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About the Book

Policing America: An Introduction

Front Cover - Policing America: An Introduction

Willard M. Oliver
Sam Houston State University

Hardcover: 2016. Approx. 558 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-4931-5.
Loose Leaf: 2016. Approx. 558 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-8618-1.

About the Book

Policing America is an introductory textbook to policing in the United States.   In a balanced approach, the text presents the theoretical foundations of American policing, with a focus on contemporary police practices and research.  Oliver covers all of the key topics in policing, but does not overburden the student with either extraneous material only loosely related to policing or the overly detailed presentation of research more suited to a graduate program.  In an engaging and readable style, the author offers an overview of past practices and research in policing, but emphasizes more contemporary policing practices and research. The focus of the book is on a contextual understanding of concepts in American policing.  It is supported by the academic research, balanced with the voice of the American police officer.  


  • Balanced approach that emphasizes contemporary policing.
  • Written by an academic with police experience, resulting in an approach that combines the theoretical and the practical aspects of police work.
  • Uses hypotheticals to bring the concepts to life for students.
  • Student-friendly and accessible presentation incorporates graphic elements such as boxed features and charts to emphasize and summarize key points.
  • Encourages students to think critically about the role of policing in today’s society.
  • Oliver is an experienced author of textbooks in the criminal justice and policing fields, having authored or co-authored over a dozen books.