ' s problem or complaint one that i s a police matter. Such insistence w i l l sometimes, in f a c t , r e s u l t i n police attention, but i s always resented by the s t a f f . Some s t a f f members characterized the public as a whole by saying "they're always trying to t e l l us how to do Dur job," or "they think they know more than we do." Uork in the phone room i s low-status police work. The number of c i v i l i a n s employed, the informality 1,' the constant i n -trusion by others to have coffee, make lunch, change clothes, or just talk, i s i n marked contrast to other "upstairs" areas of the building where people work in r e l a t i v e privacy, where access i s limited to those with " o f f i c i a l " business, and where s o c i a l i z i n g takes place in separate rooms set aside for the purpose. To the observer these other areas have an aura that suggests that serious work is.being done. The phone room in comparison seems a cheer-f u l l y muddled c a t c h - a l l . It i s perhaps a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of organizations that the reception function generally carries l i t t l e esteem. Contact with a large number of people making claims on the organization, most of which w i l l not become police matters leads s t a f f members both in the phone room and elsewhere to see the phone room job as dealing with much that i s "unimportant" and screening out what i s "important" to be dealt with by others involved i n the " r e a l " work of the police force. One,phone room s t a f f member, a policeman, remarked to me that his work "isn't police work at a l l , r e a l l y , i t ' s just mostly public r e l a t i o n s . " -19-Since the bulk of routine police uork originates from th i s public contact, and since the screening a c t i v i t i e s of the phone room s t a f f are carried out with a constant awareness of the limited resources of the department in terms of cars and patrolmen and a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for t h e i r e f f i c i e n t dispersement in the face of requests from the public that often exceed the capacities of the force, phone room s t a f f often f e e l their uork i s not s u f f i c i e n t l y valued by their colleagues in the department, •ne s t a f f member remarked, "we're the nerve centre of the whole police force, but theyv don't appreciate us." Another o f f i c e r t o l d me, "nobody stands behind us. If we send out too many cars we're wrong.. If we don't send out enough we're wrong. Ue get i t either way." •n one occasion.the work of the phone room received con-siderable attention from other members of the force. A c h i l d was missing, and the police had requested public assistance. During the time of the intensive search for the c h i l d the phone room was continually v i s i t e d by "brass" and by patrol o f f i c e r s to check what kind of c a l l s were coming i n and to inform phone room s t a f f of the areas being searched. Messages came from "upstairs" indicating the kinds of information that would be of interest and the amount that could be dealt with. Phone room s t a f f screened and sorted information accordingly, and passed i t d i r e c t l y to the o f f i c e r s involved. Phone room s t a f f o r d i n a r i l y have no way of knowing the res u l t s of investigations that they i n i t i a t e in the course of their work, nor of what i s happening elsewhere on the force, since i t i s not necessary to the i r functioning. Such information appears -20-to be important to them, however, for whatever reasons, perhaps for a sense of continuity or p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n 'real' police work, and as o f f i c e r s from other divisions d r i f t in for coffee much of the conversation i s devoted to finding outfi"what happened on such-and-such a case". Phone room s t a f f see an order to the day or to the week in terms of the kinds of c a l l s that are l i k e l y to come i n , and have ways of predicting what sorts of offences are l i k e l y to occur at certain given times. Monday mornings t y p i c a l l y begin with many reports of theft -- people return from weekend a c t i v i t i e s to f i n d business premises broken i n t o . Saturday nights were call e d by one s t a f f member "nuisance nights" during which a number of drunks c a l l up, there are a l o t of family disputes, f i g h t s , public disturbances related to drinking. Foggy nights tended to be "exciting", I was t o l d , because there are "a l o t of smash and grabs." On the other hand I was t o l d "not to bother coming in between 4:00 and 6?00 P.M." since there would be "nothing but parking complaints, and i t i s too d u l l . " On one occasion a school p r i n c i p a l phoned in to report a car parked next to the school ground. The policeman answering noted the location, around Oakridge, and remarked " i t ' s d ollar forty-nine day — t h e y ' l l be parked a l l over." Excessesaof certain offences beyond the "usual" number cause comment. For instance, one s t a f f member remarked one Monday morning, "They sure stole a l o t of cars over the weekend." Another rep l i e d , "You're not kidding. The sheet's almost f u l l already." Staff duty rosters are drawn up with these contingencies in mind. Staff may work double time, for instance, an public -21-holidays, depending on whether the liquor stores and beer parlours are open, to handle the increased number of c a l l s r e l a t i n g to drunkeness. ' ,Ti3There were many comments by the s t a f f that indicated to me that they consider much of their work d u l l and tedious. Staff frequently expressed amazement that I would continue coming there since "nothing ever happens except for bank hold-ups." Several expressed the hope that I would "get to see one." (I did not, but I did see fa l s e alarms, in which the procedure i s the same u n t i l the alarm i s discovered to be false.) Thefts, stolen cars and bicycles, sudden deaths, and disputes of one kind or another occur with s u f f i c i e n t frequency that the s t a f f no longer consider them "interes t i n g . " After I had been there awhile, I, too, began to regard such situations as "normal" occurrences. Since about eighty percent of the c a l l s have nothing to do with breaking the law or do not otherwise warrant police intervention, and are not therefore " r e a l " police work, the s t a f f often expressed amazement that I could f i n d such c a l l s relevant to a study of police procedure. As I came in one morning, an o f f i c e r , s i t t i n g among reports of abandoned cars, stray dogs, and l o s t , senile old men, said to me dryly, "Crime i s rampant. Put that in your paper." It i s in this setting that moat of what i s to become a police matter i s decided. The s t a f f orient to the "normal" course of a f f a i r s of t h e i r part of police work and seek by t h e i r actions to guarantee i t s continuing reproduction. Such a course of a f f a i r s i s a c t i v ely reproduced, not simply continued. Uhat i s to become a police matter i s always being negotiated; s t a f f are always in the process of organizing their acts into a pattern that can be recognized as phone room work. -22-liJork Routine What i s a police matter i s constituted by the practices of the phone room personnel as they engage in their interactions with the public and within the organizational milieu. It i s the product of organizationally prescribed and p r a c t i c a l decision-making. This section begins a preliminary discussion of those judgmental a c t i v i t i e s and administrative considerations by which an event comes to be recognized as a police matter. The daily work routine, the duties of the s t a f f , the way in which these are ordered, and the p r i o r i t i e s given them begins to show the organ-i z a t i o n a l structure of phone room a c t i v i t i e s and how those involved in them set in motion courses of action that are of immense p r a c t i c a l concern to others. Staff process about.half a m i l l i o n c a l l s a year, about one f i f t h of which become police matters. A l l s t a f f perform e s s e n t i a l l y the same duties with the exception of the number one operator seated next to the radio room who, i n addition to answering c a l l s keeps a log of a l l r e q u i s i t i o n s for patrol cars and passes the requi s i t i o n s to the radio room. A l l wear head sets l i k e telephone operators and have in front of. them scratch pads on which they begin to jot down relevant information immediately after the. c a l l begins, such as names, locations, licence numbers — information that w i l l be necessary i f a car i s to be sent out. As the nature of the c a l l becomes clearer the necessary form w i l l be reached for and f i l l e d out. This means that information i s often written twice, but i s rarely asked for twice. Very few formal guidelines exist to a s s i s t the s t a f f in screening and processing these c a l l s , in deciding which are im become police matters, and in determining the appropriate kind of police intervention. The Procedure Manual for the police force l i s t s the main duties of phone room personnel and contains a "summary of rules and regulations" that apply to th i s area of police work. The Foreword to the Manual, however, contains the following statement: Realizing that a great deal must be l e f t to the di s -cretion of the members of the Force, (the Manual) i s .., issued as a guide only. The Manual presents a b r i e f l i s t of situations that are considered to be c i v i l matters rather than police matters, but other than that very l i t t l e i s offered to ins t r u c t s t a f f as to the kinds of c a l l s on which i t i s appropriate to act. Phone room s t a f f who are policemen make use of the i r t r a i n i n g and experience i n other areas of police work i n making decisions regarding c a l l s ; c i v i l i a n s t a f f learn "on the job" from other more experienced s t a f f . Uhen s t a f f have d i f f i c u l t y in deciding on the outcome of a c a l l , the corporal i s consulted. It appears, then', that s t a f f have a great deal of discretionary room in which to act. In fact, however, there i s considerable uniformity in the way c a l l s are handled. This uniformity i s maintained through a shared knowledge, based on what has come to be accepted in practice, of what constitutes proper phone room procedure in any given instance, and through the sur-veillance of the other s t a f f members to ensure that t h i s procedure i s carried out. In certain c a l l s involving, for instance, stolen cars, missing persons, stolen bicycles, l o s t a r t i c l e s , and certain kinds -2k-• f theft, the form f i l l e d out be the s t a f f constitutes the i n i t i a l and often the only investigation, and the c a l l then has o f f i c i a l status as a case and i s sent to the appropriate d i v i s i o n of the police department far subsequent attention. In other kinds of c a l l s a patrol car i s requisitioned on a dispatch form. Routine dispatch forms are white, emergency are yellow. St a f f must judge what constitutes an emergency, and though there are some rules governing t h i s , the decisions are often discretionary, the s t a f f deciding whether a car i n an emergency would "do any good", that i s , would ameliorate the sit u a t i o n DT a s s i s t the policeman in successfully dealing with i t . Cars are sent on emergency to a l l f i r e s , sometimes to a crime in progress, in cases where a suspect i s being held, or i f a person i s injured. The radio dispatcher processes yellow forms f i r s t , since they have p r i o r i t y over other r e q u i s i t i o n s . Other c a l l s may be transferred elsewhere in the police complex -- to the police garage where recovered stolen cars and some abandoned cars may be held, to the t r a f f i c court, the coroner's o f f i c e , the j u s t i c e of the peace, etc. This i s usually done by giving the c a l l e r the appropriate number to c a l l . Other c a l l s that are not seen to be police business may also be referred elsewhere. A r e f e r r a l f i l e i s kept of other community resources such as the dog pound, the V/ancouver General Hospital, City S o c i a l Service, the C r i s i s Centre and SD on, and the numbers are given out. Other kinds of advice might be offered, such as a suggestion to phone a lawyer. "Common sense" solutions are sometimes offered, such as a suggestion to discuss a s i t u a t i o n with the landlord, or -25-to deal uith troublesome children i n the neighborhood by getting together uith other neighbours. Such advice i s highly " u n o f f i c i a l " and i s sanctionable i f i t "backfires", as in the case mentioned previously uhere the s t a f f member uas subpoened to give evidence of such advice i n court. Perhaps for t h i s reason i t uas observed to be done more frequently by more experienced members. Some c a l l s are terminated uith an explanation that the si t u a t i o n described i s not a police matter. Other c a l l s are simply a request for information. Sometimes the c a l l e r disconnects pre-maturely, most frequently uhen he or she i s abusing the p o l i c e . Occasionally the s t a f f u i l l disconnect, but this i s usually done only i f the c a l l e r i s obviously drunk and not "making sense". Tuo types of c a l l s assume specia l importance to the phone room s t a f f . One i s a bank hold-up. Such c a l l s come in an direct l i n e s from ele c t r o n i c alarm systems and require spe c i a l co-ordinated e f f o r t betueen the phone room and the radio dispatcher, the duty of the phone room s t a f f being to impart relevant information d i r e c t l y and quickly. The second i s , as has been mentioned, the c a l l e r uho phones to c r i t i c i z e or i n s u l t the police in an angry or obscene fashion. Though i t does not happen often, i t i s continually mentioned and oriented to as a feature of the uork of the phone room, and phone s t a f f are extremely sensitive to i t . Such c a l l s are the subject of a l o t of joking that seems designed to build morale. If one s t a f f member receives such a c a l l the others are immediately auare and are sympathetic. A cartoon pinned on the u a l l shoued police o f f i c e r s l i s t e n i n g uith alarm through earphones to a tape recorder: a senior o f f i c e r in the cartoon i s explaining to a c i v i l i a n "....and these patrolmen are taking the Foul Name Orientation Course." The cartoon delighted the s t a f f . Most such c a l l s are handled in a very matter-of-fact manner and the c a l l e r i s simply instructed an hou to lodge an o f f i c i a l complaint. As has been stated, many people making th i s kind of c a l l simply say what they want and then hang up. In almost a l l cases they become the subject of subsequent conversation among the s t a f f . No Eecord i s kept of c a l l s that do not become an o f f i c i a l police matter. Police matters are recorded on a form or a dispatch s l i p ; otherwise a l l other notes are thrown auay. If subsequent developments occur on a matter that i s not recorded, or a c a l l e r phones back to complain that he did not receive service, the Corporal or Staff Sargeant i s l e f t uith the informal device of asking "did anyone take a c a l l on...." in order to ascertain uhat occurred. The phone room s t a f f have one other duty — to assi s t uith "uarrant checks". Patrolmen occasionally stop a "suspicious person and u i l l request a uarrant check from the radio dispatcher, who in turn requests the phone room s t a f f to determine whether there i s a uarrant outstanding for that person's arrest. The phone room s t a f f must then go out into the main report centre to check the f i l e s . They d i s l i k e t h i s task and state that i t has "gotten out Df hand" since in most cases no warrant exists for the person being detained .Much of the time the pressure of work does not appear to be excessive, and phone room s t a f f often appear bored and r e s t l e s s . Much conversation goes on between s t a f f and between s t a f f and others who come in for coffee and s t a f f frequently get up and walk around or leaf through magazines, p a r t i c u l a r l y on the night s h i f t . -27-It uas emphasized ta me that the system uas i n e f f i c i e n t and out-of-date, and at the time of this study there uere plans to re-organize both the phone and radio room. Incoming Phone Lines: The Treatment of Emergency Lines and Others There are tuo kinds of phone l i n e s . Emergency lines come d i r e c t l y to the phone room and cannot be transferred to the main suitchboard. These lines l i g h t up in response to the use of the emergency number l i s t e d in the phone book. In addition there are phone li n e s connected to the main suitchboard uhich l i g h t up i n response to the number l i s t e d in the phone book as "Complaints and Inquiries". These c a l l s may or may not have gone through the main suitchboard. The c a l l s are not in fact treated any d i f f e r e n t l y on the basis of uhich li n e s they come in on. Staff ansuer the c a l l s by saying "Vancouver Police" and may add their s t a f f number — "Vancouver Police 893." C i v i l i a n s t a f f as u e l l as police o f f i c e r s have numbers. Some s t a f f ansuer l i n e s by saying "Police Emergency" or "Police Inquiries" but most do not. There does not seem to be any attempt to deal uith emergency l i n e c a l l s more promptly than others and often they could be observed flashing for a considerable length of time while s t a f f continued f i l l i n g out forms, etc., from previous c a l l s . One s t a f f member stated, houever, that the Corporal uould become annoyed i f he sau too many emergency li n e s flashing at one time. Neither i s there any apparent difference in the kinds of c a l l s that come through on diff e r e n t l i n e s . Consecutive c a l l s on -28-•ne emergency l i n e , for instance, went as fallows: a report of an accident, a possible abandoned car, a request for information, a possible clue to a missing c h i l d , a report of a breaking and entering, a s h o p l i f t e r caught, a landlord complaint against a noisy tenant, a car obstructing a driveway. There uias noJ way of t e l l i n g i n t h i s study what c r i t e r i a the public used in choosing to d i a l the emergency number, except possibly that the designation of a number for "Complaints and Inquiries" in the phone book does not s u f f i c i e n t l y describe a problem that the ordinary c i t i z e n often sees as a police matter, and a c i t i z e n wishing a speedy response might be more l i k e l y to choose the emergency number. In ordinary occupational routines the difference between emergency and other l i n e s i s , then, largely ignored; i n fact, in terms of the c a l l s that come in i t hardly e x i s t s . However, this feature of the setting can be oriented to and invoked at certain times. In V i c t o r i a a teenage boy choked tD death in the hour and a half between the time his father c a l l e d the police and an ambulance arrived. Though th i s was largely due to a j u r i s -d i c t i o n a l dispute between ambulances, in the subsequent i n v e s t i g -ation the police defended th e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n by stating that they had no reason to believe the c a l l was an emergency since i t did not come in on the emergency l i n e . This seems to i l l u s t r a t e B i t t n e r 1 s suggestion that one of the invariant properties of occupational routines may be that there are always ways in which the personnel can invoke .the formal scheme in order to keep the 7 organization out of d i f f i c u l t i e s . -29-Establishinq Oneself as a Qualified Answerer The f i r s t problem fur the s t a f f person answering the phone i s to establish that he or she i s a person q u a l i f i e d to deal with that c a l l . If male s t a f f answers the public tend to assume that he i s a policeman, i . e . , they address him as " o f f i c e r " , and they are not to l d any d i f f e r e n t l y . If a woman answers, she i s sometimes assumed to be some sort of switchboard operator whose function i s to refer c a l l s to someone"in authority. Sometimes c a l l e r s state t h e i r problem d i r e c t l y ; however, in l i n e with most people's experience in dealing with large organizations i t i s more often the c a l l e r ' s assumption that he or she i s dealing with a person in a reception or r e f e r r a l function, most especially when a woman answers. The c a l l e r w i l l therefore ask for the department he or she thinks i s the appropriate one based on his or her member's knowledge of how i t i s that police forces work, or w i l l state his or her problem in general des-c r i p t i v e terms, perhaps with the request that the c a l l be trans-ferred to the appropriate department. A further complication i s that some of the c a l l s that come in on the "Complaints and Inquiries" number may have already come through the main switchboard, and in these cases the c a l l e r some-times assumes that he or she has reached the department requested. The response of the s t a f f , i . e . "Vancouver Police" then often e l i c i t s another question in which the c a l l e r t r i e s to establish whether he or she i s now talking to a person who has authority to help. . Since the s t a f f do not refer c a l l s to other squads or -30-d e t a i l s within the department, but do themselves i n i t i a t e the appropriate police intervention, i t i s necessary for them to get information quickly, and to establish themselves as q u a l i f i e d answerers without time-consuming explanations as to their status or the ::nature of phone room procedures. This may be done by indicating in some general way that the c a l l e r has reached the appropriate place or person. For example: St a f f : Vancouver Police. C a l l e r : I've got a complaint here and I don't know where to report i t . S t a f f : Maybe I can help you. St a f f : Vancouver Police. C a l l e r : Are you the fellow that's looking after the l i t t l e g i r l ? S t a f f : I can take a report on that. S t a f f : Vancouver Police. C a l l e r : Is th i s the stolen cars? S t a f f : Can I help you? St a f f : Vancouver Police. C a l l e r : Yes, i s th i s the stolen car det a i l ? S t a f f : Well, we take reports of stolen cars here. S t a f f : Vancouver Police. C a l l e r : Could I speak to somebody on the drug squad? St a f f : Maybe I can help you. It may also be done by beginning to e l i c i t the kinds of information necessary to process the c a l l . For example: St a f f : Police Inquiries 896. C a l l e r : I was wondering i f you could help me. I'd l i k e to speak to somebody in command in the..ah.. I don't know what i t would be, I guess the di v i s i o n of..ah..assault. S t a f f : Oh, what i s the situation? S t a f f : Vancouver Police C a l l e r : Ummm I'd just l i k e to report us, uh, something that'I saw on Broadway, urn...a lady..ah...is t h i s the party I would/ S t a f f : /Yes, yes, did i t just occur, ma'm? Sta f f : Police Emergency 876. Ca l l e r : Yes. It's not an emergency, with regular, please? Could I get in touch -31-S t a f f : C a l l e r : S t a f f : C a l l e r : Uhat i s i t in regards to, s i r ? U e l l , a stolen car. Do you wish to report one stolen? l\lo, I've already reported i t , but I wanted to... I just wanted to be leaving my phone number. Okay. Uhat i s your name and I ' l l help..ah..1 111 look after your report. Uhat i s your name, please? S t a f f : The only time when c a l l e r s may legitimately be transferred within the department i s when they request a p a r t i c u l a r extension number or ask for an o f f i c e r by name. Extension numbers are only given out by persons authorized to use that extension, and the c a l l e r who has one i s considered to have been given permission to use i t . On two occasions during my observations extension numbers were given out, both by the same o f f i c e r , and i n both cases the c a l l s ended up back in the phone room where they went through the ordinary procedures. disturbed children wished to report a c h i l d missing. Since t h i s involves f i l l i n g out one of the more lengthy forms, giving the c a l l e r the extension of the Missing Persons o f f i c e was seen as simply a way to avoid the task. Even though i t ended up back in the phone room with another s t a f f member having to do this procedure, the action SBemed to be tolerated by the other members, probably since most of them could be observed at one time or another avoiding simil a r tasks. This w i l l be discussed further in Chapter 3. o f f i c e r , he was able to "get away with" his action without censure from c i v i l i a n s t a f f . C i v i l i a n staffhbave leas prestige and earn less money on the force and are considered to be less knowledgeable. They were observed to be more careful about "sticking to rules" than were the policemen. In the f i r s t case, an employee of a home .for emotionally Also, since the s t a f f member doing this was a police -32-The second example cf breaking this rule went as follows: S t a f f : Vancouver Police. C a l l e r : Yes. Can I have the Bunco Squad, please? S t a f f : BUNCO Squad? C a l l e r : Yes, please. S t a f f : C a l l back again and ask for l o c a l 1234. "Bunco" i s a term for fraud, American in o r i g i n , and i s not generally used by Vancouver p o l i c e . In this case the o f f i c e r commented to me on his action. He said in a s l i g h t l y annoyed tone, "If he wants the Bunco Squad I ' l l give him the Bunco Squad. Bunco Squad! They watch too much TV. They think they know more about our uork than we do." Since the c a l l e r had to place his c a l l again, and was referred again to the phone room, he was e f f e c t i v e l y inconvenienced for his use of American slang. An Overview This chapter has described the setting of the phone room, the people who work in i t , and how they relate to the public and to other members of the force. It has begun a preliminary examination of the organizational structure of phone room work, what has to be done, and who does i t . Chapter 2 examines how i t i s that what c a l l e r s say about a person, s i t u a t i o n , act or event i s translated into an admin-i s t r a t i v e category that can be recognized by other police force members as a police matter upon which they can act. Included in th i s chapter i s a discussion of some of the categories of people who are seen as warranted to make an account to the police, and others who are seen to stand i n a s p e c i a l relationship to phone room s t a f f i n deciding what i s a police matter. Consideration i s given -33-to aspects of the c a l l e r s ' accounts that phone room s t a f f attend to in deciding hou to categorize them. Chapter 3 discusses some of the organizational factors influencing s t a f f ' s discretionary pouer to intervene in a s i t u a t i o n . Data i l l u s t r a t e the use of the police l e g a l mandate to intervene, and the features of a si t u a t i o n that determine their intervention in matters concerned uith "keeping the peace". There i s some discussion of situations in uhich phone room s t a f f choose not to set in motion police intervention even uhen i t appears that they have a mandate to do so. Chapter k concerns "Missing Persons" and "Crank C a l l e r s " . Staff develop these t y p i f i c a t i o n s on the basis of their knouledge and perception of the community. Staff knouledge and perception are displayed i n the sequence of questions asked of the c a l l e r on the basis of uhich s t a f f decide uhat has happened and hou to categ-orize the c a l l . This chapter describes some of the results of such t y p i f i c a t i o n s in determining the nature of police intervention. -3k-Footnc-tes Albert J . Reiss, J r . , and David J. Bordua, "Environment and Organization: A Perspective on the Police," in David J. Bordua, ed., The Police: Six So c i o l o g i c a l Essays. New York: John Uiley & Sons, Inc., 1967. Allan S i l v e r , "The Demand for Order in C i v i l Society: A Review of Some Themes in the History of Urban Crime, Police, and Riot," in David J. Bordua, ed., i b i d . Carl Werthman and Irving P i l i a v i n , "Gang Members and the Police," in David J. Bordua, ed., i b i d . 2 Jerome H. Skolnick and J. Richard Woodworth, "Bureaucracy, Information, and Social Control: A Study of a Morals D e t a i l , " in David J. Bordua, ed., i b i d . Jerome H. Skolnick, Justice Without T r a i l : Law Enforcement  in Democratic Society. IMew York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (Science Editions), 1967. 3Egon Bittner, "The Concept of Organization," 'Social Research, v o l . 32 (1965), pp. 239-55. 1+ Egon Bittner, "Police Discretion in Emergency Apprehension of Mentally 111 persons", So c i a l Problems, v o l . Ik, no. 3 (Winter 1967), pp. 278-292. , The Police on Skid-Row: A Study of Peace Keeping", American So c i o l o g i c a l Review, v o l . 32, no. 5 (October 1967), pp. 700-15. Roy Turner, "Occupational Routines: Some Demand Characteristics  of Police Work", (paper presented to the Canadian Soci o l o g i c a l and Anthropological Association, Toronto, June, 1969). Harvey Sacks, "Methods in Use for the Production of a So c i a l Order: A Method for Warrantably Inferring Moral Character." (Mimeographed, University of C a l i f o r n i a at Los Angeles). 5 Egon Bittner, "Police Discretion in the Emergency Apprehension of Mentally 111 Persons," op. c i t . ^This i s quoted from a mimeographed paper e n t i t l e d "The Office of Constable," distributed to new r e c r u i t s by the Vancouver Police Department Training Academy. It i s quoted here as an example of what police themselves learn about police history. For a further -35-discussion Df the history of the police mandate to intervene see Egon Bittner, "The Police on Skid-Rom: A Study of Peace Keeping," op. c i t . 7 Don H. Zimmerman and Melvin Pollner, "The Everyday World as a Phenomenon," in Jack Douglas, ed., Understanding Everyday L i f e . London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1971. In t h i s study the authors mention the history of the setting as one feature of that setting that members re l y on, attend to, and use as a basis for action, inference and analysis on any given occasion. Egon Bittner, "Police Discretion in Emergency Apprehension of Mentally 111 Persons," bp. c i t . -36-CHAPTER 2 MATCHING CALLERS' ACCOUNTS TO ADMINISTRATIVE CATEGORIES No one r e a l l y knous uhen he or she c a l l s the police hcu i t i s going to turn out; th i s i s knoun only uhen i t has been accomplished.. Far the phone room s t a f f uhat happens as the result of a c a l l — t h e sending out of a patrol car, the f i l l i n g out of the appropriate form, the involvement Df other agencies, the giving of advice, or simply no further police action at a l l — i s seen to be arrived at by r a t i o n a l l y ordered procedures that are a result of and f i t into organizational routines. What may be a c r i s i s for the c a l l e r i s , from thei point of vieu of the phone room s t a f f , something that must be fitted', or not, into an administrative category that q u a l i f i e s i t as a police matter. For the phone room s t a f f the procedure by uhich an event becomes a police matter begins by uhat i s reported. Staff occasionally remarked that many "crimes" are not reported by the public as frequently as they occur. They mentioned p a r t i c u l a r l y crimes uhich they f e l t involved "embarrassment" or "shame", such as rape, or theft Df money by "pickups" or prosti t u t e s . Staff tended to see th i s as lack of co-operation by the public in helping them "to do the i r job". Events uhich are not reported Df course are not relevant to phone room, uork; t h i s i s mentioned here only because the s t a f f -37-at different times f e l t i t was worth mentioning, and because the' ways of seeing crime, or seeing a police matter, of suspecting i t , of announcing or not announcing i t furnish the basis for studying a police matter as a s o c i o l o g i c a l phenomenon. The i n i t i a l step, i n terms of phone room uork, by which an event becomes procedurally defined as a police matter, i s that of inform-ing the p o l i c e . Calls which do come i n , and which make up the work of the phone room, appear to be about every imaginable kind of occurrence. Bittner has suggested that there i s probably OD human problem that the police have not been contacted about at some time. Staff remarked to me, "we get everything" or "we get a l l kinds (of people) here." It can be assumed that what the c a l l e r phones in about as .an event that merits police attention has been selected from the environment, "worked up", interpreted, and categorized as an occur-rence so that i t conforms in some way to a model of what the c a l l e r sees to be a police matter. The c a l l e r adopts an organization of observations, and has attended to the world so as to produce and explain an event or the behavior of other members of the community with respect to his or her notions of the legal system or the functions Df the p o l i c e . The s t a f f , however, have their own set of instructions, their own ways of interpreting an event and there-fore of determining whether i t conforms with and f i t s into the administrative categories available to them and within which a policeman can act. They then attend to those features of a c a l l that they can see to be relevant in determining whether that c a l l can properly become a police matter. The s t a f f , as the recognized and s o c i a l l y sanctioned "experts", generally have the p r i v i l e g e of -38-the f i n a l decision, but both c a l l e r and s t a f f are often involved in this process of attempting to translate the event into the admin-i s t r a t i v e categories that constitute police uork. Shared competence in defining a police matter Staf f recognize d i f f e r e n t i a l competence uith respect to the c a l l e r ' s a b i l i t y to interpret an event as, a proper police matter. Since they see their uork as r a t i o n a l l y ordered, they treat c a l l e r s d i f f e r e n t l y i f they see that they can share the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of accomplishing that r a t i o n a l i t y ; they take for granted that certain c a l l e r s ' versions arise out of a shared r e a l i t y . Certain organizations stand in t h i s special relationship to the police as sharing rules and instructions to interpret an event as properly a police matter; in fac t , they are uarranted along uith and by'the police to "keep order" in the community. They have authority to act in a si t u a t i o n and to request police assistance uithout having to produce an account to j u s t i f y either their i n t e r -vention or t h e i r request. A major touing company, for instance, has a contract to remove i l l e g a l l y parked cars, and simply c a l l s in at half hourly i n t e r v a l s to give the police the licence numbers. C a l l s t y p i c a l l y go l i k e t h i s : S t a f f : Vancouver Police. C a l l e r : It's Betty uith the P i ' s . (Private impoundments) S t a f f : CK. Go ahead. Betty i s knoun by the s t a f f as the representative of the touing company, and the licence numbers are then read out and copied doun on a l i s t marked "Impounded Cars". This l i s t i s then used for reference uhen ouners c a l l in to report their cars missing. -39-B a i l i f f companies routinely phone in for police assistance when they are repossessing an item. Again, no account i s required of the sit u a t i o n ; i t i s labe l l e d by the c a l l e r i n a uay that i s understood by the police as conveying the nature of the sit u a t i o n and the shared expectation of uhat the police u i l l do. For example: St a f f : Vancouver Police C a l l e r : R & R B a i l i f f s . Repossession at 123 Anderson. St a f f : 123 Anderson. C a l l e r : Right. S t a f f : OK. In f i l l i n g out a report for the radio dispatcher "repossession" i s s u f f i c i e n t to describe the "Mature of Complaint", and s i g n i f i e s to the dispatcher a si t u a t i o n in uhich h o s t i l i t i e s might a r i s e . His command to the patrol car i s t y p i c a l l y " B a i l i f f repossession at 123 Anderson. Stand by." B a i l i f f s receive this co-operation from the police even though their a c t i v i t i e s are not considered police matters. Staff t o l d me they are classed as c i v i l matters, and there i s "nothing a policeman can do"; nevertheless, they send police to "stand by in case of trouble", in uhich case the police u i l l intervene. Ordinary c i t i z e n s also c a l l up requesting the police to perform this sort of "peace keeping" function, but their account of the sit u a t i o n must be quite d i f f e r e n t , as u i l l be described l a t e r . Large stores frequently phone in regarding s h o p l i f t i n g . In these cases as u e l l , i t i s accepted by the s t a f f that uhen a c a l l i s mmade s u f f i c i e n t processing has already been done. It i s not necessary for the representatives of these organizations to describe -4D-• r even lab e l the event that has occurred; police take for granted that the apprehension of a person by one of the representatives of the store means that the "correct" interpretation of the event has been, made, the act of s h o p l i f t i n g i s an accomplished fact, and the person apprehended i s the doer. C a l l s of this nature t y p i c a l l y go as follows: S t a f f : Vancouver Police. C a l l e r : Safeway, 4th and Alma. Male s h o p l i f t e r to go in please. S t a f f : DK. Right away. ( c a l l complete) S t a f f : Vancouver Police. C a l l e r : woodward's Security. Ue have one male adult. S t a f f : OK. Thank you. ( c a l l complete) In terms of subsequent police procedure, no further i n -vestigation i s necessary; the person i s in a sense already arrested. The police send out a car, bring the person in and "book" him or her. The only s i g n i f i c a n t variation in these c a l l s i s a statement as to whether the person i s male, female, or juvenile, since these different categories may require different arrangements to bring the person i n , or, in the case of juveniles, different procedures for laying the charge and a different location where the person i s brought. A male, I was tol d , may be brought in by a one man car; two men are always sent to bring in a female in order that there be a "witness", since i t i s f e l t that female suspects might attempt to accuse an unaccompanied o f f i c e r of making sexual advances. In these cases i t i s the personnel of the store who have the f i n a l prerogative of deciding that their version of the event i s -41-"that uhich happened". Not only do the s t a f f in the phone roam accept t h i s , but the o f f i c e r s in the patrol cars dD as well. The stores decide to prosecute; i f they are not u i l l i n g , the police cannot act; i f they are, the police cannot do otheruise. In the history of police relationships uith stores, I uas t o l d , i t uas frequently the case that stores uould c a l l the police and then uould be u n u i l l i n g to lay charges since they f e l t - i t uas bad public r e l a t i o n s , but uould uish the police to lecture or ''scare" the offender. Police do not o r d i n a r i l y see t h i s as their function and eventually refused to go unless charges uere to- be l a i d . Now when c a l l s come in t h i s i s an accepted and understood condition. Some stores exercise discretion and make judgements as to uhether the act of s h o p l i f t i n g uas "intended" before c a l l i n g the p o l i c e . Staff stated houever, that more and more large stores, notably Uooduards and the Army and Navy (perhaps because of their location, near the skid road area) routinely prosecute everybody, regardless of explanations offered. The patrolman must then make the arrest, regardless of his assessment of the s i t u a t i o n . In one such situation police uere c a l l e d to arrest a uoman "caught" taking an unpaid for item out of the store in spite of her protestations that i t uas an absent-minded mistake and her subsequent offers to pay. Police t o l d her on the uay to the station, "I knou i t doesn't help, but ue believe you". Certain other occupational groups are seen by the police as sharing uith them the same ways of accomplishing the r a t i o n a l i t y of police uork. These groups include occupations that might be seen by the police as being bf service to the public or to the community in someuhat the same uay as the police see themselves as b e i n g i n c e r t a i n c i r c u m s t a n c e s ; f o r i n s t a n c e , f i r e m e n , p r i n c i p a l s o f s c h o o l s , p u b l i c h e a l t h n u r s e s , and s o c i a l markers. Many o f the c a l l s t h a t come i n from these groups are t o e n l i s t the h e l p of the p o l i c e i n t h e i r r o l e o f m a i n t a i n i n g o r d e r i n the community, or i n " h e l p i n g o u t " where no o t h e r r e s o u r c e s e x i s t . S t a f f tended to l o o k on t h e s e groups i n c e r t a i n s i t u a t i o n s as k i n d s o f c o l l e a g u e s i n t h e s e endeavours, and a c c e p t e d t h e i r r e q u e s t s f o r a i d as b e i n g l e g i t i m a t e . A p r i n c i p a l phoning i n , f o r i n s t a n c e , r e g a r d i n g " s u s p i c i o u s " b e h a v i o r o f people around a s c h o o l ground would f i n d h i s r e q u e s t r e c e i v e d immediate a t t e n t i o n , i n c o n t r a s t w i t h a neighbour phoning i n . about a s i m i l a r o c c u r r e n c e , even i f the s t a f f member t a k i n g the c a l l f e l t i t would amount t o " n o t h i n g " . For example, a c a r was s e n t out t o a s c h o o l when the p r i n c i p a l c a l l e d i n s a y i n g t h e r e was a man around the s c h o o l t a k i n g p i c t u r e s of the c h i l d r e n on the p l a y g r o u n d , even though the policeman s a i d to me a f t e r he had d i s c o n n e c t e d , " t h e r e ' s no law a g a i n s t t a k i n g p i c t u r e s . No harm i n t h a t " . In c o n t r a s t , a c a r was not sent i n response t o a woman wanting p o l i c e to i n v e s t i g ate a " s u s p i c i o u s c a r " . Uhen asked what was s u s p i c i o u s about the c a r she s t a t e d t h a t i t was f u l l o f " h i p p i e - t y p e s " , was c r u i s i n g around s l o w l y , and was near a s c h o o l ground. The s t a f f i n f o r m e d her t h a t t h e r e was " n o t h i n g wrong w i t h t h a t " and " t h e r e was n o t h i n g a policeman c o u l d do." T h i s c o - o p e r a t i o n was extended w i t h i n the c o n t e x t of phone room work, even though i n o t h e r s i t u a t i o n s i n v o l v i n g the p o l i c e , the work of a p a r t i c u l a r o c c u p a t i o n a l group might be f e l t t o be i n some way i n i m i c a l t o what p o l i c e see as t h e i r j o b . S o c i a l w o r k e r s , f o r i n s t a n c e , are o f t e n r e f e r r e d t o by s t a f f as "do-gooders -k3-and "bleeding hearts" and are spoken of de r i s i v e l y as seeing a l l criminals as "poor, misunderstood youths" who should not be punished, and a l l policemen as "brutes". Who can and cannot make a report Though some people, as above, have a special relationship with the police in that their accounts are taken without question as being shared and proper versions, or who are f e l t to have specia l authority to request the services of the police, some c a l l e r s are not seen as proper people to give an account at a l l . In general a c a l l e r i s expected to be i n some way closely involved in the event, either as a victim of i t or a witness to i t . If a c a l l e r does not f a l l into either of these categories, i t may be an accountable matter and the c a l l e r w i l l be asked to j u s t i f y his or her p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Frequently, for instance, a c a l l e r w i l l phone in to seek police intervention on behalf of somebody else who i s the victim of an event that has occurred. Some acceptable reasons for th i s kind of "t h i r d party" c a l l were observed as follows: S t a f f : Why doesn't she phone in herself? C a l l e r : She's too upset to t a l k . S t a f f : Why is n ' t Mr. Chorfsky making th i s report? C a l l e r : Well, he doesn't speak too good English. S t a f f : Yeah, well they should have phone in themselves, you s e B o^you see... C a l l e r : Ch, well, I'm her daughter. S t a f f : Oh, Dh, I see. That's d i f f e r e n t . The expectation that the person involved should and w i l l make the complaint has procedural implications for the police i n thei r subsequent investigations. Police view the successful completion Df certain kinds Df police work as contingent upon and requiring the c o l l e c t i o n of evidence, the apprehension of the offending person or persons, and the working up and presenting of the "case" i n court. Since these kinds of a c t i v i t i e s frequently involve the co-operation of the person involved in the complaint and may even require that person to lay a charge, f a i l u r e of the person to make the complaint on his or her own behalf i s seen as pote n t i a l l y indicating future lack of such co-operation, and police are l i k e l y to consider intervention a "waste of time". It i s necessary, then, for phone room s t a f f to determine that the "th i r d party" c a l l e r i s c a l l i n g on behalf of someone who i s w i l l i n g but unable to c a l l , for reasons the s t a f f consider legitimate, or i s in some other way authorized to make the c a l l , as in the case of the woman c a l l i n g on behalf of her mother. In one c a l l that did not meet these c r i t e r i a , a man phoned to report that his neighbour had been beaten up and had come over to t e l l him. Part of the conversation went as follows: S t a f f : Is he not able to lay this complaint himself? C a l l e r : Well, he says he doesn't want to do that. S t a f f : He doesn't want to do that. C a l l e r : Mo, he says he won't. St a f f : Well then, there's nothing we can do about i t . If he wants to lay a complaint we'll look for the guys, otherwise we can't do anything about i t . C a l l e r : But he needs a doctor..he's bleeding, h i s . . his face i s cut. Staf f : Well, you can c a l l a doctor, or you can take him down to Emergency. C a l l e r : But he won't go. St a f f : U e l l , what do you expect a policeman to do? If he doesn't want to go that's his business, i s n ' t i t ? The c a l l e r became more angry, but the s t a f f maintained that unless the victim made a complaint himself there was "nothing a policeman could do". -45-In a similar case, a man c a l l e d en behalf of a woman in his apartment building whose estranged husband had beaten her and then had l e f t . After ascertaining that the woman did not require medical attention the s t a f f member explained that the woman herself should lay a complaint. The c a l l e r was adamant that the police should do something on the basis of his report. S t a f f : The guy's gone hasn't he? There's nothing a policeman could do. C a l l e r : But he might come back. St a f f : If he comes back, then she can c a l l us. C a l l e r : Look, has a law been broken or hasn't i t ? S t a f f : Sure a law's been, broken, but we don't know a law's been broken u n t i l she t e l l s us a law's been broken. If she comes down and lays a complaint we'll arrest him. After the c a l l was completed, the s t a f f member, a policeman who was s i t t i n g at the position being recorded, said to the room at large, "bet t h a t ' l l sound good on the tape", a reference not to his decision regarding the c a l l but the h o s t i l i t y upon which i t ended. Occasionally c a l l e r s phone in on behalf of someone who has witnessed or i s part of an event occurring at the moment, but who himself does not have access to the police d i r e c t l y . One woman for instance, stated that the paper-boy had come to her door asking her to phone the police since when he had gone to the neighbour's door to make a c o l l e c t i o n he had heard the woman inside c a l l i n g for help. In another c a l l , the c a l l e r stated, There's a Christmas tree l o t , the old man that was looking after i t just came running over here and tol d me that there's a couple or three guys over there trying to s t e a l his Christmas trees and want to f i g h t with him. In c a l l s of this kind the" right of the c a l l e r to phone in i s never question; i t i s assumed that the person involved wants -kG-and requires the intervention of the p o l i c e . Further, since these kinds of c a l l s concern events that are occurring at the moment i t i s f e l t that police intervention could "do some good" regardless of the co-operation of witnesses or victims. Police themselves ar r i v i n g at such an event become witnesses for the purpose of preparing a "case". Ca l l e r s are expected to i d e n t i f y themselves and to provide a phone number and/or an address where they can be reached. In cases where c a l l e r s f e e l they have been the victim of some act or event t h i s i s seldom a problem; they are usually more than w i l l i n g . Witnesses to an event, an the other hand, or people c a l l i n g in with some complaint they f e e l merits police attention, are often reluctant to provide such information. Such reluctance i s somewhat problematic far phone room s t a f f , since this information i s helpful and i n fact often necessary to the patrolman, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f he has d i f f i c u l t y locating the trouble or requires further information. Phone room s t a f f always try to obtain same of these details and may even try to persuade the c a l l e r with such statements as "I'm not supplised to f i l e a report without a name and phone number". In fact, i f the report i s of something that appears to be of a serious nature a car w i l l be sent anyway, whether the c a l l e r i d e n t i f i e s him- or herself or not. The following i l l u s t r a t e s such a c a l l . S t a f f : Vancouver Police. C a l l e r : Yep. I think you need a shovel. There's a guy passed out sleeping on a garbage can at the back of the Broadway. St a f f : Back of Broadway/ Caller /Right in the lane. S t a f f : Back of / Broadway C a l l e r : / I t r i e d to wake him up but he's p r a c t i c a l l y passed right out cold. S t a f f : Back of Broadway Hotel? -kl-C a l l e r : Yep. Between the Broadway and the New Zenith. Right there. S t a f f : And New Zenith. C a l l e r : Yep. Can't miss him. Sta f f : Think he's gone, eh? Ca l l e r : He's a l i v e . Sure he's alive but he's just passed out, that's a l l . S t a f f : Passed out. Ca l l e r : Yep. S t a f f : And what's your name? Ca l l e r : My name. I'm sorry, I don't f e e l free I just thought I'd t e l l you/that S t a f f : /Oh well, no, i t ' s OK. I just thought you were one of the employees there. C a l l e r : Oh no. St a f f : OK. Ca l l e r : Fine. ( c a l l complete) The s t a f f member did not press for i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of th i s c a l l e r for two reasons; since the c a l l involved a person who was possibly sick or injured, a car would be sent in any case, and since the c a l l e r was not an employee of the hotel he was presumed to be a passer-by who would not remain around or be available for the patrolman to contact, since he was unwilling to give his name. In a similar c a l l where the c a l l e r did provide his name, he was assumed to be w i l l i n g to co-operate with the police and was asked i f he would stay with the person u n t i l help arrived. If the report i s of a minor offence or incident, however, and the c a l l e r refuses to id e n t i f y him- or herself, the c a l l may not be acted upon at a l l , since a patrolman going out on such a c a l l may not be able to complete his investigation and therefore w i l l have "wasted his time". C i v i l i a n s t a f f usually check with the corporal before such a c a l l i s abandoned; for instance, one s t a f f member took a c a l l concerning rowdiness in a neighbourhood, then said to the corporal, "She wouldn't give her name." The corporal r e p l i e d , " F i l e i t i n the c i r c u l a r f i l e (wastebasket)." -kB-Although in terms a f i t s subsequent implications for police procedure the prime reason for refusing to implement further action on such a c a l l i s that i t i s minor and that i t may waste the patrolman's time, there i s also a certain amount Df annoyance on the part of s t a f f toward people who w i l l not i d e n t i f y themselves, since they are seen as not wanting f u l l y to. co-operate with the p o l i c e . Some s t a f f questioned the s i n c e r i t y of a c a l l e r who was unwilling to be i d e n t i f i e d and expressed the opinion that the c a l l e r might be "mischievous", i . e . reporting an event that hadn't actually occurred. Matching c a l l s to categories that constitute a police matter Having i d e n t i f i e d oneself as a "proper" person to c a l l in does not necessarily guarantee that the account then given w i l l have the outcome that the c a l l e r wishes; that i s to say, that the police w i l l then see the matter as one in which they can intervene. The s t a f f must determine whether what the c a l l e r says happened can be f i t t e d into the administrative categories within which policemen can work. Sometimes th i s does happen; the c a l l e r has viewed and evaluated an occurrence and describes i t in a way that demonstrates i t has been evaluated with what the s t a f f see as a set of shared relevancies that merit i t as appropriate for police 1 action. The following two c a l l s are t y p i c a l ; the f i r s t representing an account of peoples' actions that the s t a f f f e l t warranted police intervention; the second, an account of a sit u a t i o n that both c a l l e r and s t a f f judged to be potentially i l l e g a l and/or dangerous. -49-S t a f f : Police Emergency 896. C a l l e r : Yes, ah, my name i s Benson. Staf f : Yessir. C a l l e r : I l i v e at 1234 East Parkway. St a f f : Yes. C a l l e r : Across woodland Avenue from me, I'm on the corner of Woodland and Parkway. St a f f : Uhuh. C a l l e r : There's a Christmas tree l o t , the old man that was looking after i t just came running over here and to l d me that there's a couple or three guys over there trying to st e a l his Christmas trees and want to fight with him. St a f f : OK. Right now, eh? C a l l e r : Right now. If you/ would please... S t a f f : /on the corner of/ C a l l e r : /the corner of Woodland and Parkway, the Christmas tree l o t . S t a f f : OK. Right. C a l l e r : Thank you kindly. ( c a l l complete) St a f f : Vancouver P o l i c e . C a l l e r : Helloi,. could I have a car down here at the spring Hotel, 234 Granville? S t a f f : What's the trouble? C a l l e r : Well, the chambermaid went in to clean the room and there's a gun in here/ so Staf f : / 234 Granville. C a l l e r : Yeah. 234. St a f f : 234 Gran v i l l e . Spring Hotel. C a l l e r : Yeah. St a f f : And what room? C a l l e r : Number 9. St a f f : Number 9. C a l l e r : Yeah. S t a f f : And what's your name? Ca l l e r : My name i s Mr. Smith. I'm the manager. St a f f : And your phone number. C a l l e r : It 1s...ah...683-1234. St a f f : Fine, we'll have a car right up. C a l l e r : OK. Bye-bye. St a f f : 'k you. ( c a l l complete) Characteristics- of these kinds of c a l l s are that the c a l l e r ' s account i s not questioned and no further information i s sought,other than d e t a i l s of name and location, indicating that features of the account as given are s u f f i c i e n t for s t a f f to categorize i t as a -50-police matter. It i s i m p l i c i t in the outcome of these kinds of c a l l s that the type of police intervention (a car dispatched) i s understood by both parties to be the expected and suitable one. In t h i s uay the outcome of these c a l l s match the ordinary c i t i z e n ' s i d e a l of hou i t i s that policemen uork — speedily ready to act at the c i t i z e n s ' request, to f u l f i l l t h e i r roles as fighters of crime, as keepers of order i n the community. More t y p i c a l l y the c a l l e r ' s account u i l l be questioned, discussed, and even speculated upon as the s t a f f member attempts to discover those features of the si t u a t i o n that u i l l determine uhether i t i s a police matter u i t h i n the constraints of the admin-i s t r a t i v e structure. For example: S'taff: Caller; S t a f f : Caller: so I S t a f f : Caller: S t a f f : Caller: S t a f f : Caller: S t a f f : Caller: Vancouver Police 896. I'd l i k e to report...I'm Mrs. Porteos. Uh huh. and uhat happened, I received a telephone c a l l a l i t t l e uhile ago from a tenant and he asked me to send my husband there to c o l l e c t the rent, so I t o l d him my husband i s not here...a...and some other time. So uhat he did he came a l l the uay up and he knocked the door, so I told him uho i t uas and he t o l d me i t uas the tenant, and I prepared a receipt for him and uhat he did, uhile I opened the door uith the chain to give him the receipt to give me the money, he uas trying to take the receipt auay and not to give give me any money. So f i n a l l y he put his hand in and he uas trying to grab me, so he forced his uay in and my chain came out just as I uas trying to close the door, and hou he l e f t , and I uas alone at the time. Did he take the receipt? IMo, he uas not able to take i t because this time I close the door. I see. But he forced his uay in and just attack me, you knou, scratch me and so. What I can do? Can I... He scratched you, did he? Yes. Where i s your husband? Why...Why uould he do this? Is there any reason/like did he s.. /I am af r a i d he uanted to grab the receipt from me and..you knou, be l i k e he paid -51-his rent or something l i k e that. This i s a company. Staf f : Had..had..thank you..had he been drinking? C a l l e r : I don't know. Staf f : U e l l , y o u ' l l have to discuss i t with your husband and i f you s o . . i f you sa wish/ C a l l e r : /my husband, he just came in and thought we must report because/ S t a f f : /Yeah. Where does t h i s man l i v e ? Very far from yau? C a l l e r : Ah, he l i v e s at 1234 Henry Street and/ S t a f f : /And where do you l i v e ? C a l l e r : I l i v e .at 1234 West 71st Avenue. St a f f : That's..you don't l i v e too far from him, eh? C a l l e r : No, I don't. S t a f f : Right. Well, what i s your name, Mrs./ C a l l e r : /Porteos. S t a f f : How do you s p e l l i t ? C a l l e r : I'm sorry, P-o-r-t-e-o-s. S t a f f : P-o-r-t-e-o-u-s. C a l l e r : E-D=S. Sta f f : And your address. C a l l e r : 1234 West 71st Avenue. St a f f : 1234 West 71st. C a l l e r : Yes. S t a f f : And your phone number there. C a l l e r : My phone number i s 261-1234. St a f f : 1234. C a l l e r : And his name i s Brian Smith. S t a f f : Have you had any trouble with him before: C a l l e r : Well, he is..urn..a new tenant, just a month ago he rent the place and I don't know what character he i s / S t a f f : /Yeahu.uh/ C a l l e r : /but he don't look very good to me. Sta f f : Right. U e l l , we'll send someone to take a report and yau discuss i t with them, then, eh? C a l l e r : Thank yau. S t a f f : Right. Bye-bye. ( c a l l complete) In t h i s c a l l the s t a f f i s attempting to determine what administrative category the event might f a l l into by such questions as "did he take the receipt?" and "had he been drinking?" In f i l l i n g Dut the dispatch farm r e q u i s i t i o n i n g a car the s t a f f member in th i s case c a l l e d the "nature of complaint" a "Pos(sible) assault". Occasionally the s t a f f w i l l " a s s i s t " a c a l l e r with his or -52-her account, i f the account i s i n i t i a l l y one that mould not o r d i n a r i l y be a police matter. A c a l l e r describing an argument with a neighbour, for instance, might be asked, "Did he threaten you?" an action that mould warrant police intervention mhere an ordinary argument mould not. Ca l l e r s , as mell, m i l l amend the i r i n i t i a l account, p a r t i c u l a r l y in the face of mhat they perceive to be police re-luctance to act, or to accept their account as given, by adding deta i l s that they f e e l m i l l merit police i n t e r e s t . A r e f r i g e r a t o r abandoned in an al l e y m i l l be described as dangerous in that children could become trapped in i t ; people parking an old "unsightly" car in a neighbourhood m i l l be described as "hippies uith long hair"; to a description of a noisy party m i l l be added, "there's some l i t t l e children in there". Simply adding det a i l s that the c a l l e r feels m i l l appeal to a shared set of values, norms, or motives does not arouse police action independent of the given occasion. Staff must f i t the occurrence into the l e g a l and administrative categories over mhich they have j u r i s d i c t i o n . Thus, action mas taken on the r e f r i g e r a t o r , since r e f r i g e r a t o r s l e f t in places mhere the public has access (the s t a f f f i r s t attempted to discover mhether someone mas moving in or out) must have the doors removed; the other tmo c a l l s mere not acted upon. A good example of a sit u a t i o n i n mhich the c a l l e r f e l t he mas appealing to such a shared set of norms in adding to his account ment as folloms: St a f f : Vancouver Police 896. C a l l e r : Yeah, can I con..talk to somebody about obscene.. obscene movies, please? S t a f f : Obscene movies? C a l l e r : Yeah. _53-S t a f f : C a l l e r : S t a f f : C a l l e r : S t a f f : C a l l e r : S t a f f : C a l l e r : S t a f f : C a l l e r : S t a f f : Caller: S t a f f : Caller: S t a f f : Caller: S t a f f : Caller: S t a f f : Caller; S t a f f : Uh, what/is t h i s some mo.. /U e l l hurry up because I haven't got much time. U e l l , i s th i s a movie that's in some theatre or uhat? l\lo, i t ' s in a house. At a private party? Right. Uh..like a/ /Nou look't, take the address, u i l l you? I can't t a l k . U e l l , uh/ /123k. It's at Boundary Road and Madison Drive. Hurry up. Quick. They got enough cars around here, r a i d the place. U e l l , 1234 Boundary i s in Burnaby. No, i t s . . i t s Madison Drive. 1234 Madison Drive. Yeah, r i g h t . U e l l , i s th i s a stag party in a private home? They got g i r l s , and I'm quite sure they got pot and dope. Make i t down here quick. U e l l 1/ /My brother's there. Your brother's there. Hou old i s he? Just get the cops doun here, OK? Uhy don't you go and yank him out? (Caller hangs up) This c a l l uas not acted upon not because the events des-cribed by the c a l l e r uould not have been of interest to the police in and of themselves, but because they uere described by the c a l l e r as taking place in a private house and are therefore outside police j u r i s d i c t i o n . "Obscene" movies in a theatre or even in a private club uhere admission i s charged u i l l be seen to be in a.public domain uhere police intervention i s authorized and proper. S i m i l a r l y , p r o s t i t u t i o n i s not an offence; only s o l i c i t i n g in a public place. Possession of "pot and dope" i s an offence, uhether i n public or private, but police are not p a r t i c u l a r l y interested in going into a private home, uhich necessitates a uarrant i f a search for drugs i s to be made, unless they are reasonably sure of an arrest. It uas suggested to me that the uay th i s c a l l e r presented his account -5k-• f "pat and dope" and the lack of p r i o r i t y he gave i t did not give the s t a f f "reasonable cause to believe" that such an offence uas actually taking place. To send a policeman out, I uas t o l d , mould probably be a " u i l d goose chase". The s t a f f member commented, "He's probably just annoyed because he uasn't i n v i t e d . " Police Terminology If a c a l l i s determined by the s t a f f member-to be about an occurrence that i s a police matter i t must be lab e l l e d in such a uay as to convey to other personnel that u i l l become involved, either d i r e c t l y or u i t h i n the administrative structure, that i t i s a police matter and uhat the nature of i t i s . In cases uhere s t a f f themselves take the i n i t i a l report t h i s i s done simply by f i l l i n g out the proper form; for instance, a "Stolen Motor-Vehicle Report", and "Abandoned.Vehicle Report", or a "Missing Persons Report". In most cases, houever, police intervention as a result of a c a l l to the phone room resul t s in the dispatching of a patrol car. In these cases, phone room s t a f f r e q u i s i t i o n a car by f i l l i n g out a "Radio Dispatcher's Report", and must lab e l the occurrence in a space marked "Nature of Complaint". This l a b e l consists of a uord or phrase that must j u s t i f y the requi s i t i o n i n g of a patrol car, and must convey to the dispatcher, uho subsequently conveys i t to the patrol car, the nature of the occurrence as b r i e f l y as possible. This uord or phrase becomes the only record of the c a l l , the only account of the c a l l that phone room s t a f f make that i s ever seen or used by other members Df the force, and i s the d i s t i l l a t i o n of the entire process of determining i f the c a l l e r i s the "correct" person to c a l l , and i f their account of an event contains features that -55-s t a f f can recognize as constituting a police matter. There i s no o f f i c i a l l i s t of appropriate categories to choose from in describing the "Nature of Complaint" on a dispatch form; s t a f f learn them by experience and observation. A s o c i a l i z e d member of the community might expect that police uould categorize c a l l s by the use of some sort of i n t e r n a l code numbers, as they do on t e l e v i s i o n , for instance. In fact, s t a f f seldom use such codes, the only exception being the general use of "223", a number r e f e r r i n g to that section of the Criminal Code that refers to drunken dr i v i n g . Nevertheless there i s a certain uniformity in the words and phrases used and in the meaning taken from them by the dispatcher, and they come by usage to be proper administrative categories, conveying to a l l who w i l l use them the same information and carrying the same implications for subsequent procedures. Some of these labels match leg a l categories that describe the nature of the.offence, such as "theft", "B&E (Breaking and Entering)", or "Assault", and these may be modified to "Pos(sible) assault" or "Pos. BSE in progress". Others are descriptive of a situation that does not or does not yet f i t into a l e g a l category of deviance, such as "Pos. Mental woman", or "Suspicious Vehicle". The importance of these labels for police procedure i s that they carry i m p l i c i t information to the dispatcher as to the nature of the situa t i o n and what i s to be done, and i t i s from t h i s inform-ation that he formulates his instructions to the patrolmen. "Assault", for instance, describes an event that has already been completed; the dispatcher knows that the patrolman w i l l not be "running into trouble", a matter of some significance to the dispatcher since many of the cars are "one-man" cars and can only be dispatched -56-to situations that one man can handle. His instruction u i l l be something l i k e "take a report on an assault", an instruction that in turn conveys to the patrolman uhat he might reaonably expect uhen he arrives on the scene. The lab e l "Fight", on the other hand, indicates to the dispatcher a disturbance in progress, the nature or escalation of uhich he has no uay of knowing, and he u i l l dispatch other cars to "cover" the area car and give a s s i s t -ance i f necessary. One c a l l , l a b e l l e d on the r e q u i s i t i o n form "Big f i g h t " uas translated by the dispatcher.as "We've got a r i o t going", and a l l available cars and motorcycles in or near the area uere dispatched. The lab e l "Dispute" indicates to the dispatcher a sit u a t i o n uhich i s under control but uhich might possibly erupt into violence, and his instruction to the patrolman u i l l l i k e l y be "Stand by to keep the peace". This conveys to the patrolman that uhile there may be nothing he can "do" in terms of direct police intervention, such as making an arrest, he i s authorized by the dispatcher (a sargeant) to use his presence and the authority Df his uniform to prevent "trouble" from happening. The lab e l "Man down" indicates that a man i s lying in .the street either sick, injured, drunk, or dead, and an ambulance or inhalator u i l l usually be dispatched at the same time as the patrol car. It i s in this uay, and through t h i s symbolic sort of summing up in the form of these labels produced by the phone room s t a f f , that an act or event or a series Df them becomes a s o c i a l " f a c t " , a "police matter" and sets i n motion a set of procedures that has important implications for others. Occasionally the lab e l chosen by the phone room s t a f f u i l l be "urong", u i l l give a quality and meaning to ,an act or event --57-th at turn out "not to be the case". For instance, a c a l l was categorized as "Mental Woman". This l a b e l conveys to the d i s -patcher that a patrolman w i l l be required to deal with a woman who i s causing disturbance or concern in the community. In this case, i t turned out to be nothing more than an argument between neighbours. Another c a l l , l abelled "Fight", and to which three cars were sent, was reported back by the area car to be "nothing... a family quarrel". Phone room.staff, during my observation, were never c r i t i c i z e d for, ca l l e d upon to explain, or held accountable for such incorrect l a b e l l i n g , though the p o s s i b i l i t y of such c r i t i c i s m i s often mentioned by s t a f f as constituting one of the pressures of phone room work. In practice, i t i s assumed that some mistakes w i l l be made, given that phone room s t a f f ultimately make such categorizations based on a c i t i z e n ' s accounts, and that these accounts are seen to be selective and often fragmentary, •nly i f a s t a f f member i s consistently "wrong" does i t become a matter of concern to the administration. Such consistent i n -correctness seems to become- known by other s t a f f members rather than by other members of the force and i s recognized while the process of l a b e l l i n g i s actually going on, rather than when the patrolman's report comes back. New s t a f f are expected to learn how to categorize a c a l l properly within a reasonable amount of time, and, given the physical set-up of the phone room i t i s r e l a t i v e l y easy for others to monitor what a new s t a f f member i s doing. New s t a f f frequently ask for help in categorizing, but such requests are expected to diminish. While I was there one s t a f f member, a reserve policeman, became recognized as such a problem and s t a f f were heard to remark in his absence, "He's hopeless" and "He's got -58-to go." This evaluation and the reasons for i t uere brought to the attention of the corporal and eventually the man l e f t . It uas also suggested to me that incorrect l a b e l l i n g might become an accountable matter i f i t resul t s in a sit u a t i o n that "blous up"; that i s to say, i f three cars, for instance, are sent to cover a " f i g h t " that turns out to be "nothing" and meanuhile a serious event occurs in an area that i s thereby l e f t uncovered. An i n d i v i d u a l experienced s t a f f member uould not l i k e l y be held personally responsible, since i t i s accepted that he or she cannot be right a l l the time, but the s t a f f as a uhole uould "get i t " and uould be instructed to "be more c a r e f u l " . As u i l l be discussed i n the foll o u i n g chapter, s t a f f members occasionally make use of this more or less unquestioned acceptance of t h e i r categorizing to deal uith c a l l s that are in some uay problematic to them. In the course of their uork police phone room s t a f f use many "everyday" uords both in uays that are commonly accepted, and also in sp e c i a l uays that correspond to def i n i t i o n s that have implications for subsequent police procedure. In phone room tal k , for instance, " c i t i z e n " i s used as I have used i t to refer to any member of the public c a l l i n g in other than those mentioned e a r l i e r as standing in a special relationship to phone room s t a f f . "Witness" and "victim" might also be used in phone room talk in the uay that I have used them to describe the relationship of the c a l l e r to the event being reported; houever, in a l l o f f i c i a l phone room commun-ic a t i o n — procedure manuals, forms, conversations uith super-visors — c a l l e r s are "complainants" and the matters reported are "complaints". Other o f f i c i a l documents used elseuhere in the police department use the terms "witness" and "victim", but the warranted use of these terms means to those who use them that additional procedures of investigation have been gone through i n order to make them proper categories. These d i s t i n c t i o n s make no notice-able difference to the c a l l e r i n his interaction with phone room s t a f f . It can only be a matter of speculation that i t may make a difference i n the lin e he or she chooses to c a l l in Dn. A person whose house has been broken into, for instance, may not readily see that matter as a "complaint", and therefore would not use the number l i s t e d "Complaints and Enquiries". •ther terms, however, do have consequences for how the c a l l i s to be handled and what the outcome w i l l be. "Theft", "robbery", or "stolen", for instance, have, in addition to the meanings under-stood by s o c i a l i z e d members of society, special d e f i n i t i o n s for the' police that correspond to l e g a l categories within which they work. During my observation the ordinary c i t i z e n ' s use of these words was never taken to correspond to police d e f i n i t i o n s , but was always "checked out". A person stating "I wish to report a t h e f t " might be asked "what i s the nature of the theft?" or someone stating, "I want to speak to somebody about an assault", might be asked "what i s the situation?" Even a report of a stolen car w i l l be checked to see f i r s t whether i t i s on the impounded l i s t . A report of an abandoned car in front of someone's property i s not defined by the police as "abandoned" u n t i l i t has been there ten days, and so an. The word "robbery" i s one of the words most commonly "misused" in terms of police d e f i n i t i o n . Robbery l e g a l l y means "theft from the person". Callers frequently use i t to describe any s i t u a t i o n - 6 0 -where something i s stolen; s t a f f know th i s and simply ask for the d e t a i l s , as they do on other accounts, before making their own "proper" categorization. One exception uas as follows: S t a f f : Vancouver Police. C a l l e r : I want to report a robbery. S t a f f : Yeah? Someone held you up? C a l l e r : Oh no, no, I just...some things uere stolen from my apartment. St a f f : Then you want to report a breaking and entering. The s t a f f member's correction of the c a l l e r by providing her with the proper police category was unusual, p a r t i c u l a r l y since the category supplied i s one that i s not commonly shared by other members of society, and i t i s not expected that anyone w i l l , in fact, report a matter as a "breaking and entering". I took i t that the s t a f f , a policeman, was taking the opportunity to demon-strate his expertise. Often the use of proper terminology has important procedural consequences in enabling work to get done. This i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the following examples where "correct" l a b e l l i n g became problematic. In the f i r s t , a s t a f f member working on a c a l l said to the corporal, "It's a guy from Acme Typewriter Rentals. A g i r l rented a typewriter six weeks ago and now she's moved away and they haven't got the typewriter back. Can we c a l l that theft?" The corporal quoted the " o f f i c i a l " d e f i n i t i o n of theft — "taking an a r t i c l e for your own personal use or p r o f i t " and then said "Yeah, I think i f she's been gone that long she's kept i t for her own personal use. Yeah, we can c a l l that t h e f t . " The s t a f f member proceeded on that basis. In the second sit u a t i o n a car company reported one of t h e i r demonstrator cars stolen. In taking the d e t a i l s , the s t a f f e l i c i t e d -61-the account that a man had purchased a car by cheque, but had been given a demonstrator u n t i l his car uas ready and his cheque had been cleared. The cheque did not clear and the man had not returned uith the demonstrator. The s t a f f member categorized the c a l l as "car for location" rather than "stolen", since by police d e f i n i t i o n the car had not been stolen but had been lent to the man voluntar i l y by the company. Neither had the man committed any offence by presenting a "bad" cheque, since he had not received any goods for i t . Patrol cars uere given a description of the car, but i f they found i t would only report i t s location; they would not arrest the man. Subsequently the car company phoned i n to report that the "stolen" car had been found; since another s t a f f member took t h i s second c a l l she checked the stolen car l i s t s , could not fin d the car, eventually asked other s t a f f members i f they knew about i t , and found out the car was "for location". She expressed some annoyance about this to other s t a f f , and in fact blamed the c a l l e r for his use of incorrect terminology and the subsequent "waste of her time". Call e r s cannot choose the category into which their c a l l w i l l be slotte d ; neither in some sense can they refuse to choose the category. In one c a l l a man reported that one of his workers had "taken o f f " with his truck and he wanted the truck back. When asked i f he wanted to then report a stolen vehicle he replied, "No, I don't want to get the guy into trouble, I just want my truck." The s t a f f member refused to act on his c a l l . Another converse si t u a t i o n went as follows (description taken from f i e l d notes): A g i r l phones in to report that her boyfriend has stolen her car. She t e l l s policeman where he i s heading, and adds that he i s drunk. The policeman -62-takes the description of the car and the licence number. She asks uhat u i l l happen. The policeman says "We'll arrest him." The g i r l says she doesn't uant that, says to cancel the c a l l , thanks the police, hangs up. The s t a f f member then f i l l e d out a r e q u i s i t i o n for a patrol car describing the nature of the complaint as "Stolen car 223" (drunk d r i v e r ) . He turned to me and said "It's not up to her to decide uhat ue're going to do." Summary This chapter has focussed on those features of the c a l l e r and of the c a l l e r ' s account that phone room s t a f f attend to in de-ciding uhether or not the c a l l f i t s into the administrative categories that are properly seen as police uork. There uas some discussion of kinds of c a l l e r s uho stand i n a specia l relationship to the police in deciding uhat i s a police matter, and, as - u e l l , a discussion of the importance of hou a c a l l e r i d e n t i f i e s him- or herself in r e l a t i o n to the event being reported. A section of t h i s chapter dealt uith the administrative categories police use, uhat features of the situa t i o n they attend to in assigning these labels, and the meaning conveyed by these labels to other police personnel. There uas some discussion of police terminology and i t s significance for subsequent police procedures. - 6 3 -CHAPTER 3 SOME ORGANIZATIONAL FACTORS IN EXERCISING DISCRETIONARY POWER Bittner has suggested that police have a mandate t D i n t e r -vene in situations that f a l l within two areas."'" One i s that area in which th e i r intervention i s authorized by statute — the Criminal Code, other laws, by-laws, and so on — and which makes up what i s commonly understood to be "law enforcement". The other i s that area which may be described as "peace keeping", a term which Bittner uses to encompass those s i t u a t i o n involving police where any con-sideration of l e g a l i t y i s secondary, i f i t i s a consideration at a l l , to a concern for keeping order in the community such that members of the community can-go about their business "as usual"". Phone room s t a f f commonly describe c a l l s that come in to the police as f a l l i n g into three categories — "criminal matters", " c i v i l matters", and "keeping the peace" — and police intervention in an event in any one of .these categories makes that event a "police matter". Phone room s t a f f c l e a r l y w i l l not set in motion police intervention in situations where they do not f e e l they have a mandate to intervene; however, i t i s also quickly very clear to the observer that not everything that appears to f a l l within the powers of the police mandate gets to became a "police matter". Staff make no attempt to intervene in a l l situations that appear to f a l l within t h e i r o f f i c i a l powers to act, nor do they appear to -64-consider t h i s a goal of phone roam uork. It i s understood that they "cannot deal uith everything", but only uith "as much as they can handle" and that thereby they u i l l "keep the l i d Dn"; that i s to say, they u i l l cover situations that occur i n the community such that a certain amount of order i s maintained and there i s a minimum of d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n from the public and from other members of the organization. It i s the purpose of th i s chapter to discuss some of the organizational factors phone room s t a f f take into account in exercising t h e i r discretionary pouers u i t h i n t h e i r o f f i c i a l mandate to intervene. The " o f f i c i a l " duty of the phone room s t a f f i s to receive, screen, and process a l l c a l l s by phone....and to take appropriate action." Staff see that duty as involving a respons-i b i l i t y for the most e f f i c i e n t use of the men and equipment available — a rather s i g n i f i c a n t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y since much of the use of patrol car time i s determined by the a c t i v i t i e s of the phone room s t a f f . Staff continually orient to, and display in their talk uith each other, the administrative dictum that there are not enough cars. Much of the decision-making a c t i v i t y revolves around a concern uith the e f f i c i e n t use of th i s resource, and "appropriate action" for phone room s t a f f in.terms of dispatching cars often means "sending cars uhere they u i l l da the most goad". Such concern uith e f f i c i e n t use of resources i s generally of no interest to the c i t i z e n uho feels him- or herself in need af a policeman's help. The fact that phone room s t a f f hear accounts of crime and misery a l l the time and establish p r i o r i t i e s as to uhat i s to be handled often gives r i s e to a certain amount Df ang'errand outrage on the part of the c a l l e r uhose needs are not -65-going to be met in the uay that he or she feels i s required. Tu deal uith such d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n then becomes another task of phone room s t a f f since a c a l l e r uho i s not p a c i f i e d may go on to complain to people higher up in the administrative structure and- thereby "make trouble" for the s t a f f uho uould then "hear about i t " . E f f i c i e n t use of resources extends to the use of a l l personnel, and uhat the s t a r t uould "hear about" uas not the decision regarding the c a l l , but that i t had been handled in such a uay that a senior o f f i c e r had to 'waste his time on i t " . For s t a f f , the problem of maintaining a balance betueen the e f f i c i e n t use of resources and "s a t i s f y i n g the public" or "keeping the l i d on" that might be seen at least p a r t i a l l y to contribute to 2 uhat Zimmerman has cal l e d the r e c a l c i t r a n t nature of the arena uhere uhat i s to become a s o c i a l "fact", a recognized "police matter", i s negotiated. It i s th i s feature of phone room uork that led one s t a f f member to say, as quoted e a r l i e r , "If ue send out too many cars ue're urong. If ue don't send out enough, we're urong. We get i t either uay." Criminal Hatters For most people, the main function of the police i s under-stood and expected to be the control of crime. In some uays phone room s t a f f share t h i s d e f i n i t i o n in that what they consider to be "real police work" i s that which deals uith crime. In talking about their oun uork s t a f f uould in general state that a l l c a l l s regarding crime uould become police matters. There are, never-theless, c a l l s that appear to concern crime uhere the phone room s t a f f do not act, or uhere they do not involve other police personnel. -66-It must be pointed out here that uhat phone room s t a f f consider "serious" crime makes up a very small portion of the numbers of c a l l s received, and some serious crimes may not be reported to the phone room at a l l . So-called "organized crime" does not come to the attention of the phone room s t a f f ; neither do the "vices" — p r o s t i t u t i o n , book-making, or boot-legging, for instance — since they either are not v i s i b l e to the public or the public are more or less u i l l i n g p a r t i c i p a n t s . Other kinds of serious crimes occur uith comparative infrequency. I never observed a report of a murder, an armed robbery, or a bank hold-up, for example, in the time that I uas there. Other kinds of crimes — theft, breaking and entering, car-stealing, and S Q on — occur uith such frequency, on the other, hand, that they are seen by the phone room s t a f f as more or less a stable part of community l i f e . They are and aluays u i l l be happening, and they excite more than routine interest only uhen they occur uith "more than average" frequency. Staff are occasionally heard to make such comments as "they sure stole a l o t of cars this ueekend" or "that's the t h i r d B&E from that block this morning." Staff therefore exercise discretion i n the deployment of cars and patrolmen. In criminal matters they frequently take into account other aspects of the j u d i c i a l process, and since their a c t i v i t i e s in t h i s area are related to the le g a l prosecution o f offenders, t h e i r decisions are often constrained by the prospect of future disposition in the courts. In deciding uhether a patrol car "could da any good" in terms af this prospect, s t a f f attempt to assess uhether a "case" - 6 7 -can be made; uhether there i s a chance cf capturing a suspect, •btaining evidence, and so on. •ne feature of a reported event that i s of primary interest here i s the time of i t s occurrence, since i f an event has just happened, or more p a r t i c u l a r l y i f i t i s in progress, the p o s s i b i l i t y of successful intervention in police terms i s more l i k e l y . Con-sequently, phone room s t a f f frequently ask questions to determine the immediacy of the event, such as "Did i t just occur, ma'am?" "Did i t just happen?" or "Right nou, eh?" Phone room s t a f f often express annoyance, sometimes to the c a l l e r , and sometimes to each ather about an event that i s reported "too l a t e " . A uoman uho ca l l e d to report that some men had folloued her three nights ago uas given a l i t t l e lecture on hou she should have acted and uas t o l d that police could nou "do'nothing" other than take a report, in constrast to an event that i s "in progress" or has "just happened". In these l a t t e r cases a car i s dispatched at least partly in the hope of capturing the offender. Staff attempt to ascertain uhether the c a l l e r can be of any help in determining "uho did i t " since the c a l l e r ' s information u i l l frequently be the only evidence available. Callers are asked, "Do you suspicion anyone?" or Could you i d e n t i f y the g i r l ? " An affirmative ansuer receives more interested and prompt attention. For instance, a man reported his u a l l e t stolen by a g i r l he had taken to a hotel room, and uhen he stated that he could probably i d e n t i f y the g i r l a car uas dispatched because of the p o s s i b i l i t y of finding a suspect. In contrast, s t a f f ansuering a c a l l from a man uho had had his coat stolen from a restaurant simply f i l l e d -68-•ut a "Miscellaneous Report" since there uas no hope of finding out uho did i t . •n several occasions c a l l e r s reported that they or someone uith them had caught a suspect, and s t a f f reaction uas prompt. Such situations uere described on the Radio dispatch form by adding the uord "holding", such as "Holding H&R 223" to describe a s i t u a t i o n uhere a uoman had reported that her husband had caught a drunk driver uho had smashed into t h e i r car, had driven o f f , and had h i t a pole further doun the st r e e t . "Holding t h e f t " described a sit u a t i o n uhere a man had been locked in a room after he uas discovered going through cars in the parking l o t of some business premises. Such c a l l s are dealt uith uith some urgency by the d i s -patcher and the patrol car. Theft and breaking and entering are reported uith such frequency that they attract l i t t l e interest from phone room s t a f f unless the above conditions are met, or unless the a r t i c l e stolen i s of some value and can be p o s i t i v e l y i d e n t i f i e d should i t turn up in a second hand store or paun shop. This means that the c a l l e r must be able to provide s e r i a l numbers or some other i d e n t i f y i n g mark, and feu are able to do t h i s . In cases of reported theft or breaking and entering police phone room s t a f f cannot choose to do absolutely nothing, since these acts occur u i t h i n that sphere uhere police not only have a mandate to act, but also must act i f they are to be seen aspproperly doing t h e i r job; nevertheless they have disc r e t i o n as to hou "they act. Uhen the theft i s of one or tuo items, and there seems l i t t l e prospect of capturing a suspect, phone room s t a f f u i l l simply f i l l out a "Miscellaneous Report" uhich goes on f i l e . They consider this "just a formality" and implied -69-that nothing further would be done other than making the theft a matter of record. They often assume that such a report i s also "just a formality" on the part of the c a l l e r as well, and t o l d me, "They have to report i t to us — otherwise they can't c o l l e c t t h e i r insurance." In cases of breaking and entering, or uhen a number Df items have been stolen, a patrol car w i l l usually be sent to "take a f u l l report" and to check for the p o s s i b i l i t y of finger p r i n t s . This i s not considered an urgent matter, and often the c a l l e r w i l l be prepared to expect some delay. "A car w i l l be around la t e r — maybe th i s evening when we're not so busy," or, "We'll send somebody around — i t may take a while." In fact the s t a f f ' s r e q u i s i t i o n i s passed to the dispatcher in the same way as a l l such r e q u i s i t i o n s are; these remarks by the s t a f f are based on the recognition that the patrolman w i l l set his own p r i o r i t i e s and i s a "cover" for the p o s s i b i l i t y that he may place t h i s matter rather I D W on his work schedule. Phone room s t a f f consider i t their prerogative to judge whether a policeman attending the scene "can do any good" and do not expect that the c M l e r w i l l do anything to interfere with police investigation, whether or not a c a l l e r has any way of knowing what that investigation would be. A caretaker of an apartment building, for instance, phoned to report that the mail boxes in the building had been broken into, and when she volunteered that she had already had them fixed the s t a f f member said with obvious annoyance "What did you do that for? How can we get fingerprints now?" He con-sidered not sending a car, but after consultation with the corporal ("we can't do anything now, can we?") one was sent. S i m i l a r l y , a man who had reported his car stolen called back to say he had -70-found i t himself a feu blocks auay and had driven i t home. He uas t o l d "You shouldn't have done that. We might have been able to get finger p r i n t s . Hou do you expect us to catch the guys?" The dispatching of "emergency cars" uhich s t a f f s i g n i f y by the use of yellou r e q u i s i t i o n forms rather than the usual uhite, i s s i m i l a r l y based on the s t a f f member's judgement as to uhether an emergency car "uould do any good". "Emergency" means that the patrolman u i l l go to the scene "uith a l l possible speed", perhaps by using his siren, and there are c l e a r l y some urgent situations uhere t h i s uould be a detriment to successful police uork. Staff, I uas t o l d , might not send an "emergency" car to a crime in progress, for instance, since the suspects uould be uarned of police approaching and escape. In fact, the only instances uhere I sau emergency cars routinely dispatched uere to f i r e s and in cases uhere someone uas sick or injured. On yellou dispatch forms common descriptions of the "(Mature of Complaint" are "Pos(sible) Overdose" or "MVA (motor vehicle accident) boy injuredl ' i i The urgency of other situations i s i m p l i c i t in the labels given them (as has been described in the previous chapter) and the speed uith uhich the patrolman proceeds to them i s based on his evaluation of that description. There i s one area uhere phone room s t a f f do not have an o f f i c i a l mandate to act, even in criminal matters, and that i s those c a l l s uhich come from outside the geographic boundaries uhere the Vancouver City Police have j u r i s d i c t i o n . Burnaby, Richmond, the University Endoument Lands, and the North Shore are under the surveillance of the RCMP. Callers from these areas uho phone in -71-u i l l be given the proper number to c a l l , or i f the event i s of a serious nature, s t a f f u i l l c a l l themselves on direct l i n e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i f the event i s "just occurring". In one instance, a s t a f f member uas observed to refer to and make use of these geographical d i s t i n c t i o n s to conserve the use of his "oun" resources. A Vancouver resident phoned to complain about an obscene publication that had come into his home. The s t a f f member e l i c i t e d that i t uas the engineers' edition of the Ubyssey and to l d the c a l l e r i t uas a matter for the police i n that area. Even though the c a l l e r i n s i s t e d that i t had been printed in the Vancouver area, the s t a f f member maintained that since i t had been distributed at the University i t must be reported to the RCMP on campus. The s t a f f member seemed pleased to be able to dispose of the c a l l in th i s uay, and said to me, "Nobody here uould give a damn about that." C i v i l Matters " C i v i l matter" i s a term used by phone room s t a f f to encompass a number of "borderline" situations uhich, though they may involve a v i o l a t i o n of a statute or by-lau, or may be in some other uay matters uhich f a l l u i t h i n the j u r i s d i c t i o n D f the courts, are nevertheless not seen as 'criminal' and are therefore outside the main function of the po l i c e . In the Procedure Manual a l i s t of c i v i l matters includes such things as noisyyparties, neighbour disputes, marital disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, and business a f f a i r s . Phone room s t a f f add such things as violat i o n s of custody orders pertaining to children, unpaid b i l l s , and stray dogs. Staff "formally" maintain that they have no -72-j u r i s d i c t i o n in these matters, that they are matters to be se t t l e d between the parties concerned, and that there i s "nothing a policeman could do". Phone room s t a f f nevertheless receive and process many c a l l s Df this nature. Occasionally they deal with such c a l l s by simply firmly maintaining the o f f i c i a l stance that the complaint the c a l l e r i s making i s a c i v i l matter not a police matter, and the c a l l e r i s l e f t to his or her awn devices. More commonly they also give advice. This may consist of instructions as to who else to c a l l who may be of assistance -- a lawyer, the clerk of the small claims court, or the c i t y pound, for instance. An example from f i e l d notes i s as follows: A woman states that she bought a piano and bench from a private party. The piano was delivered but not the bench. The person she bought i t from has moved and the room mate won't release the bench. She i s tol d this i s not a police matter — that she should try again to resolve i t with the room mate, and i f this doesn't work to threaten to c a l l a lawyer, and then be prepared tD c a l l a lawyer i f she has to. Sometimes "common sense" solutions may be offered. A man who call e d in complaining that children in the neighbourhood were doing damage to people's gardens and had broken some windows in his greenhouse was tol d to try to f i n d out who the children's parents were and talk to them, or, i f this was not possible, to get together with other neighbours and do their own " p o l i c i n g " . Since there i s no policy governing the giving of advice, no s p e c i f i c administrative mandate to do so, and no records kept, i f such advice "backfires" i t becomes a sanctionable matter. It i s an embarrassment to the administration to be held accountable for a c t i v i t i e s over which i t has no control, and one of the "s t o r i e s " that i s known to -73-s t a f f members i s one that uas mentioned e a r l i e r in uhich a c i v i l i a n s t a f f member uas f i r e d for placing the administration in this predicament. Probably for th i s reason i t uas usually experienced s t a f f members uho uere observed to give t h i s kind of advice. Police do, houever, intervene d i r e c t l y in c i v i l matters in certain circumstances. Though these matters are defined as private matters betueen the individuals involved, they occasionally " s p i l l over" into the public sphere uhich i s seen as properly the police domain. It i s not enough just that a dispute or uhatever i s taking place in public (for instance, neighbours arguing about a fence l i n e or something); s t a f f take into account uhether the situat i o n i s such that i t might l i k e l y accelerate and thereby become a police concern. A private dispute may become public disorder; an argument may terminate in violence. In these cases, uhile phone room s t a f f s t i l l maintain that there i s "nothing a policeman can do" u n t i l the situation does change, they u i l l nevertheless dispatch a car since i t i s f e l t that the "presence of the uniform" might prevent such trouble occurring and might "help the participants to stay calm". This "presence", as has been mentioned, i s routinely supplied to b a i l i f f s uho are repossessing items. It i s also provided to ambulance personnel to as s i s t them to take a disturbed person to the h o s p i t a l . One c a l l e r requested police assistance uith a person uho uas " s u i c i d a l " and uhen he uas to l d to take the person to the emergency uard, he rep l i e d , "she uon't go." Staff then instructed him to " c a l l the ambulance. They'll come and get her and the police u i l l stand by." "Ordinary" c i t i z e n s also frequently c a l l in requesting the benefit of the policeman's uniform, but unlike the b a i l i f f , uho -74-simply labels the si t u a t i o n , c i t i z e n s must demonstrate by their account that the situa t i o n i s about to "get out of hand". One "successful" c a l l described an argument between owners of adjacent stores who were arguing about the placement of garbage cans. Features that the s t a f f attended to were that the dispute was occurring in the lane, was getting louder, threats were being exchanged, a garbage can had been knocked over, and so on. The s t a f f member requisitioned a car with the lab e l "Dispute" and the dispatcher ordered .the patrolman to "Stand by to keep the peace." Though s t a f f then, have no o f f i c i a l mandate to intervene in c i v i l matters., they accomplish t h i s r i ght to intervene as the situat i o n requires by transferring such matters into the category of "keeping the peace" where they do see themselves as having a mandate to intervene. This, i s discussed in the fallowing section. Keeping the peace Phone room s t a f f use this category to describe almost a l l the other kinds of c a l l s that come into the phone room, except those that request s p e c i f i c information of one kind or another. C a l l s pertaining to "keeping the peace" w i l l include reports of various kinds of "public" disorder that the c a l l e r s f e e l impede them in going about th e i r business and may concern anything from demon-strations to merchandise placed on the sidewalk in front of stores. Other c a l l s may simply be requests for help. Calls come from people who are locked out of their houses, are sick, l o s t , without money, or frightened; who want to get in touch with r e l a t i v e s , need counselling of various kinds, or just seem to want someone to talk to. -75-Staff maintain that mast of t h i s i s "not r e a l police uork" , that i t i s only "public r e l a t i o n s " and involvement in such uork i s not considered to have very high prestige. Bittner suggests that such uork i s in fact generally considered by most people to be "marginal" to the main function of the police, uhich i s to control crime, and further, that t h i s aspect of police uork has attracted very l i t t l e interest among researchers uho study the a c t i v i t i e s of a police force.~* One author uho did study this aspect of police.uork seemed to suggest that police "aught not" to became involved in many of the kinds of situations mentioned above, since they da not have the proper t r a i n i n g . This vieu of the , ;peace-keeping' aspects of police uork does not appear to take into account that policemen do t h i s uork, that there i s considerable demand that they do t h i s uork, and that a great deal of time, manpouer, and resources are spent in t h i s f i e l d . Further, though there i s no "legal mandate" of the kind that empouers police to intervene in criminal matters — in fact, there i s no s p e c i f i c mandate at a l l — police nevertheless see themselves as having the pouer to intervene in keeping the peace largely because the public expects and i n s i s t s that they do so. Though there may be no criminal aspects or even le g a l aspects i n a given situation that uould appear to uarrant police action, c a l l e r s s t i l l require of the police that they "keep order" in the community, and that they aid people in trouble. Commonly, in deciding uhether dispatching a car uould "do any good" in situations that involve public order, phone roam s t a f f orient to the same considerations that have already been - 7 6 -mentioned; uhether or not the situa t i o n has features that indicate a p o s s i b i l i t y that trouble u i l l p r o l i f e r a t e , such as the acceler-ation touard possible violence described in the dispute in the previous section, or i s "just occurring" and may therefore change in character. The man reporting children vandalizing his garden uas simply given advice, since the event uas over and therefore in some sense defined or contained. In comparison, a car uas sent to investigate some youths reported to be "burning something" at the side of a road, to make sure the situa t i o n stayed under control. T Though police are auare of and use the authority of their uniform in peace-keeping a c t i v i t i e s , they are also auare that there are situations in uhich the v i s i b l e presence of a policeman may actually promote trouble and therefore they may choose not to intervene. In one instance a patrol car radioed in to the d i s -patcher that there uere "about three or four hundred students marching north across the Burrard Street Bridge." In this case the actual public disturbance and the potential for increased disorder might be seen to be much greater than, f o r instance, youths burning something at the side of the road. Nevertheless the d i s -patcher ordered the patrolman to "stay out of i t . hie don't uant anything done about i t as long as they're orderly." He remarked to me "Those guys see a policeman, they're l i a b l e to freak." Complaints about an event from more than one person u i l l usually r e s u l t in police action even i f the police themselves do not consider i t necessarily uarranted. Again, the physical proximity of s t a f f to each other makes this information readily available and allous for t h i s kind of assessment. A c a l l e r uho reported that "some teenagers uere drinking behind PU school" uas dismissed uith -77-th e ambiguous response "Thanks for c a l l i n g " , but no car uas d i s -patched. A s t a f f member uho took a second complaint, houever, announced to the room at large, "ue've had a second c a l l on t h i s , " and requisitioned a car. Staff then uere able to say to subsequent c a l l e r s that "cars had already gone out". The f i r s t s t a f f member uas reluctant to send out a car for tuo reasons: f i r s t , police authority as to the kind of action they can take uith regard to juveniles i s someuhat limited under present l e g i s l a t i o n , and since teenagers in parti c u l a r are f e l t to be auare of t h i s , to go out on such c a l l s i s considered a "taaste of time". One s t a f f remarked, "They knou ue can't do anything but talk nice." Secondly, i t i s not the kind of situation that phone room s t a f f consider to be very serious. This uas evident in the uay they discussed i t , and even in the uay the dispatch form uas f i l l e d Dut — "Drinking and carrying Dn at PU school". One s t a f f member remarked, "So they're drinking behind the school. Nothing urong uith that. I even had a drink today." Another added, "Such a deal." People uho phone in requesting help uith personal problems are usually given the name and number of an appropriate agency or resource uhere such help might be available. For this purpose s t a f f have access to a l i s t of community resources and the kinds of situations they are equipped to deal u i t h . Uelfare agencies, the C r i s i s Centre, and the emergency uard of the tuo major;,hospitals are places to uhich c a l l e r s are frequently referred. Police intervene, houever, uhen i t i s apparent to them that the person requiring help i s unable to Dr cannot be expected to cope uith carrying out such a r e f e r r a l . People phone i n , for instance, uith the r e l a t i v e l y minor problem of having locked them-selves out' of the i r houses. This, I uas t o l d , i s a carryover from e a r l i e r times uhen both police and firemen aided in such a predicament, but neither u i l l "go out" on these c a l l s any more. ('(Je1 d be doing nothing else but"). Houever, I sau th i s done on tuo occasions; on one, the uoman locked out uas reported to be "over eighty"; on another, the uoman had a small baby uith her. In both cases i t uas f e l t that the uomen could not be expected to go through the procedure of finding the alternate resources a s t a f f member might suggest. Police frequently intervene on behalf of sickupeople uho appear to be unable to seek medical help or uho have no r e l a t i v e to act on the i r behalf. I uas told this uas quite common on the skid road area, uhere people have feu connections of any sort. A car uas dispatched, for instance, at the request of a landlord in that area uho reported that one of his tenants, an elderly Chinese man, uas sick. It uas considered by the s t a f f that the landlord uould not and could not be expected to take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and they sau themselves as having the authority to act in the absence of any knoun r e l a t i v e s and to mobilize resources "on behalf of the c i t i z e n " . Dn another accasion I uatched through the phone room uindou as tuo elderly men, both poorly dressed, assisted uith a great deal of d i f f i c u l t y a t h i r d elderly man, obviously sick, across the street and into the police s t a t i o n . "That happens a l l the time," a s t a f f member to l d me. "They knou i f they come here t h e y ' l l get medical attention. They got no other place to go." He added, "nobody ever hears about that kind of thing." This l a s t 79-remark, I f e l t , uas directed to me because I uas a student reporting on police uork, and re f l e c t e d the b e l i e f of most s t a f f that members of the public see the police as host i l e and punitive, never as h e l p f u l . Uhile they themselves consider "peace keeping" a c t i v i t i e s lou status police uork, they nevertheless frequently talk about i t as being important and f e e l such uork i s not f u l l y appreciated. Phone room s t a f f frequently dispatch cars to "pick up" people uho are reported to be confused or l o s t . Staff exercise th e i r discretionary pouers to intervene in these situations based at least p a r t i a l l y on some of the fo l l o u i n g j u s t i f i c a t i o n s : there i s no one else to do i t ; police have the resources to f i n d out uhere such a person belongs; and a person uandering in such a state has the potential of p r o l i f e r a t i n g trouble for the police by "being a danger to himself"/ Cal l e r s provide an account for the s t a f f as to the features of the person's dress and behavior that lead them to the conclusion that the person i s not able to manage in the setting uhere he or she i s observed, and the fol l o u i n g c a l l i s included here as an example of the uay in uhich a member of the community monitors the behavior of another and interprets uhat i s seen as uarranting some kind of intervention. S t a f f : Vancouver Police 896. Ca l l e r : Ummm I'd just l i k e to report..uh..uh...something that I sau on Broaduay.. .urn.. .a lady.. .ah. . i s this the party I uould/ Sta f f : /Yes, yes. Did i t just occur, ma'am? Ca l l e r : Beg pardon? St a f f : Did i t just occur? (silence) S t a f f : Just happen? C a l l e r : U e l l , nothing happened. This lady seems to be ualking around in c i r c l e s an the corner there - 8 0 -and t h i s / S t a f f : /what address? C a l l e r : Beg pardon? St a f f : The corner of uhere ma'am? Ca l l e r : Dn the corner of Broaduay and..ah..Cambie. St a f f : And Cambie. C a l l e r : Yes. She seems to be ualking around in c i r c l e s and then she uould go around the..ah..stop l i g h t , you knau, the signal l i g h t against the l i g h t (Staff: yeah) and then she'd go back to the corner (St a f f : Yeah) again on the..ah..uest..ah southuest corner and ualk around in c i r c l e s . She seems confused. Sta f f : Right. Uhat is...uhat i s she uearing? C a l l e r : She just might be missing, you knou. Staf f : Right. Ue'11 have i t checked. C a l l e r : She has kind of a beige over-the-knee length coat, a housedress I can see under i t and..a.. , ankle shoes, l i k e they may be overshoes, no hat. She looks a b i t tousled l o o k i n 1 . . . . S t a f f : Ah..hou old uould you say she i s ? C a l l e r : Oh, I'd say f o r t y i s h . S t a f f : In her f o r t i e s . And she uas just recently at Broaduay and Cambie. Do you knou uhat...is she just sort of going/ C a l l e r : /Yeah. She has no purse. She...I don't see a purse. S t a f f : No purse. C a l l e r : But she has an umbrella under her arm. S t a f f : Umbrella under arm. C a l l e r : She loaks l i k e she's oblivious to (Staff: uh..huh) her surroundings. Sta f f : Hou long ago uas i t you l e f t that.. C a l l e r : U e l l , I uent over to drive my s i s t e r over about half an hour ago and uhen I came back on the same route she uas s t i l l there ualking in c i r c l e s . S t a f f : Right. U e ' l l have her checked out. Thank you for c a l l i n g . C a l l e r : Yeah. OK. Bye. ( C a l l completed) Patrolmen usually try to find out from the person "uhere they belong" and only bring them in to the station "as a l a s t resort". usually checking back ibith the phone room before doing so to see uhether the person has been reported missing. I uas t o l d the person uould then be held in the station for "a couple of hours", pending the p o s s i b i l i t y of a c a l l , before being turned over to some other agency such as the hospital or the Salvation Army. Phone room s t a f f -81-keep a f i l e a old people uho frequently uander from uhere they belong and have come to police attention several times because of t h i s , and refer to th i s f i l e to "match" lo s t people uith their addresses. Small children uho are found uandering are not brought into the s t a t i o n . Occasionally patrolmen u i l l take the c h i l d around the neighbourhood in uhich he uas found on the assumption that he cannot have gone too far from uhere he belongs, and in the hope that the c h i l d might recognize his house Dr that they might en-counter a distraught mother "out looking". Frequent checks are made uith the phone room to see uhether the c h i l d has "been reported". If these e f f o r t s f a i l , the c h i l d i s taken to one of several day care centres u n t i l he i s missed. Family disputes - a special problem Phone room s t a f f receive many c a l l s from uomen claiming that their husbands have beaten them up. For s t a f f , these c a l l s present par t i c u l a r problems as to the kind of intervention that i s possible. Such events appear as i f they could be c l a s s i f i e d as "assault" uhich o r d i n a r i l y makes that event a "criminal matter". Further, these events have usually just occurred, and the suspects can be i d e n t i f i e d by the c a l l e r , both features of the situation that uould, in other criminal matters, give the situa t i o n some p r i o r i t y in terms of i n i t i a t i n g police intervention. On one occasion that uas labelled 'assault', for instance, a man cal l e d in reporting that another man had kicked him, and a car uas sent immediately. In fact, the s t a f f almost dispatched an emergency car in case the assailant uould try to escape, but decided on the 'uhite' dispatch form since the c a l l e r could i d e n t i f y his assailant and therefore he could probably be "picked up". Sim i l a r l y , in the c a l l discussed e a r l i e r in uhich a tenant had scratched the caretaker of his apartment uhile attempting tD take a receipt uithout giving any money, a car uas also dispatched uith the lab e l "Pos(sible) Assault". In both these cases the c a l l e r s , in addition to reporting the situ a t i o n , had indicated their u i l l i n g n e s s to " f o l l o u i t through". The f i r s t c a l l e r had been tol d "You'll have to lay a charge" and had rep l i e d , "I certainly uant to da that." In the second, the information that both the c a l l e r and her husband had f e l t that they should c a l l the police had been considered s u f f i c i e n t indication of such u i l l i n g n e s s , and thereby j u s t i f i e d the involvement of patrol car personnel. In cases of uife-beating, houever, none of these c r i t e r i a apply i n determining uhether police intervention i s uarranted. The Procedure Manual states that no cars are to be sent to family disputes unless the c a l l s are f i r s t "screened by the corporal". In actual practice by phone room s t a f f t h i s rule in fact becomes interpreted to mean "no cars are to be sent out at a l l to family disputes" since competent phone room uork i s seen to aim at the most e f f i c i e n t use of resources and personnel, and therefore at least partly involves the a b i l i t y on the part of the s t a f f tD make decisions on their oun uithout having to "bother" superiors need-l e s s l y . I never sau the corporal consulted on a c a l l of this kind. The s t a f f , then, are in the position of having to treat a si t u a t i o n uhich they themselves see as assault, a criminal matter, as i f i t o f f i c i a l l y f a l l s into the category " c i v i l matter", about uhich there i s "nothing a policeman can do". Women uho c a l l i n uith these complaints are routinely advised of t h i s , and are told -83-that i f they want to da anything further they can come down to the police station and lay a complaint uith the Justice of the Peace. The woman's insistence that she wants to "lay a charge" or whatever i s necessary i s not s u f f i c i e n t to convince s t a f f that the sit u a t i o n warrants police intervention, as i t i s in the other cases of assault mentioned. She i s l e f t to demonstrate the seriousness of her intentions by further actions on her own. That the procedure for dealing with this kind of assault was seen by the s t a f f as a "special case" was at least partly demonstrated by the necessity s t a f f f e l t to explain to me how th i s procedure was arrived at. Previously, I was tol d , police had treated these kinds of c a l l s as criminal matters in the same way as other instances of assault were treated and a patrolman had been sent out to intervene or investigate. Police had ceased this practice for two reasons. • F i r s t , when police arrived they frequently found that women were unwilling to have the police take further action and would not lay a charge that would enable police to do so, or i f the woman did lay a charge she would subsequently withdraw i t ; and secondly, such c a l l s had become too ni3me'rou3» Even though the presence of a policeman might have a temporary calming influence on the s i t u a t i o n , a role police see themselves as properly and usefully f u l l f i l l i n g on some of the ether occasions mentioned, the frequency with which family disputes occurred made i t increasingly a "waste of time" for policemen, since these c a l l s rarely became "successful" cases in the way that success i s defined in dealing with criminal matters; that i s to say, no arrest was possible. Staff expressed the feeling that women just wanted to "use the police to get back at the old man", by "scaring him" and f e l t t h i s was a misuse of the authority of the policeman's uniform. Staff uho had been patrolmen and had had experience in dealing uith these situations provided anecdotes to support t h i s evaluation and to j u s t i f y their present procedures. I uas told of uomen uho had been so badly beaten as to require h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n s t i l l refusing to lay a charge, or of uomen uho had-"turned and attacked" policemen attempting to arrest t h e i r husbands. These stories uere f e l t to i l l u s t r a t e that uomen r e a l l y did not uant the police to act. A c a l l of this kind uent as follous: S t a f f : Police enquiries 896. C a l l e r : Yes. I uas uondering i f you could help me. I'd l i k e to speak to somebody in command in the..ah..I don't knou uhich d i v i s i o n i t uould be. I guess the d i v i s i o n of assault. S t a f f : Ch. Uhat i s the situation? C a l l e r : Ah, u e l l , I've got a uitness here..my husband has just assaulted me and he has ualked out and I uant to f i l e an assault charge. St a f f : Oh, u e l l , uhat you have to do i s come doun and see the Justice of the Peace and lay the complaint uith him and then i t ' s up to the Justice of the Peace to..tD take the assault charge. C a l l e r : Oh. 'Cause you see, I used to l i v e in Coquitlam and the RCMP came right to the door/ Sta f f : /No, ue don't because they...you have to come doun here and lay the charge...the charge has to be l a i d before the Justice of the Peace. There's no point in sending a policeman around to the home...there isn't anything he can do. Ca l l e r : Oh, no. I mean, he has l e f t . Staff:' Yeah. U e l l . I t s . . i t s . .you have to come doun to 312 Main Street. C a l l e r : Three/ St a f f : /Tuelve Main. C a l l e r : Tuelve Main. Sta f f : That's r i g h t . C a l l e r : And i t ' s not open t i l l Monday, I guess. St a f f : Oh. No. It's open nou. Ca l l e r : Is i t ? St a f f : Oh yes, you can come doun right nou. C a l l e r : (Pause) U e l l , I uas uondering i f I could apeak uith somebody, because I don't knou uhether i t ' s going to be any good for me or not. I've got tuo smasLl children and one nine-manth-old baby and I'd have to get a baby s i t t e r to look after them while I came down. Sta f f : U e l l . .uh. .youi^have to come down and lay the charge.. ah..regardless of when you come. Ca l l e r : U e l l , I don't know whether I've, I..ah..ah..don't know whether I've got enough grounds, this i s i t . . . I don't know whether/ St a f f : / U e l l , y o u ' l l have to phone the JP on the night number..684/ C a l l e r : /Just a moment please, 684.. Sta f f : 1234. Ca l l e r : 1234? St a f f : Yeah. C a l l e r : U i l l i t be too late r e a l l y to phone him? St a f f : Dh, no, he just came on duty, the one that's on duty...for the night. C a l l e r : Now, 684-1234. St a f f : Right. C a l l e r : Dh, fine, thank you very much. Sta f f : DK. Bye. C a l l e r : Ok. Bye Bye. ( c a l l complete) This was considered by the s t a f f to be " t y p i c a l " of c a l l s involving family disputes. The woman did not seem to be too upset; i t had apparently happened before; she was "used to! 1 haviiig^the police attend, but since the assaults continued tohhappen the assumption was that she had not been prepared to treat the matter seriously enough in the past to "fallow through on i t " , and the problems she raised about coming down to the station were i n t e r -preted to mean that she was s t i l l reluctant. Police would only intervene, I was told-, i f the woman's husband was preventing her from leaving the house. Even then they would not take her complaint d i r e c t l y , but would escort her to the station to the Justice of the Peace. The presence of small children, as in th i s c a l l , was not considered reason enough to warrant police assistance as i t had been, for instance, in the case of the woman with a small baby who had locked herself out of her house. -8G-Staff do not fi n d a l l c a l l s regarding uife-beating as easy to deal uith as the one just recorded. Women sometimes c a l l in great distress and describe rather horrify i n g situations, and these appear to present personal d i f f i c u l t i e s to the s t a f f in dealing uith them in the " o f f i c i a l " manner. A uoman uho i s very upset i s seen to present the r i s k Df evoking an "emotional" response from the s t a f f , p a r t i c u l a r l y c i v i l i a n female s t a f f , thereby increasing the chances that the c a l l u i l l not be dealt uith "properly". In hir i n g c i v i l i a n personnel an attempt i s made to screen out people uhom i t i s f e l t may be in c l i n e d touard personal involvement. In fact, most s t a f f at one time or another expressed d i s l i k e at having to take a "hard l i n e " in these kinds of c a l l s ("people think ue're r e a l brutes") even though they maintain that intervention uould be "a waste of time". At least partly for th i s reason c a l l s regarding family matters were often talked about as being one of the more disagreeable aspects of phone room work. On occasion s t a f f were observed to circumvent the o f f i c i a l rule on the basis of what appeared to be purely an "emotional" response. One s t a f f member, a policeman, to l d me he "usually sent Dut a car" i f he could hear children crying in the background. Another s t a f f member, also a policeman, received a c a l l from a c h i l d regarding a family matter and handled i t as follows: S t a f f : Vancouver Police. C a l l e r : Can you send a policeman out here right auay? St a f f : What seems to be the trouble? C a l l e r : My stepfather's beating up my mother and my s i s t e r . S t a f f : He i s , eh? C a l l e r : Yes. Sta f f : Hou old are you, sonny? -87-C a l l e r : Ten. Sta f f : Oh. What's your address? C a l l e r : 1234 Parkway. St a f f : DK. We'll have somebody out there right away. Ca l l e r : Bye. Sta f f : Bye Bye. ( c a l l complete) The s t a f f member f i l l e d out a dispatch form, then said in answer to my question "I f e l t sorry for the kid." Whatever the reason the s t a f f member chooses for j u s t i f y i n g his or her dispatching of a car to intervene in a family matter, the problem s t i l l remains that i t i s "against the rules", and there i s no la b e l or category available to describe the "(\lature of Complaint" such that the dispatching of a car could be seen to be warranted. Staff then accomplish t h i s by choosing from other categories that are properly seen as police matters. In the c a l l just recorded, the s t a f f member labe l l e d the complaint "Fight" 1, and three cars were dispatched; subsequently the patrolman reported back that the c a l l was "nothing...a family quarrel." As has been mentioned e a r l i e r , such "incorrect" categorizing i s seldom questioned by the dispatcher and s t a f f count on this and make use of i t i n dealing with c a l l s that are problematic to them. Some other j u s t i f i c a t i o n s for exercising discretion to intervene As has been mentioned in the previous section, i a f f w i l l occasionally circumvent rules or "proper" procedure and i n i t i a t e unwarranted intervention i f they " f e e l sorry f o r " the c a l l e r . Staff also were observed to j u s t i f y intervention on what appeared to be other kinds of personal reactions, or on certain features of the sit u a t i o n that would riot otherwise warrant intervention. They also -88-occasionally provided excuses for a decision not to intervene uhen that decision did not appear to be based on the c a l l e r ' s account. Staff tend to i n i t i a t e action either of their Dun or of other personnel on "unwarranted" occasions i f they perceive the c a l l e r as being r e l a t i v e l y "helpless" to follow other advice or to make use of other community resources. Children, as has been shown, receive special consideration from phone room s t a f f , and even i f they c a l l about r e l a t i v e l y t r i v i a l matters such as lost dogs, s t a f f commonly spend a considerable amount of time with them. •Id people sometimes receive the same response, and cars are occasionally dispatched to a s s i s t them with matters that other c a l l e r s would be expected to handle themselves. Phone room s t a f f were occasionally observed to spend more time on c a l l s from people who had d i f f i c u l t y speaking English, generally on the assumption that people who could not speak the language well were less able to cope with the community and thereby to make use of other resources, •n one occasion a very distraught woman phoned and stated in broken English that someone had just c a l l e d her and t o l d her that her husband "had been poisoned." With some d i f f i c u l t y , the s t a f f member was able to ascertain that the husband had l e f t for work that morning, and to obtain the name of the company where he worked. He then phoned the husband's place of employment, found out that he was there a l i v e and well, and instructed him to phone his wife. Ordinarily, a c i t i z e n in better command of the language would have been instructed to take t h i s kind of action herself. Phone room s t a f f w i l l sometimes decide to i n i t i a t e action i f the c a l l e r i s exceptionally persistent or i n s i s t e n t , often just to "get r i d of" the c a l l e r when i t seems apparent that the c a l l e r -89-i s not going to accept other kinds of solutions. One uoman c a l l e d u i t h a lengthy and confused story of a disagreement uith her neighbour over the placement of a ladder betueen th e i r properties. It uas apparent that this uas not a police matter, though the s t a f f t r i e d to e l i c i t from her same kind of information that uould al l o u him to categorize her account in th i s uay. ("Did she threaten yau?"), but the c a l l e r simply became more upset and in s i s t e n t and added more embellishment to the story. Eventually the s t a f f member to l d the c a l l e r that "someone uould be along". "I had ta", he said to me. "I'd have been on there a l l day." He described the Nature of Complaint as "Pos(sible) Mental Woman", a s u f f i c i e n t l y imprecise category allouing him to transfer the situa t i o n from being a c i v i l matter uhich i t "properly" uas, into becoming a matter of "peace keeping", uhich j u s t i f i e d the use of a patrol car. The patrolman subsequently reported back that i t uas "Nothing...a neighbour dispute." This same s t a f f member then took a second c a l l in uhich a uoman launched into a long story concerning a quarrel uith her neighbour over the delivery of a l e t t e r . In the middle of her account, the s t a f f member closed the phoneline key sa he couldn't be heard by the c a l l e r and said to me, "Dh, no. Nat another one. That's tuo i n a rou. I can't stand i t . " In t h i s case he spent some time uith the uoman and uas able to convince her uith a mixture of teasing and sympathy that the matter uas not serious. The uoman eventually began laughing and hung up, apparently s a t i s f i e d . In some cases insistence on the part of the c a l l e r u i l l get action, partly so the s t a f f can get r i d of the c a l l e r , but also because to i n i t i a t e action u i l l in the long run accommodate the "economy" rule of using resources e f f i c i e n t l y . A uoman uhD -90-c a l l e d up complaining that someone had put a garbage can on top of a hydro pole refused to accept the s t a f f member's instruction to c a l l , the B. C. Hydro, but i n s i s t e d i f the s t a f f member did not "do something", she uould go out on a main street near where she l i v e d and f l a g doun a police car. The s t a f f member then ca l l e d the B. C. Hydro himself to prevent t h i s possible intrusion on patrol car time. A person uho acts too b e l l i g e r e n t l y , or uho appears to have been drinking, does not meet uith a co-operative response, even though there i s a l i k e l i h o o d that he or she u i l l c a l l again and perhaps even succeed in getting through to a more senior member of the farce, thereby using more personnel time. Even though t h i s does not f o l l a u the "economy" rule, s t a f f f e e l they do not have to "put up u i t h " these kinds of c a l l s and generally support each other i n t h i s . On occasion belligerent c a l l e r s have phoned back as many as four times, eventually reaching the corporal, but the response i s usually the same. Occasionally s t a f f u i l l attempt to get the c a l l e r to abandon or uithdrau his or her complaint, even though the complaint appears to be one that uould usually be a police matter. These are aluays cases that the phone roam s t a f f consider t r i v i a l , and usually are those that involve some paper uork on the part of the s t a f f . A man uho c a l l e d to report a car that had been s i t t i n g in front of his property far "a couple of ueeks" uas t o l d , after s t a f f had checked that the car uas not on the stolen car l i s t s , "If ue remove the car urongfully, the ouner may take i t to court and y o u ' l l have to appear as a uitness. Are you prepared tD do that?" In fa c t , there - g l -are by-laws that l i m i t parking en a l l streets of the c i t y , S D there i s v i r t u a l l y no uay that police could remove a car wrong-f u l l y i f i t had been in the same place for the length of time reported by the c a l l e r . The c a l l e r , houever, stated he uas not prepared to go to court, and the s t a f f member thereby avoided the someuhat tedious matter of f i l l i n g out an "Abandoned Vehicle Report". Summary This chapter has dealt uith some of the organizational factors that phone room s t a f f consider in deciding uhether or not to intervene in a situa t i o n and uhat form, i f any, the intervention u i l l take. Police have a tuo-fold mandate to intervene; a legal mandate to intervene in criminal matters, and a mandate granted by public insistence and expectation to intervene in keeping the peace. In exercising discretion to use the l e g a l mandate s t a f f uere shoun to take into account factors r e l a t i n g to the future disposition of the matter i n court, such as the likelihood of catching a suspect or of obtaining evidence. In deciding uhether or not to intervene in matters of keeping the peace, s t a f f uere shoun to consider such factors as the p o s s i b i l i t y of trouble accelerating, the public or private nature of the s i t u a t i o n , and the a b i l i t y of the c a l l e r to marshall other assistance from the community. Other factors such as limited resources, limited a v a i l a b i l i t y of other personnel, and personal reactions uere shoun to influence police d i s c r e t i o n . Family disputes uere presented as a special problem for phone room s t a f f in exercising discretionary pouer. -92-Foatnotes Egan Bittner, "Police Discretion in Emergency Apprehension of Mentally 111 Persons," Social Problems, v o l . Ik, no. 3 (Winter, 1967), pp. 278-292. 2 Don H. Zimmerman and Melvin Pollner, "The Everyday World as a Phenomenon" in Jack Douglas, ed., Understanding Everyday L i f e . London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1971. The authors suggest ..that a member sees a setting as "an objective r e c a l c i t r a n t arena of his actions". I take that to mean, at least in part, that there are features of the setting uhich a member sees as presenting or as p o t e n t i a l l y presenting d i f f i c u l t i e s for him in accomplishing uhat he has set out to do. ^Egon Bittner, "The Police on Skid-Rou: A Study of Peace Keeping," American So c i o l o g i c a l Revieu, v o l . 32, no. 5, (October 1967), pp. 700-15. Elaine Cumming, Ian Cumming, and Laura E d e l l , "The Policeman as Philosopher, Guide, and Friend," S o c i a l Problems, v o l . 12, no. 3, (Winter 1965). -93-CHAPTER k "MISSING PERSONS" AND "CRANK CALLERS": TWO TYPIFICATIONS Same of the discussion in previous chapters has dealt uith the procedures uhereby events become f i t t e d into administrative categories, and has considered some Df the implications of this l a b e l l i n g far subsequent police action. Phone roam s t a f f must occasionally f i t people into administrative categories as u e l l . Such l a b e l l i n g again i s the result of a process. Staff attend to certain features of the person's behavior or the c a l l e r ' s account of the person's behavior, take into consideration certain organ-i z a t i o n a l concerns, evaluate features of the c a l l i n the context of s t a f f members' knouledge of the community, ete. As i s the case uith the l a b e l l i n g of events, the l a b e l l i n g of people into " o f f i c i a l " categories has implications for subsequent police procedure. This chapter considers tuo of these t y p i f i c a t i o n s — "missing persons" and "crank c a l l e r s . " Missing Persons For the person uho decides that one of his or her r e l a t i v e s i s missing, the police are seen as the appropriate agency to c a l l for tuo reasons. It i s usually i m p l i c i t in such a decision that the person missing has met uith foul play or accident, uhich are properly police matters, and that the police maintain surveillance -3k-• f the community and have access to information such that they w i l l be able to fi n d the person. Police generally share t h i s evaluation of the reasons for their expected interest and subsequent role i n dealing uith the report of a missing person. There i s this difference houever — uhat to the c a l l e r i s usually a unique and frightening s i t u a t i o n , to the police i s merely one of many that are reported. Staff are personally auare of the outcome of most of these, both from their oun uork experiences and as a result of conversational exchanges uith other s t a f f members. Phone room s t a f f build up a kind of " l i s t " of Qther possible events besides f o u l play and accidents that could cause a person to be missing. They therefore attend tD and seek Dut certain features of a particular s i t u a t i o n that they see as being necessary tD help them determine uhich of the possible alternatives might be l i k e l y . While aluays orienting to' the p o s s i b i l i t y that the person may have met uith f o u l play or accident, in the case of adults police also aluays uork on the assumption that the person may be missing because he uants to be. Most adults uho are reported missing are men (only one uoman uas reported missing during the time I observed) and most of these are reported by their uives. Based on the result s of many such c a l l s , phone room s t a f f have accumulated a knouledge of " t y p i c a l " reasons uhy these situations come about and of certain kinds of behavior people engage in such that their families come to consider them""missing". Staff commonly assume that a man uho i s reported missing i s probably out drinking, that he has a g i r l -f r i e n d , or that he i s escaping a marital dispute, and same of the i r subsequent uays Df dealing uith the c a l l are based on these assump-tio n s . Staff frame their questions uith this in mind. Ta the -95-beginning observer, and one may assume to the c a l l e r as u e l l , these questions seem to indicate an almost "magical" knouledge of the "missing" person and his behavior. The follouing segment of a "missing person" c a l l i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s . (The c a l l e r reported that her husband had been missing for four days) St a f f : He's your husband, eh? C a l l e r : Yes. St a f f : Your l e g a l husband? C a l l e r : Yes. S t a f f : What's your address? C a l l e r : Well, right nou I'm staying uith a friend over on/ S t a f f : /Well, uhere did he leave you from? C a l l e r : Well, he l e f t home about noon on Tuesday, i t ' s at...he l e f t from IBID Parkuay. St a f f : H D U do you knou he i s n ' t back there? C a l l e r : Oh, he's not there. He uasn't there t h i s morning, and I just c a l l e d my neighbour to look, and he i s n ' t there yet. S t a f f : What does he do for a l i v i n g ? Did he shou up at uork? C a l l e r : Oh, he uas l a i d off last...about the middle of April...he's..ue 1 re on Welfare at the moment. St a f f : Well, uhat does he do uhen he's uorking? C a l l e r : He usually uorks in construction...the l a s t place he uorked uas/ St a f f : /Hou much money did he have? C a l l e r : Well, he should have, I guess about a hundred and sixty dollars...he's just cashed the uelfare check. St a f f : Does he drink? C a l l e r : Well, yes, he/ S t a f f : /Where does he usually drink? C a l l e r : Well, usually along Hastings, in the Abbotsford sometimes/ Sta f f : /Does he use another name? Ca l l e r : Sometimes Murdock. Sometimes Frank M i l l e r . S t a f f : When uas he l a s t in our j a i l ? C a l l e r : In July. S t a f f : Hold on a minute. (Staff member leaves the phone room, comes back in a couple of minutes) Sta f f : He's not in our j a i l . Did you check uith North Van? C a l l e r : No, he uouldn't be there. St a f f : Why not? C a l l e r : Well, he doesn't go there...he doesn't knou anybody there. S t a f f : Well, he's not in our j a i l . -96-The s t a f f member then proceeded to take doun the des-c r i p t i o n of the man on an Interim Missing Person form. In this case the s t a f f member's assumptions appeared to be "right"; uhat seemed at f i r s t to be a rather ominous situa t i o n — a man missing for four days — uas "normalized" by the s t a f f member's questioning into a situa t i o n that appeared to be simply a man out on a four-day drunk, and furthermore, something that the man had done in the past. An Interim Report uas f i l l e d out "just in case" but the man uould not be considered " o f f i c i a l l y " missing u n t i l other information uas received. I uas t o l d that the man's des-c r i p t i o n uould be broadcast and the Interim Report sent to the Inspector i n charge of Missing Persons. I uas also t o l d that i f the patrolman "found" the man and he uas a l l r i g h t , they uould not necessarily report back to his u i f e , since i t uas f e l t that a man had Sa right to be missing i f he uanted to be, and that uas his business". The Inspector in charge of Missing Persons frequently came into the phone room for coffee, and told me on one of these occasions that he routinely c a l l e d up uives uho had reported t h e i r husbands missing, and uho had come to his attention by uay of the Interim Report, to try to determine uhether there had been marital d i f f i c u l t i e s . He made use of such information, he said, in trying to determine uhether the man might r e a l l y be missing or had "just taken o f f " . C a l l s regarding men in their s i x t i e s or over uere usually taken "more seriou s l y " . In one c a l l a man of sixty-three uas reported four hours overdue in returning from uork. Though s t a f f -97-do not consider an adult to be missing u n t i l he or she has been gone for tuenty-four hours, in th i s case the man's description and his usual route home uere given to the area car, after the s t a f f member had ascertained that he did not drink. "You never knou," the s t a f f member said to me. "Man of that age, he might have had a heart attack or something." Staff routinely ask, uhen an older person i s reported missing, "Is he sound of mind and body?" and a negative ansuer usually results in prompt attention. In the one instance uhere a uoman uas reported missing, the report uas made by her thirteen-year-old son uho cal l e d at about tuo o-clock i n the morning to say that his mother had not come home. The s t a f f member ascertained thathhe had no father, that his fourteen-year-old s i s t e r uas home uith him, and that there uere no younger children in the house. He asked i f the boy had phoned his mother's friends (he had) and uhether his mother had ever done thi s before (she hadn't). He then spent some time reassuring the boy..."she's probably just got talking to somebody and forgot the time...you probably knou hou your mum i s uhen she gets t a l k i n g " . He took the phone number and advised the boy to "go to sleep. Uhen you uake up s h e ' l l be home". The s t a f f member told me he uouldn't "do anything more about it...she's probably just got into a good party"; houever, he cal l e d the number just before his s h i f t ended at seven a.m. and the mother herself ansuered. Missing children receive d i f f e r e n t treatment. Uhile adults are not usually considered missing u n t i l tuenty-four hours have elapsed, and c a l l e r s reporting before that time are usually asked to phone i n again after tuenty-four hours at uhich time an Interim -98-Report u i l l be taken, young children are considered missing after three or four hours. After this time period i t i s f e l t that there i s no place that children could legitimately be that t h e i r parents uouldn't have knouledge of. In one case, a seven year old g i r l uas reported missing uhen she didn't arrive home from school at three o'clock, and the area car uas immediately given her des-c r i p t i o n . By s i x - t h i r t y an Interim Report uas made and her des-c r i p t i o n uas broadcast to a l l cars. By one-thirty a.m. she uas o f f i c i a l l y "missing", by uhich time a f u l l scale search uas underuay. •lder children and teen-agers are usually considered, at the outset, to be missing "because they uant to be"; to have "gotten into some fun and forgotten the time"; or just "not to f e e l l i k e going home". Phone room s t a f f are generally auare D f places or events in the community that are l i k e l y to attract the attention of older children and teen-agers and make use of this information in dealing uith reports of missing children in th i s age group. For instance, uhen one mother c a l l e d one night to report ibhat her fifteen-year-old uas missing, she uas told that there uas a rock f e s t i v a l in Langley and that her c h i l d uas probably- there. The s t a f f member remarked t D me after the c a l l , "We'll be getting them a l l night. Every time there's a rock f e s t i v a l . " Children uho have a propensity touard going off uithout t e l l i n g their parents, along uith children uho frequently "run auay" from foster homes or inst i t u t u i o n s make up the "Frequently Missing Children',' f i l e , a f i l e of index cards kept i n the phone room containing the names and addresses of these children. Children become knoun as "repeaters" partly through shared information in the phone room, but more es--99-p e c i a l l y through the patrolmen, uho are familiar uith their area and knou uhen reports are coming repeatedly from the same source. Phone room s t a f f state they don't "get too excited" uhen the c h i l d i s a knoun "repeater". On one occasion a uoman cal l e d at about one a.m. to report that her fifteen-year-old daughter had l e f t at f i v e p.m. uith a frien d and had not returned. On hearing the name of the friend, the s t a f f member replied that the friend uas knoun to him. "She's aluays running auay...ue don't take reports on her any more. If they're not home in the morning you can c a l l us again." The existence and use of a f i l e l abelled "Frequently Missing •Id People" has been mentioned previously; uhen an old person i s found uandering, once the patrolman knous that person's name he can check back uith the phone room, and i f the person's name appears on t h i s f i l e he i s able to match him or her uith the address given. For old people uho l i v e in resthomes or uith r e l a t i v e s t h i s i s simply a matter of e f f i c i e n c y for a l l concerned; for old people l i v i n g alone, houever, t h i s can have diff e r e n t consequences. I f such people come to the attention of the community and thereby to phone room s t a f f and patrolmen by frequently being " l a s t " or appearing con-fused in public places, the sharing of th i s information becomes almost l i k e a "case history" from uhich police judge the competence of that person to be alone. One D i d uoman uho became knoun in th i s uay uas eventually taken to the Vancouver General Emergency, and in the absence of any knoun r e l a t i v e s uho could assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for her, procedures uere begun to have her admitted to Valleyvieu P r o v i n c i a l Home for the Aged. Crank Call e r s Phone room s t a f f refer to certain kinds of c a l l s as "crank c a l l s " and to those that make them as "crank c a l l e r s " . In making thi s t y p i f i c a t i o n , s t a f f more or less share uith lay people a common sense d e f i n i t i o n of uhat constitutes a "crank". There i s no specia l expertise c a l l e d upon in a r r i v i n g at this t y p i f i c a t i o n as there uas, for instance, in deciding uho uas a "missing person", and I as an observer could "recognize" an eccentric or crotchety person as a "crank" in apparently much the same uay as the s t a f f . For the mast part, this t y p i f i c a t i o n i s used in casual phone room conversation, but i t i s also an " o f f i c i a l " category, and a "Crank F i l e " i s maintained containing the names, addresses, and the "nature of complaint" of those o f f i c i a l l y designated as "crank c a l l e r s " . I never sau th i s f i l e used. I uas tol d i t uas there far reference sa that i f s t a f f received a report from a person they thought uas a crank, confirmation could be sought by checking to see uhether the person uas l i s t e d in the Crank F i l e . The s t a f f member uould then knou in uhat l i g h t ta consider the report. Staff members, houever, seemed to experience l i t t l e doubt as to uhether a c a l l they uere receiving uas a "crank c a l l " or not, and never uere observed to seek this kind of confirmation. As u e l l , s t a f f seemed to knou the contents of the Crank F i l e by memory. I occasionally asked about names that uere on f i l e and s t a f f uould t e l l me about the person, about his or her circumstances, hau frequently they ca l l e d , etc. Uhat seemed to be most useful to s t a f f uas the process by uhich a person's name came to be entered on the f i l e . -101-The f i l e i s made up on the basis of information shared among phone room s t a f f and patrolmen, after f i n a l consultation uith the corporal. It uas through t h i s sharing that s t a f f came to knou uho the "repeaters" uere, and the discussion around the decision to enter a person's name on the f i l e seemed largely to serve the purpose more or less of formally informing everyone of t h i s . Some c a l l e r s phone in repeatedly.yreporting absurd or bizarre situations, and in other settings — s o c i a l uork agencies or hospitals, for instance — these c a l l e r s might be la b e l l e d as paranoid or hallucinatory. Though phone room s t a f f occasionally tal k about such c a l l e r s in these terms, more often they simply share a layman's d e f i n i t i o n of the person as "crazy" or "nuts". In dealing uith these c a l l s , s t a f f tend, as Bittner has described, "to f a l l back on being formally correct" representatives of the police force, and to treat the c a l l in a very matter-of-fact fashion."'' Even the description of the complaints on the f i l e cards tend to be stated as the c a l l e r has given them, matter-of-factly as are other reports, as i f they uere "ordinary" accounts. Some examples from this f i l e are "complaints re: e l e c t r i c i t y from u a l l s and c e i l i n g " , " i s international agent uith information useful to po l i c e " or "receiving coded messages through TU set". In dealing uith these kinds of c a l l e r s , s t a f f never question the "truth" of the report, but rather focus on the ordinary aspects Df uhat the person i s saying about the s i t u a t i o n . One uoman ca l l e d in complaining that teenagers uith motorcycles uere attempting to harrass her by causing vibrations toccome from her t e l e v i s i o n set and thereby ruining hernnerves. The s t a f f member sympathized about -102-the troublesome, noisy aspects of motorcycles, recognized the p o s s i b i l i t y that motors interfered uith TU reception, and stated that there uas nothing the police could do since the teenagers uere out on the public street, but that the area patrolman uould undoubtedly be keeping his eye on them. She hung up, apparently s a t i s f i e d . The s t a f f member then announced "I've just had Eleanor U. again. She uasn't too bad tonight." Though these c a l l s are in some uays seen to be troublesome in that they require a lot of li s t e n i n g and a.certain kind of diplomacy, they often serve to lighten uhat i s often a boring job, and are usually shared uith other members of the s t a f f . I uas t o l d of "interesting" c a l l e r s uho did not phone in uhile I uas there, and of solutions that some s t a f f members had arrived at i n handling them. One s t a f f member stated he had put a man uho uas a "great detective" in touch uith another man uho had information about a Scandinavian spy ring plotting to overthrou the government. Another s t a f f member stated that at one time uhen he uas on the patrol cars he had assisted a man ta tape up his e l e c t r i c u a l l plugs ta, prevent " e l e c t r i c i t y from leaking out into the ioom". Such solutions are seen as quite s a t i s f a c t o r y ; the st a f f are not concerned uith the long range prognosis for such a person, but only in a l l e v i a t i n g the present s i t u a t i o n that comes to their attention. Staff state a person "has the right to do or think uhat he l i k e s , as long as he's not a danger to himself or others." I uas t o l d of a man uho had come to the attention of the police through his landlord because of :continued complaints about moving fl o o r s and e l e c t r i c uaves. In talking to the man, police learned that he had large sums of money in his room and on his person and they arranged to have him admitted to hos p i t a l . It uas f e l t -103-that a man "in his state of mindl', carrying large sums of money, uas a "danger to himself" as a tempting potential victim of robbery. A c a l l e r uho i s more problematic to the phone room s t a f f i s the person uho reports that a crime of one kind Dr another has been committed, but uhich turns out upon investigation never to have been committed at a l l . If this happens more than tuo or three times i t i s very quickly knoun to the s t a f f via the patrolman's report, and even though the c a l l e r may be c l a s s i f i e d as a crank, phone room s t a f f can never r e a l l y ignore the c a l l or "put o f f " the c a l l e r "in case i t r e a l l y happened t h i s time". Such c a l l e r s ' cards in the Crank F i l e usually carry a notation something l i k e "reports t h e f t s . Check a l l c a l l s uith corporal". The corporal stated that he himself uould usually then talk to these c a l l e r s and question them to try to discover det a i l s that uould lend credence to the story and uould help him to decide uhether the complaint uas "bona f i d e " . A t h i r d kind of c a l l e r uho may come to be c l a s s i f i e d in the "crank" category i s a person uho repeatedly c a l l s in about r e a l but minor i n f r a c t i o n s . Police f e e l that every c i t i z e n in the course of his daily l i f e sees minor viol a t i o n s of the lau uithout becoming too concerned; that ue a l l share in the notion that there u i l l never be perfect order i n the community and that the police u i l l not be able to nor canabe expected to "catch everything". Consequently, people uho are overzealous i n their reporting of minor matters are themselves seen to be someuhat deviant, to be "cranks". Police phone room s t a f f are not in a position to be able to say they don't uant to hear about the matter or they are not interested in minor offences, nevertheless a c a l l e r uho continually reports these becomes -104-a n u i s a n c E , and may be "put o f f " . For example, one uoman's c a r d on the Crank F i l e - c a r r i e d the n o t a t i o n "phones i n 4-6 p a r k i n g v i o l a t i o n s " . A s t a f f member remarked "Oh, h e r . She l i v e s on •ak S t r e e t and s i t s t h e r e a l l day i n her apartment w a i t i n g f o r someone t o park a f t e r f o u r o ' c l o c k . Ue j u s t can't pay a t t e n t i o n t o her a l l the t i m e . " I t has been s t a t e d t h a t people come t o be c l a s s i f i e d as cr a n k s t h r o u g h i n f o r m a t i o n s h a r e d by phone room s t a f f amongst each o t h e r and u i t h p a t r o l m e n . The b e g i n n i n g s o f the p r o c e s s uhereby t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n i s sh a r e d and th e r e b y accumulated i n t o a case f o r making t h i s k i n d of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n can be i l l u s t r a t e d by the f o l l o u i n g tuo i n c i d e n t s . A uoman c a l l e d and uhen the s t a f f ansuered her c a l l u i t h the s t a n d a r d "Vancouver P o l i c e " she r e p l i e d " T h i s i s n ' t the Vancouver P o l i c e . T h i s i s n ' t the Vancouver P o l i c e . I uant p r o t e c t i o n . " D u r i n g subsequent q u e s t i o n i n g the uoman produced a d i s j o i n t e d s t o r y about bad s e r v i c e i i n a r e s t a u r a n t . She uas t o l d t h a t n o t h i n g c o u l d be done, and hung up, a f t e r some angry u o r d s . The s t a f f member s a i d t o the room at l a r g e , "Who's t h a t uoman u i t h the s t r o n g E n g l i s h a c c e n t t h a t ' s a l u a y s phoning i n ? I j u s t had her a g a i n . " Someone r e p l i e d , " I don't knou, I had her y e s t e r d a y . Does she d r i n k or u h a t ? " A t h i r d person remarked, " I f she keeps phoning ue s h o u l d put her on the Crank F i l e . " In the second i n c i d e n t a uoman c a l l e d , a p p a r e n t l y c r y i n g , and s a i d someone uas t r y i n g t o break the uindou i n her back door. She s t a t e d " I t goes Dn a l l the t i m e . I can't s t a n d . i t any more." A d i s p a t c h form uas f i l l e d out u i t h the l a b e l " M a l i c i o u s Damage t D -105-Property". Uhen the dispatcher radioed the area car the patrolman re p l i e d "Ue knou that address. She's a repeater," but uas instructed, "Check i t out anyuay." This could be seen as the possible f i r s t step uhereby the uoman uould come to be c l a s s i f i e d as a "crank". If the patrolman continued to investigate her com-plaints and they continued to be unfounded, that i s to say she continued to be a "repeater", further complaints by the patrolman might result in that information being conveyed to phone room s t a f f , and the entry of her name in the Crank F i l e . As has been demonstrated, this uould then have possible implications for the uay i n uhich her future complaints uere dealt u i t h . Summary This chapter has dealt b r i e f l y uith tuo kinds of t y p i f i c a t i o n s made by phone room s t a f f -- "missing persons" and "crank c a l l e r s " . In deciding uhether to la b e l a person "missing" or not, s t a f f uere observed to take into account their knouledge of the community and of "peoples' behavior, based on the i r experience uith many reports and subsequent investigations of people considered by the i r families to be missing. The t y p i f i c a t i o n "crank c a l l e r " appeared to conform more closely to a layman's d e f i n i t i o n of such a person, and the " o f f i c i a l " l a b e l l i n g of a person as a "crank c a l l e r " uas shoun to be largely a uay in uhich s t a f f could share knouledge and keep track of "repeaters". Footnotes Egon Bittner, "Police Discretion in Emergency Appre hensicn of Mentally 111 Persons," S o c i a l Problems, v o l . Ik, (Winter, 1967), pp. 278-282. -107-CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION The process studied in t h i s thesis has been that whereby the v a r i e t i e s of trouble treated by lay members of the community as grounds for c a l l i n g upon the police, are sorted and placed into administrative categories. In t h i s process lay problems and troubles of a l l kinds, uhich are described and defined by the c a l l e r s in a l l kinds of ways, become worked up into the forms in uhich they are recognizable and made properly actionable by the p o l i c e . Ue are seeing here the production of a "bureaucratic r e a l i t y " in uhich a s o c i a l f a c t , a police matter, i s constituted and made actionable in the routine practices of interaction betueen the public and the phone room s t a f f . In chapter 2 ue discussed: c a l l e r s uho are e n t i t l e d to make an account because of their relationship to the event they are reporting; c a l l e r s uho stand in a s p e c i a l relationship to the police in sharing the right to determine uhat i s to become a police matter; and those features of the c a l l e r ' s account that police attend to in assigning the event described i n the c a l l to an administrative category. In chapter 3 ue considered the police mandate to take action and some of the organizational factors phone room s t a f f take into account in exercising discretionary power to use that mandate. It was shown, for instance, that s t a f f are oriented to the economical -108-use af limited resources and personnel. In exercising discretion s t a f f uere shoun to orient to the possible future disposition of the case in court, and to consider such factors as the p o s s i b i l i t y of obtaining evidence and making an arrest. In exercising the mandate to keep the peace, police uere seen to consider such factors as the possible acceleration of trouble, and uhether or not the c a l l e r or the people involved had access to or the a b i l i t y to involve other community resources. Chapter k dealt uith tuo t y p i f i c a t i a n s of people commonly made by the phone room s t a f f — "missing persons" and "crank c a l l e r s " . In a r r i v i n g at the t y p i f i c a t i o n "missing person" s t a f f uere shoun to base the t y p i f i c a t i o n on their knouledge of the community and of peoples' behavior based on their previous experiences of these kinds of s i t u a t i o n s . In typif y i n g people as "crank c a l l e r s " police uere generally observed to share the same d e f i n i t i o n that might be used by laymen. They used such t y p i f i c a t i o n s to keep track of repetitious c a l l e r s uho are problematic to them in that their com-plaints are defined as eccentric or absurd. One of the lim i t a t i o n s i n t h i s kind of study i s that one sees only part of the process. Though the observer in the setting sees i t as much as possible from the point of vieu of the actor, such observation creates i t s oun r e s t r i c t i o n o o f focus and i s only p a r t i a l . In Chapter 3, for instance, though Zimmerman's concept of the "occasioned corpus" uas helpful in focussing on those elements that police take, into account in determining hou things are going to uork, i t also served to r e s t r i c t the focus and to isolate the setting observed. Some aspects of hou that setting i s connected uith other settings do not become readily observable. -109-For,example, the assignment D f a label does not appear to involve the phone room worker in an e x p l i c i t orientation toward those members of the force involved at the next stage of the process. Categories themselves "carry" f a i r l y determinate i n -dications and are used by phone room members as a matter of course without attention to those ind i c a t i o n s . Phone room workers were oriented to the "next stage" of police work only when they became concerned tD e l i c i t a d e f i n i t e type of action i n response to a c a l l . They did so by choosing the category with respect to how i t would "instruct" the dispatcher. This becomes apparent not d i r e c t l y as a matter of observation or recording, but only as the observer comes to r e f l e c t on the way i n which her method isolate s the situa t i o n she observes. The self-contained picture obtained by the methods used in observation and analysis D f one aspect of police work seems to require, then, that the reader be reminded that i t i s only p a r t i a l . Much of what phone room s t a f f rely on, attend to, and use as the basis for action on any given occasion was not v i s i b l e to me. Nevertheless I, and I take i t the phone room workers took for granted in interpreting and making sense of their routine practices, that they were aimed at and oriented to an organizational process of which they were only a part. For example, in making sense of what was done and said reference has been made in th i s study to p o l i c i e s which must have been arrived at i n routine daily practices of quite different kinds elsewhere in the police organization. How these p o l i c i e s were con-veyed to the phone room s t a f f , what uses were made of them, and how they oriented towards them in the i r work did not become observable. I could be auare of them only as I sau them displayed in the procedures used by s t a f f i n dealing uith a part i c u l a r c a l l , in accomplishing uhat uas to become a police matter, and in my oun assumption that their practice uas properly uarranted by such administrative p o l i c y . -111-BIBLIOGRAPHY Bittner, Egon. "The Concept of Organization", Social Research, v o l . 32, Autumn, 1965, pp. 239-55. . "Police Discretion i n the Emergency Apprehension of Mentally 111 Persons", Social Problems, v o l . 14, no. 3, Winter, 1967, pp. 278-B2. . "The Police on Skid-Raw: A Study af Peace Keeping", American Soci o l o g i c a l Review, v o l . 32, no. 5, October, 1967, pp. 700-15. Black, Donald 0. "Police Control of Juveniles", American Socio-l o g i c a l Review, v o l . 35, no. 1, February, 1970, pp. 63-77. . "Production of Crime Rates", American So c i o l o g i c a l Review, v o l . 35, no. 4, August, 1970, pp. 733-48. Black, Mary, and Duane Metzgei. "Elthnographic Description and the Study of Law", in Stephen A. Tyler (ed.), Cognitive Anthro-pology. New York: Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1969. Blumer, Herbert. Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method. Englewood C l i f f s , New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1969. Bordua, David J. (ed.) The Police: Six Sociological Essays. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1967. Buckner, Hubbard Taylor. "The Police: The Culture of a Social Control Agency", Unpublished Doctoral dissertation, Department of Sociology, University of C a l i f o r n i a , Berkeley, 1967. Chambliss, William, J., and John T. L i e l l . "The Legal Process in the Community Setting", Crime and Delinquency, v o l . 12, October, 1966, pp. 310-17. . "Mistakes in Police Work", in E a r l Rubington and Martin S. Weinberg (eds.), Deviance:  The Interactionist Perspective. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1968. Cicourel, Aaron ;\7,. The Social Organization of Juvenile Justice. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1968. . "Basic and Normative Rules in the Negotiation of Status and Role", in Hans Peter D r e i t z e l (ed.), Recent  Sociology, no. 2. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1970. Cumming, Elaine, Ian Cumming, and Laura E d e l l . "The Policeman as Philosopher, Guide, and Friend", Social Problems, v o l . 12, no. 3, Winter, 1965. -112-Denzin, Norman K. "Symbolic Interactionism and Ethnomethodology", in Jack Douglas (ed.), Understanding Everyday L i f e . London: . Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1971. Frake, Charles •. "The Ethnographic Study of Cognitive Systems", in Stephen A. Tyler (ed.), Cognitive Anthropology. New York: Holt Reinhart and Winston, 1969. Garfinkel, Harold. "Successful Degradation Ceremonies", American  Journal of Sociology, v o l . 61, March, 1956, pp. 420-24. . . "Studies of the Routine Grounds of Everyday A c t i v i t i e s " , Social Problems, v o l . 11, no. 3, Winter, 1964, pp. 225-250. . Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewaod C l i f f s , New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1967. Morris, Albert. "What i s the Role of the Community in the Development of Police Systems?", Correctional Research, Boston, Massa-chusetts, November, 1969, Massachusetts Correctional Association, B u l l e t i n No. 19. P i l i a v i n , Irving, and Scott B r i a r . "Police Encounters with Juveniles", American Journal of Sociology, v o l . 69, September, 1964, pp. 206-14. . "Mistakes in Police Work:, in E a r l Rubington and Martin S. Weinberg (eds.) Deviance: The  Interactionist Perspective. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1968. Sacks, Harvey. "Sociological Description". Mimeographed. University Df C a l i f o r n i a at Los Angeles. . "Methods in Use for the Production Df a Social Order: A Method for Warrantably Inferring Moral Character". Mimeographed, University of C a l i f o r n i a at Los Angeles. Schegloff, Emanuel A. "Sequencing in Conversational Openings", American Anthropologist, v o l . 70, no. 6, December, 1968, pp. 1075-82. Schutz, A l f r e d . "The Stranger", American Journal of Sociology, v o l . 49, no. 6, May, 1944, pp. 499-508. Scott, Marvin B. The Racing Game. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1968. Shapiro, Fred C. "The Annals of Jurisprudence: The Whitmore Con-fessions", The New Yorker, February 8, 1969. Skolnick, J. H. Justice Without T r i a l : Law Enforcement in Democratic  Society. New York: John Wiley and Sons (Science Editions), 1967. -113-Smith, Dorothy E. 11K i s Mentally 111: The Anatomy of a Factual Account". Mimeographed, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, February, 1971. Stinchcombe, Arthur L. "Institutions of Privacy in the Determin-ation of Police Administrative Practice", American Journal  of Sociology, v o l . 69, September, 1963, pp. 150-58. . "The Behavior of Police in Public and Private Places", in Earl Rubington and Martin S. Weinberg (eds.), Deviance: The Interactionist Perspective. Neu York: The Macmillan Company, 1968. Sudnow, David. "Normal Crimes: So c i o l o g i c a l Features of the Penal Code", Soc i a l Problems, v o l . 12, Winter, 1965, pp. 255-270. . Passing On: The S o c i a l Organization of Dying. Engleuiood C l i f f s , New-Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1967. Turner, Roy. "Occupational Routines" Same Demand Characteristics of Police Work". Paper presented to the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association, Toronto, June, 1969. Wilson, Thomas P. "Conceptions of Interaction and Forms of Socio-l o g i c a l Explanation", American Sociological Review, v o l . 35, no. 4, August, 1970. Zimmerman, Don H. and D. Lawrence Wieder. "Ethriomethodology and the Problem of Order: Comment on Denzin," in Jack Douglas (ed.), Understanding Everyday L i f e . London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1971. • and Melvin Pollner. "The Everyday World as a P Phenomenon", in Jack Douglas (ed.), Understanding Everyday L i f e . London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1971. . "The P r a c t i c a l i t i e s of Rule Use," in Harold Garfinkel and Harvey Sacks (eds.), Contributions to Ethno-methodoloqy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1972. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            data-media="{[{embed.selectedMedia}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0101417/manifest

Comment

Related Items