Print version ISSN 1517-4522
OLIVEIRA, Antonio. Is it possible to control police officers?. Sociologias [online]. 2010, n.23, pp. 142-175. ISSN 1517-4522. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-45222010000100006.
In a democracy, police activity requires control of the police officers, to make sure that in their task of ensuring public order they will not violate the citizens' rights. The police organization leans toward the formal mechanisms of control, such as rules and procedures, but these forms of conduct regulation may be insufficient, due to the large margin of freedom the officers have on the streets. Examining the discourse of military police officers from the state of Bahia, this article discusses the police practice in a democratic society, and the officers' perception of the mechanisms used to control their colleagues. In the conclusion, the paper emphasizes the obstacles that can be found in the task of controlling police officers, obstacles that are difficult to overcome because they have their origin in the police activity.
Keywords : Police; Policing; Democracy; Citizenship; Rule of law.