HKS Authors

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The police profession has much to gain by recognizing its kinship with a broad range of regulatory professions. Law-enforcement agencies, security and intelligence organizations, and social regulatory agencies all exist primarily to protect society from a variety of harms. Such harms include crime, pollution, occupational hazards, transportation hazards, corruption, discrimination, various forms of exploitation, food contamination, terrorism, and risks from unsafe commercial products. The core task for such organizations is to identify harms, risks, dangers, or threats of one kind or another, and then either eliminate them, reduce their frequency, mitigate their effects, prevent them, or suppress them, and, by so doing, provide citizens higher levels of safety and security. Agencies with risk-control tasks at the core of their mission are a special breed, and can learn a great deal from one another. They are fundamentally different from the other half of government, which provides citizens with services such as education, health care, welfare, or public transportation systems.


Sparrow, Malcolm K. "Crime Reduction through a Regulatory Approach: Joining the Regulatory Fold." Criminology & Public Policy 11.2 (May 2012): 345-359.