Criminologists have documented that as young law enforcement officers progress through their careers, there is a tendency to develop cynical views toward the general public. The public primarily calls the police when things have gone wrong and, therefore, officers are overexposed to negative events and to bad citizen behavior. As a result, officers can often begin to lump all citizens together and view them all in a negative manner that reflects their experiences with those in the community prone to criminality, dishonesty and violence.
Intelligence-led policing strategies may have also exacerbated this phenomenon as an unanticipated side effect of these policing strategies. Intelligence-led policing, sometimes referred to as “putting cops on dots,” emphasizes proactively deploying law enforcement officers to high crime locations at peak times for criminal offending. The aim of this strategy is deterring crime before it occurs. It is indisputable that intelligence-led policing strategies have been very successful at reducing actual crime.2 One negative side effect, however, is that since officers are deployed directly to locations where criminal offenders operate at times when these offenders are most likely to engage in crime, officers increase their exposure to the bad guys. Additionally, the fact that crime hot spots tend to be clustered nearby each other in specific neighborhoods makes it very easy for officers to stereotype everyone found in the area as a criminal.