The 2010s marked a noteworthy epoch for those interest in scholarship and practice related to police decision-making. Media organizations and civic groups have devoted enhanced attention to officer involved use of force incidents, police equipment and tactics, law enforcement management of public crises, and a myriad of other facets of the United States criminal justice system. During his second term in office, President Obama devoted considerable attention to these concerns, culminating in his formation of the Task Force on Policing in the 21st Century.
This task force, in turn, offered a series of recommendations for police reform in local law enforcement agencies. Citizens, scholars, elected officials, and police professionals have been inundated with questions and concerns related to police reform.
These exogenous pressures have provoked important discussions among police officers and police executives throughout the nation, demonstrating the opportunity and need for critical discussions about decision-making in law enforcement. Unfortunately, there is limited literature available to aid in initiating and facilitating these discussions. Casey LaFrance’s “Targeting Discretion” hopes to address this lacunae by providing a simple, almost intuitive theoretical framework for understanding variations in organizational communication between rank-levels. Moreover, this book provides a step-by-step roadmap for evaluating communication gaps and helping to foster organization-based change to counteract these issues. The book comes complete with a glossary, a wealth of training scenarios, and a guide for strategic planning and visioning based on data generated through the application of the Target Model of discretion.
This book has the potential to sow the necessary seeds required for the cultivation of demonstrable organizational learning, adaptation, and reinvention within police organizations while also provoking scholarly inquiry into this under-studied area of scholarship. The book also presents an opportunity to bridge the long-standing chasm between criminal justice scholars and public administration scholars in academic departments throughout the nation.