Policing’s visible labors

Keynote Address

Professor Kevin Haggerty, Professor of Sociology and Criminology, University of Alberta Canada


Policing’s visible labors


The police have historically been a ‘low visibility’ occupation, with the work of individual officers occurring beyond the immediate scrutiny of supervisors and out of view of most citizens. In recent years the police’s visible profile  has increased significantly. This presentation approaches this development as one instance in a  wider  politics  of visibility,  accentuating:  1. how  police  officers  are  increasingly  visible  to the  police organization itself, and 2. How new point-­‐of-­‐view technologies are altering dynamics in policing. The latter development marks both an opportunity and a challenge for the police who seek to capitalize on some of the  crime-­‐fighting potentials of a  camera-­‐carrying  citizenry while  also managing  the risks  this  poses  to police legitimacy.


Kevin  D.  Haggerty  is  editor  of  the  Canadian  Journal  of  Sociology  and  book  review  editor  of  the international journal Surveillance & Society. He is Professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Alberta and a  member of the  executive team for the New Transparency  Major Collaborative  Research Initiative. His recent work has been in the area of surveillance, governance, policing and risk.

 In addition to numerous peer reviewed papers he has authored, co-­‐authored or co-­‐edited Policing the Risk

Society (1997 Oxford University  Press)  Making Crime  Count  (2001 University  of Toronto Press)  and The New  Politics  of Surveillance  and Visibility  (2004 University  of Toronto  Press) Surveillance  &  Democracy (2008  Routledge)  Security Games:  Surveillance  and Security  at  Mega-­‐Events  (2010  Routledge)  and  the forthcoming the Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies (with Kirstie Ball and David Lyon).