This article compares the confidence toward the police in Germany, and in the U.S., and explores the differences in the social determinants of attitudes toward the police between the two countries. The nation of Germany actually did not exist until 1870, when most of the German states in central Europe were unified in a federal nation under Emperor William I. The architect of German unification was Otto von Bismarck, who became chancellor of the new nation. Between 1949, the year that the Basic Law was adopted, and 1990, the year of the German reunification, the western federal republic generally enjoyed prosperity and democratic development. In reforming the police, efforts of demilitarization, decentralization and democratization were made, particularly in the occupied areas of Great Britain and U.S. In the end, the German tradition of militarization and centralization prevailed. There is, however, one significant difference in the area of research between the U.S. and German police systems. Because each state and the Federal Government of Germany has their own police schools, the police research is largely done by those academics within these institutes which have a vested interest in the police organization. The penetration from the outside of the police institutes into the police organizations is very limited. In contrast, the research in the U.S. is largely conducted by academics who are not part of the police training programs.
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