The Police Mystique

Anthony V. Bouza, Author
Anthony V. Bouza, Author Da Capo Press $23.5 (299p) ISBN 978-0-306-43464-8
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
While the ostensible tasks of America's police are controlling street crime, providing emergency services and maintaining traffic safety, their real job is restraining the underclass and preventing it from threatening members of the overclass. So argues Bouza, for 36 years a police officer and official in New York and Minneapolis, in this clear-headed, far-sighted analysis. He notes that the cops' ``secret, unmentionable mission'' is exercised throughout the country but is regarded as especially vital in the cities, where it runs head-on into racial questions, complicated by the fact that police departments are still largely white and male. Until the overclass faces up to its responsibility for creating the conditions that cause people to become homeless, drug addicted, poor and lawless, the nation's crime problem will continue and probably worsen, Bouza cautions. He sees the future as bleak. (Apr.)
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