Police service aides: Paraprofessionals for police

James M. Tien, Richard C. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Increased professionalization of U.S. police patrol forces has yielded not only higher salaries but, through heightened citizen expectations, greater pressures to provide both more crime-fighting and more call-for-service answering activities. Service calls in particular, requiring diversified skills, have added to patrol workloads. Coming at a time of severe budget constraints, alternatives must be identified and evaluated that focus police skills on police matters and provide for non-law-enforcement services in other ways. Recent experience on one promising alternative resource-police service aides-is summarized here. These paraprofessionals are unarmed but uniformed civilians in marked vehicles who perform non-crime-related activities traditionally assigned to sworn officers. Included is an analysis of their effectiveness in freeing time for sworn officers to pursue crime-fighting activities; their capacity to perform different duties; and their impact on and acceptance by the sworn officers and the community. As in other professions, the introduction of police paraprofessionals will have a major impact on urban services in general and on policing in particular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-131
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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