A ride through the valley of death


Like the desk officers, she too seemed to have absorbed and integrated herself into the police subculture. She went out after work to drink with her fellow employees, joked with other officers, knew their intimate life histories, understood them as men who bore the crime-fighting responsibility on their shoulders. Further research should be conducted on dispatchers as components of the police force. As I learned, they too possess discretionary decision-making power. Their particularized knowledge determines which units, if any, respond to a specific call, which calls are "bullshit," "crap" calls that become routine and do not demand action, and which officers get "excited" when calling for an assist or chasing down a suspect.

Interviewing my companion officer, John Davis, provided a rich background from which to analyze his actions and discretionary decision-making patterns (the foreground). For officer Davis, 1987 marked his seventh year on the Glendale police force. In this span of time, he had worked as an observer in the G. P. D. helicopter, at the K-9 desk, in the records department, in a unit equivalent to LAPD's Crash unit, as an FTO, and as a patro



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