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Douglas W. Perez

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Common Sense About Police Review
Douglas W. Perez  More Info

The Paradoxes of Police Work
Douglas W. Perez  More Info
Police Ethics: A Matter of Character
Douglas W. Perez  More Info

About the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office:

The 720 sworn personnel and 332 civilian personnel of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office are organized into four bureaus: Administrative Services Bureau; Custody Services Bureau; Field Operations Bureau; and, the Support Services Bureau.


The Custody Services Bureau operates three detention facilities within the Detention Division, which are located in Marsh Creek, Martinez and Richmond. The three facilities average an inmate population in excess of 1,500. Custody Alternative and inmate transportation are also responsibilities of the Detention Division. Deputy Sheriffs provide security for the Superior Courts as well as Commissioners. The Marshal’s Office, with its accompanying duties pertaining to the Courts, was merged with the Office of the Sheriff in 1988, and now constitutes the Court Security Division within Custody Services Bureau.


The Field Operations Bureau consists of three service divisions: Patrol, Investigation and Coroner's. The Patrol Division provides patrol services for the unincorporated area of the County; the five contract cities of Danville, Lafayette, Oakley, Orinda and San Ramon; and the special districts in Alamo, Blackhawk, Crockett, Diablo and Roundhill; as well as contracted services with the Contra Costa County Housing Authority, A.C. Transit, the Contra Costa Water District and Contra Costa Regional Medical Center.


The Investigations Division is responsible for follow-up investigation of all reported felony offenses and certain misdemeanor crimes that occur in unincorporated areas. The Investigations Division investigates roughly 9,400 felony and misdemeanor crimes annually, to include homicides, robberies, burglaries, as well as all sex crimes and narcotics violations. Detectives are assigned to Narcotic Enforcement Teams (NETS), which are staffed by local law enforcement agencies and supervised by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) Agents. Detectives also provide service to contract cities and special districts.


The branch of Administrative Services is one of the four Bureaus in the Office of the Sheriff. Five distinct units described below provide the majority of services performed by this Bureau: Inspections and Control, Personnel and Finance, Planning and Research, Professional Standards and Employee Development. The Office of the Sheriff has its own Crime Laboratory, which provides service to all law enforcement agencies in the County and is known for its excellence.


The Communications Center dispatches for all Sheriff’s patrol units and contracted services, as well as all emergency medical and Animal Control services countywide. Annually, 800,000 phone calls are received in the Dispatch Center. The communications center was recently upgraded and remodeled.




Dr. Douglas W. Perez is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the State University of New York, Plattsburg. From 1970 to 1975, Douglas Perez was a deputy sheriff for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office (California).  Currently, Dr. Douglas Perez teaches courses in the criminal justice field and has significant experience also in the sociological theory area. His classroom foci include the study of the police, law and society, the drug war, and introductory level courses. Dr. Douglas Perez is the author of The Paradoxes of Police Work and Common Sense about Police Review.  His is also the co-author of Police Ethics: A Matter of Character.


According to the book description of Police Ethics: A Matter of Character, “Police officers make thousands of important, life-changing decisions everyday. In order to promote and ensure justice, these decisions must be fair and even-handed. Police officers cannot think or act as if they are free to define what is legal and what is illegal or to decide who is inherently good and who is inherently bad. They must act in an ethical manner. Yet, police officers are given a limited amount of training in police ethics. Often times, it consists solely of a list of do's and don'ts. This book was written to emphasize the importance of police ethics. The authors seek to treat police officers as the intelligent and knowledgeable people that they are, instead of discussing what to do and what not to do. This book discusses various schools of ethical thought in a way that works from the ground up, moving from a general understanding toward practical applications. Readers will gain a workable understanding of ethics that can be applied to the entire gamut of situations they encounter on the street every day.”


According to the description of The Paradoxes of Police Work, it “relates real cop experiences and realities and leads the reader through the policies and political contradictions of law enforcement. Examples of real-life situations that occur constantly in the day-to-day operations of "routine" patrol offer glimpses into the frustrations and stresses of the law enforcement career. The covered topics provide an unequaled basis for classroom discussion. Whether the book is used as a reader to support an introductory course or in an academy, the thought-provoking and insightful topic coverage will clarify the paradoxes in modern police work. Strongly suggested for introductory courses and academies and for anyone considering a career in law enforcement.”



Common Sense about Police Review is “the first comparative study to consider both civilian and internal police review processes. Using survey research of police attitudes and citizen complaints compiled over fifteen years from police departments across the nation, Douglas W. Perez analyzes past and current review systems as a way to develop criteria for comparing three archetypal systems of police review: internal, external (civilian), and hybrid forms of the two. High media visibility of several events—the 1988 police riot in New York City's Tompkins Square, the 1991 videotaped beating of Rodney King, and the 1992 beating death of Malice Green by Detroit police detectives—has brought police review back into the public arena; not since civil rights demonstrators clashed with police in the 1960s has officer accountability been so hotly debated.


Crucial to any monitoring system are guidelines, which Perez stresses must insist on rigorous investigations of alleged police abuses, outline strict limitations of police action, strive to bridge gaps between police officers and citizens, and exonerate officers who are found to have acted properly and legally. With these standards, the author asserts, a balance between self-sanctioning and enforced regulation can be achieved. Examining fairness, objectivity, and thoroughness in review systems throughout the country, Perez offers a model for the "ideal" police review system. Included are valuable discussions of both the causes of police attitudes and behavior and the misconceptions and expectations that can contribute to a pervasive public image of police malpractice. Perez provides helpful reflections on the role of politicians and administrators in implementing and maintaining police accountability.”


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