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Week 7 Assignment – Criminology Theory Application

Overview

In this assignment, you are continuing on in your role as a police officer. The Chief wants to continue her emphasis on empathy training. Now that she’s comfortable that officers have a grounding in criminology theory, she wants to see how effectively they are able to apply what they’ve learned about criminology theory and empathy to their daily police work. As part of their prework for an upcoming departmental training session, the chief wants all officers to complete a chart that requires them to specify for 10 given scenarios:

  • The crime committed and the underlying cause of the behavior, based on criminology theories.
  • A police response to the scenario that addresses the behavior and provides a solution to the incident. 

Instructions

Complete the Criminology Theory Application Chart [DOCX], which identifies 10 scenarios of criminal or deviant acts that officers are likely to encounter in performance of their duties. The first scenario is completed for you as an example to guide your responses for the remaining scenarios. For each scenario:

  1. Identify the crime(s) or deviance committed.
  2. Determine the behavior’s underlying cause, based on criminology theories.
  3. Outline a responding officer’s response to the scenario that addresses the behavior and provides a solution to the incident.
  4. Use three sources to support your writing.
    • Choose sources that are credible, relevant, and appropriate.
    • Cite each source listed on your source page at least one time within your assignment.
    • Access the library or review library guides for help with research, writing, and citation. 

Submit the completed Criminology Theory Application Chart to the assignment area.

Formatting

This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards. For assistance and information, please refer to the Strayer Writing Standards link in the left-hand menu of your course. Check with your professor for any additional instructions. Note the following:

  • The preferred method is for your Criminology Theory Application Chart to be typed, single-spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides.
  • Include a cover page containing the assignment title, your name, your professor’s name, the course title, and the date. 
  • Include a separate source list page. Citations and references must follow SWS format. 

Learning Outcomes

The specific course learning outcome associated with this assignment is:

  • Examine categories of crimes and their causes. 

CRJ322

Criminology Theory Application Chart

Instructions

For each of the 10 scenarios, specify:

The crime committed and the underlying cause of the behavior, based on criminology theories.

A police response to the scenario that addresses the behavior and provides a solution to the incident.

Note:

The first scenario is completed for you as a guide to completing the remaining nine scenarios.

Remember to use SWS to properly cite your sources.

Scenario

Crime Committed and Causation

Police Response

Example Scenario: You are dispatched to a local grocery store. Upon arrival, you find the store manager is holding a woman he claims tried to leave the store with a cart of groceries. You observe the cart is filled with loaves of bread, peanut butter, eggs, diapers, baby formula, cheese, etc. You ask the woman for her side of the story. She tells you she is a single mom of four kids and has lost her job. She is on the verge of losing her home, and she needed to feed her children. She tells you she didn’t know what else to do.

The suspect in this case has allegedly committed the crime of retail theft, or shoplifting. One explanation behind the cause of this offense is Robert Merton’s Strain Theory. According to Strain Theory, strain occurs when a gap exists between a person’s goals and the means by which they can achieve them. In this case, the woman’s goal is to feed her family; no money represents the lack of means. People adapt to their strain in a variety of ways. In this case, the woman adapted as an innovator. She came up with a different means to achieve her goal, although illegal.

Police have discretion when it comes to a situation like this. An officer has the legal authority to arrest this woman for the offense. However, that might not be the best choice of action. The officer could consider paying for the items for the woman so that she could feed her family. Alternately, the officer could offer information on other means to obtain food for her family such as churches or foodbanks.

Scenario 1:

You are dispatched to your favorite convenience store, the one with free coffee and fresh donuts. Upon your arrival, the manager tells you a man that looks homeless is outside the store begging customers for money. The manager tells you he told the man to leave the property. The man wouldn’t leave and continues to harass customers.

You speak with the man outside of the store. He tells you he is a US Army veteran suffering from PTSD as a result of combat during The Gulf War.

Scenario 2:

You receive a call for a domestic in progress a few blocks from where you are. You arrive at the scene and approach the front door. A woman with a bloody nose, a scratch above her eye and clear defensive wounds on her hands and forearms meets you at the door. She tells you she is all right and does not require medical attention. When you ask what happened, she invites you into the house.

Once inside, you notice a male in his late teens. The knuckles on his right hand are red and swollen. You also notice he is on the floor playing with Matchbox cars while Sesame Street plays on the television in the background. The woman explains she is the boy’s mother and that he is autistic and can sometimes have violent reactions in situations where he feels he doesn’t get his way.

Scenario 3:

You receive a call about a stolen bicycle. The stolen bicycle’s owner tells you he saw who took it. He explains that he watched his neighbor, a 15-year-old juvenile, walk into the garage and wheel the bike out.

You go to the neighbor’s home and speak to the 15-year-old juvenile and his mom. The juvenile explains that he did take the bike. He tells you he really wanted a bike; all his friends have bikes, and they are always riding off together without him. He further explains that he deserved the bike. He is doing well in school and never gets into trouble. He knows his mom can’t afford to buy him his own bike. He also tells you the bike’s owner never rode it. It just sat in the garage. He doesn’t think he’s hurting anyone.

Scenario 4:

You are a school resource officer at the local high school. You are at the school during normal school hours when you receive a call from one of the math teachers. She informs you one of her female students is being very disruptive and disrespectful and needs to be removed from the class. When you arrive at the classroom, the teacher identifies the difficult student and asks you to remove her.

When you speak to the student, she ignores you. You make several attempts to engage the student, but she refuses to respond. You also notice she is gripping the desk with her hands to the point that her knuckles have turned white.

Scenario 5:

You are on patrol and you are running radar on the highway. You “clock” a vehicle traveling at 80 MPH in a 65 MPH zone. You pull out and execute a traffic stop on the vehicle. During the course of your investigation into the stop, you learn that this is the fifth time this driver has been stopped for speeding in the last 8 months.

You ask the driver about this. She responds, “I like to drive fast.”

Scenario 6:

It is 0200 hours (2:00 AM). You are on patrol with your partner. He is complaining about the low pay, long hours and difficult work. You receive a call about a security alarm at a convenience store. The store closed at midnight. No one should be there. You arrive to find the back door slightly ajar. You and your partner go in and perform a thorough search and find no problems. It’s possible an employee failed to secure the door. You contact dispatch and ask them to notify the store owner of your findings.

As you get ready to leave, you see your partner take a bottle of soda and a bag of chips from the store. He looks at you and says, “Payment for services rendered” and walks out to the patrol car.

Scenario 7:

You are walking the beat on foot patrol when you notice several juveniles standing on the street corner. As you continue to walk in their direction, you clearly observe one juvenile hand the other money in exchange for a clear baggie containing a white powder. You announce yourself as a police officer and tell them not to move. They begin to run and you give chase. You catch one of the juveniles and take him into custody without further incident. You conduct a lawful search of the juvenile and find a wad of cash and 5 small clear baggies containing a white powder (later to be confirmed as cocaine). During your search, you also notice a tattoo on the juvenile’s neck that instantly tells you he is a member of the local gang.

Scenario 8:
You receive a call about a theft at a local electronics store. Upon arriving at the store, you learn that security is holding a young teenager for trying to steal a cell phone and tablet. The store’s security system captured video of the juvenile stuffing these items into his pants before trying to leave the store.

You ask the child his name; you recognize it. You find out you have the child of a repeat offender who has been accused and convicted of property crimes in the area over the course of many years.

Scenario 9:

You are on patrol working in plain clothes and driving an unmarked car. You drive through an area known for prostitution when you come to a stop at a red traffic light at an intersection. As you wait for the light to turn green, a woman comes to your passenger-side window and propositions you. She tells you for $20.00, she will “go all the way.” The woman is emaciated looking and wearing tattered clothes. As she leans against your car, you notice groupings of needle marks on her arms.

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