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United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany / A program to foster citizen participation in government and politics in Germany
(1951)

5. Police policy and administration,   pp. 16-[19] PDF (2.8 MB)


Page 17

(c) In several cities, but with particular suc-
cess in one, policemen have been assigned to
lecture to elementary school students on the
police and their problem of law enforcement,
crime prevention and control, traffic safety, etc.
The object is to reduce juvenile delinquency,
change the attitude of German children to the
police, and to obtain better public understanding
of and cooperation with the police.
(d) Each of these cities, and several others, have
established school-boy traffic patrols at street
crossings. While this adds to the safety of the
children and reduces street accidents, its chief ob-
jective is the establishment of better public re-
lations.
(e) Each of the police chiefs who visited the
U.S. continues to give lectures to police and also
to civic groups on experiences in the U.S. and the
need for reforms in the German system.
(f) In one city, the adoption of a numbered
police badge to identify the individual policeman
to the public was resented by the police, who
thought that it placed them in a category with
prisoners. The police chief first convinced the
community it would tend to discourage police
officers from dealing arbitrarily with the public.
Public pressure carried the reform, and the police
are persuaded by experience that it is sound.
(g) Several police chiefs have restricted the
use of firearms by officers to cases where life
was actually endangered by unlawful attack or
to prevent the escape of a known or convicted
felon. (This is a real concession. Under German
law the policeman has considerable latitude to
use a gun to prevent the commission even of
minor crimes, or the escape of persons sought for
questioning.)
(h) Each of these police chiefs, and others in-
fluenced by them, have established new relations
with the press which gives it access to police news
to a degree hitherto unknown in Germany.
(i) Each has inaugurated a public participation
program in crime prevention, traffic safety, etc.,
for the first time bringing community groups
into direct cooperation with the police.
Pamphlets on "The German Police" and "Or-
ganizing a Traffic Safety Council" are in prepara-
tion, the latter in conjunction with the film on
"The Stuttgart Traffic Safety Council". Each has
the objective of selling the idea of community
participation in the solution of police problems.
Numerous articles aimed at informing the Ger-
man people of proper police practices appear reg-
ularly in the German newspapers. Picture series
have been published: "Are the Police Allowed to Do
This?", "When Are the Police Allowed to Shoot?"
"When are the Police Allowed to Search a Person?",
"Are the Police Allowed to Enter an Apartment
by Force?", "When Are the Police Allowed to
Search a House?", "Who is Allowed to Arrest
Whom?" "Are the Police Allowed to Use Secret
Police Agents?"
German police officials appear frequently on
radio programs to solicit public cooperation, im-
proved police-public relations, and explain the role
of the police in a democratic community.
Several 16 mm films, secured through ISD Film
Branch, have aided German police to a new con-
cept of police methods and practices. Two such
films are:
"The American Cop" - Life Time
"The Policeman" - Canadian Film.
American books and publications on police ad-
ministration, organization, investigation, identifica-
tion and various technical operations, have been
supplied to German police officials.
D. PLANNED ACTION TO JULY 1951
(1) General
The various police associations will be encour-
aged in their attempt to establish firm organiza-
tions, continue meetings and, plan and direct their
programs. These programs deal not only with the
preparation and publication of information for the
membership of the associations but also for citi-
zens of the communities represented, and the es-
tablishment of cooperative relationships between
the citizens and the associations. The associations
include:
U.S. Zone Association of Police Chiefs
North Bavarian Association of Police Chiefs
South Bavarian Association of Police Chiefs
Wuerttemberg-Baden Association of Police Chiefs
Hesse Association of Police Chiefs.
The development of a traffic safety movement
is of the greatest importance in itself and serves
also as the most convenient vehicle for establish-
ing cooperative relationships between the com-
munity and the police. Loss of and injury to life
from traffic accidents are appalling, and a traffic
safety program exists only in its initial stage. Its
development will do something to correct the lack
of value which the German community appears to
place upon human life, and it may be used to en-
list the interest and aid of a large number of in-
dividual citizens working for the first time in a
community project and with public officials.
The establishment of a U.S. Zone Traffic Safety
Council will also be supported. This is a service
agency having a membership composed of local
police department and other governmental agen-
cies, civic groups and community organizations in-
terested in the reduction of the traffic accident toll
or having responsibilities in the control of traffic
or the enforcement of traffic laws. It will have the
support of, and eventually be financed by, con-
tributions from commercial and industrial con-
cerns, casualty underwriters and others who have
direct financial interest in the reduction of the
traffic accident toll.
The council will conduct or direct surveys to
determine the need for improved traffic controls
and engineering, law enforcement programs, com-
munity safety programs, etc. It will provide a
central clearing house for comparative statistics
on traffic accident experience, and the success of
various methods utilized by the community.
In addition, encouragement will be given to traf-
fic institutes which presently exist in Hesse, Bre-
men and Berlin. These traffic institutes are estab-
lished within the police training school system,
and other governmental agencies concerned with
traffic control also participate.
It is also intended to develop a course for police
administration in a university. The course will
qualify participants for positions of police leader-
ship with a minimum of actual police experience,
change the traditional progression from the lowest
position in the force through in-service training
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