The Primacy of Proper Bearing
This chapter addresses the hybrid semi-civilian and semi-military institutional setting within which police codes of behavior emerged. On the one hand, police leadership held on tightly to military notions of etiquette, proper appearance, comradeship, and loyalty. This attitude became particularly apparent in police training. Not legal knowledge or administrational skills, but an imposing military habitus and access to lethal force were to provide the foundation for quality policing. On the other hand, being charged with civilian tasks, the policemen of the Landespolizei created a professional culture that increasingly introduced administrational techniques as modes of validation and legitimization. To them, it mattered that the job was done in accordance with an ever growing complex of decrees as well as that it was documented in proper form. In short, policemen were men of guns and paper—they injured and killed people “by the book.” This chapter returns to the significance of honor, demonstrating how the concern for proper appearance and performance was the most decisive factor in the emergence of a Landespolizei organizational culture.
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