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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: CJAD 311
Course Title: Police in a Democratic Society
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Overview and analysis of law enforcement history, development, purposes and roles in a democratic society. Material is presented from a theoretical standpoint and examines critical issues and advances in crime control. Prerequisite: CJAD 101.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): CJAD 101.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

This theory-based course applies a multi-causal model to explain police issues, integrating the history, social context, and correlates of policing into a theoretical understanding of policing in America. It is designed to encourage students to see the relationships between three primary correlates of police practice--communities, police organizations, and individuals. It is designed to provide students an appreciation for the “big picture,” and an integrated understanding of policing. Note that this course is different and distinct from courses addressing police and law enforcement supervision, management or administration. As such textbooks addressing those issues are not appropriate for this course.

Policing in America: A Balance of Forces
By Langworthy, R., & L. Travis (Prentice Hall)
The Police: An Introduction
By Lyman, M. (Prentice Hall)
The Police and the Community
By Carter, D. & L. Radalet (Prentice Hall)
Policing in America
By Gaines, L. & V. Kappler (LexisNexis (Anderson) Publishing)
Police in the Community: Strategies for the 21st Century
By Miller, L.S. & K. Hess (Wadsworth Thompson Learning)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe the historical development of policing and law enforcement.
  2. Explain the historical, social, political and democratic aspects of policing.
  3. Articulate the police organizational process and police functions. 
  4. Describe the range of legal issues that are of special interest to police.
  5. Explain common terminology and methods used by police professionals.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • Processes of policing
  • Roles of the police
  • History of the police
  • Police organization
  • Police professionalism
  • Police behavior and discretion
  • Police authority and coercion
  • Controlling police behavior
  • Selection, training and development
  • Police patrol and investigations
  • Contemporary issues
Culminating Experience Statement:

Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Michael Lyman Date: April 14, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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