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Working the Beat: Law Enforcement and the Stress of Community Work

Law enforcement officers fill many roles in the community. Often community members expect a great deal of law enforcement — perhaps more than can be done by any one person or even a group. Movies and TV may give unrealistic expectations of what can be done and at times reinforce fears and prejudices about law enforcement professionals by depicting them as over-reactive or corrupt. Crimes are solved and perpetrators apprehended within 60 minutes on television and in the movies. Most of the public are unaware of the constraints that law enforcement personnel face.