(di Anna Orzechowska[i])
Safety is a term that applies to all people around the world. In spite of this fact, every day none of us thinks of it and yet it is one of the most cherished human values. In theory, we are familiar with this term because very often we face a sense of security threat. We read newspapers or watch the news on tv about the dangers which have taken place and are not really literary fiction. Such incidents are moving and terrifying at the same time. Isolated cases are tragic and not to mention mass dangers, for example terrorist attacks that are difficult to understand and accept. Probably for this reason, sociologists and scientists of other disciplines are involved in the phenomenon, which is the safety, interpreting their conclusions on the basis of studies and pouring knowledge on the cards. And so noting laconically – security means no worries, troubles and the unpleasant feeling of fear [ii]. Security problem has prepossessed mankind since the beginning of its existence. A man has always faced physical as well as spiritual threats. At the beginning, humanity had only one task – to survive at all. The struggle for existence and survival to ensure one’s own and relatives’ security was a natural need. With the development of civilization and the changing world, a man’s need for human security was no longer sufficient, he wanted something more: stability, predictability, development, prosperity and in the end just human happiness. You can clearly tell that safety covers needs such as survival, existence, identity, independence, ownership and the possibility of further development[iii]. Studying the literature of the subject, I noticed that the concept of security is ambiguous and lacks a single definition. According to a dictionary of terms from the scope of national security, security shall be deemed “status, which gives a sense of confidence and guarantee of its preservation and the chance to improve. This is one of the fundamental human needs”[iv]. Therefore, I incontestably agree with J. Stanczyk’s statement: “safety is the overriding human and social groups’ need, and also their most important aim”[v].
In today’s world security is regarded as one of the most important human needs – it means the status of calmness, confidence, that gives no sense of danger. For the proper functioning of the human being, it is necessary to ensure him of his needs. Exploring the topic, I got familiar with the publication of A. Maslow who made a distinction of needs – lower level and upper level needs[vi].
Lower level needs arise from the lack of something (physiological or safety), higher level needs are also known as the needs of development. Maslow was of the opinion that in order to meet the higher needs – for example recognition, self-realization, affiliation, first lower needs must be satisfied.
In practice this means that satisfying one type of needs conditions the implementation of another ones. On the first and at the same time at the lowest level, there are physiological needs (among others sleep, food, sexual needs, avoiding cold, hot, etc.). When a unit has no physiological needs met, they dominate over the other needs and displace them by the wayside, thus subordinating the whole human behavior.
Security issues are very important from a society’s point of view because they are responsible for its governance in a society. Transformations and changes in public awareness have caused at the same time changes in the way we approach security-related activities. From the political point of view, security is not only but also – a declarative act [vii]. No one and nothing can anyone give a hundred percent of security guarantee. The whole thing is based on the agreements between the interested parties. In his book, Jan Maciejewski wrote “Public safety is one of the essential conditions for its development”[viii]. The author notes that this is an area in which security systems of a given state are of great importance. Those security systems are collaborated by highly specialised services which provide the realization of internal as well as external security.related tasks of a country. In the light of the above, it seems necessary to select many different types of security (systems). Specialized formations of control groups include: the Polish Army, Police, Fire Department, Municipal Police, Border Guards, the Polish Riflemen’s Association, Paratroopers’ Association, etc., that make up military and paramilitary structures. Civil services include: Volunteer Fire Service, Medical and Rescue Services, Air Ambulance Services, etc. Moreover, The Polish armed forces include: Land Forces, Air Forces, the Navy and Special Forces. All the above mentioned sytems will function in accordance with each other on condition there is the atmosphere of trust (or mistrust); it has an enormous importance for the functioning of society[ix]. At this point of my considerations, I will refer to the group which is the municipal police. The modern history of the city guards in Poland started in the 1980s of our century. The municipal police was empowered to impose fines in the form of tickets and the right to direct applications for punishing persons committing offences against the sanitary – policing provisions.
In principle, the municipal police was to perform administrative and ordinal tasks designed to improve the aesthetics and tidiness of a city. The emergence of communal (municipal) guard initially caused some curiosity, but after several interventions, the guards were considered as the municipal police. Similar uniforms and behaviour made the society think it was a police authority. This example revealed that not all of the socio-economic transformations occured evenly, this also applies to the control groups. The public relished the huge changes over the years and did not adopt all of them equally. You can probably infer that social communication failed in this issue. The aim of communication is shaping, modifying or changing the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in accordance with the interests and values of senders and recipients affecting each other. One type of social communication is political communication – the exchange of information between political power, for example dissemination and formulation of political programmes, and society (e.g. articulation of one’s needs) or as a mechanism for managing the public. Democratic system is characterized by the openness of information which is guaranteed by constitutional and legal regulations and the right to information[x]. It can be noticed that the definition itself indicates how important is communication between society and the state. Unfortunately, in this situation communication has failed. Unfortunately, most likely the uninformed society felt disappointed and as a result cheated and confused. Looking at the cards of history it was not until the 20th century when the image of control groups was staggered, which was probably caused by revolutionary political-economic and sociocultural transitions. Citizens were busy educating themselves, setting up companies, working in corporations and enjoying the pleasures of the time off and they assumed that they did not have to have an interest in the formation of the municipal police. On the other hand, the obligation of a state is to inform citizens about the ongoing changes in the structures of control groups. However, this obligation has not been fully fulfilled. The lack of information is a type of disinformation, which introduces chaos and accumulation of conflicts. In this case, the main issue became the lack of confidence. According to Jan Maciejewski, confidence both to a man and an institution fulfills a vital role which is not visible, but confidence is the reflection of well-performed duties by dispositional groups[xi]. It should be noted that society is not always oriented what tasks are owned by particular uniformed services, because of that, citizens do not have a clear picture of the assessment of these activities.
Similarly formed citizens’ opinions are not always right, which causes a loss of confidence in the municipal police. All the above factors are extremely important in the subject of the municipal police image which was affected as a result of economic and political transformations and hence deep socio-cultural changes.
The issues cosidered in this paper are associated with an attempt to explore the theme, which is an image of the municipal police. Great reluctance of the public in recent times towards this institution is an enormously interesting topic for me. Some of the answers to the questions I find interesting were found in the literature of the subject but what will probably fascinate me the most will be my research on ”living body” which is the municipal police and our society.
I very much hope that I will find the answers to the questions that have niggled me for a long time:
why have people lost confidence in the municipal police, what factors have affected the declined image of the urban guard, what caused the loss of positive image, how big influence had socio-cultural changes in relation to the discussed dispositional group. As Augustine of Hippo said: “go astray is human, but voluntary duration in error is a devilish thing” and in such a state of affairs I can not and do not want to afford as a future scientist.
Maciejewski J., Bezpieczeństwo narodowe a oficerowie Wojska Polskiego, Socjologia XXXI, pod red. Maciejewskiego J., Wydanie Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wrocław 2001, s. 19.
Maciejewski J., Grupy dyspozycyjne społeczeństwa polskiego, Socjologia XXXVIII, pod red Maciejewskiego J., Wydanie Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wrocław 2006 r., s. 65.
3.Słownik terminów z zakresu bezpieczeństwa narodowego, Wydawnictwo AON, Warszawa 2002 r., s. 13.
Stańczyk J.,Współczesne pojmowanie bezpieczeństwa, Instytut Studiów Politycznych PAN, Warszawa 1996 r., s. 18.
Maslow A.H.,Motywacja i osobowość, Wydawnictwo PAX, Warszawa 1990 r., s. 72–92.
Maciejewski J., Socjologiczne aspekty bezpieczeństwa narodowego, Socjologia XXXI pod red. Maciejewskiego J., Wydanie Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wrocław 2001 r., s. 14.
Maciejewski J., Grupy dyspozycyjne Analiza socjologiczna, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wrocław 2014 r., s. 191.
Sztompka P., Socjologia analiza społeczeństwa, Wydawnictwo Społeczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak, Kraków 2012 r., s. 235.
Smolski R., Smolski M.,Stadtmüller E.H., Słownik Encyklopedyczny Edukacji Polskiej, Wydawnictwo Europa, Wrocław 1999 r., s. 87.
Maciejewski J., Liberacki M., Rekrutacja do grup dyspozycyjnych – socjologiczna analiza problemu, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wrocław 2001 r., s. 401.
[i] Anna Orzechowska, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wrocław in Poland
[ii] Maciejewski J., Bezpieczeństwo narodowe a oficerowie Wojska Polskiego, Socjologia XXXI, pod red. Maciejewskiego J., Wydanie Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wrocław 2001, s. 19.
[iii] Maciejewski J., Grupy dyspozycyjne społeczeństwa polskiego, Socjologia XXXVIII, pod red Maciejewskiego J., Wydanie Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wrocław 2006 r., s. 65.
[iv] Słownik terminów z zakresu bezpieczeństwa narodowego, Wydawnictwo AON, Warszawa 2002 r., s. 13.
[v] Stańczyk J., Współczesne pojmowanie bezpieczeństwa, Instytut Studiów Politycznych PAN, Warszawa 1996 r., s. 18.
[vi] Maslow A.H., Motywacja i osobowość, Wydawnictwo PAX, Warszawa 1990 r., s. 72–92.
[vii] Maciejewski J., Socjologiczne aspekty bezpieczeństwa narodowego, Socjologia XXXI pod red. Maciejewskiego J., Wydanie Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wrocław 2001 r., s. 14.
[viii] . Maciejewski J., Grupy dyspozycyjne Analiza socjologiczna, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wrocław 2014 r., s. 191.
[ix] Sztompka P., Socjologia analiza społeczeństwa, Wydawnictwo Społeczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak, Kraków 2012 r., s. 235.
[x] Smolski R., Smolski M.,Stadtmüller E.H., Słownik Encyklopedyczny Edukacji Polskiej, Wydawnictwo Europa, Wrocław 1999 r., s. 87.
[xi] Maciejewski J., Liberacki M., Rekrutacja do grup dyspozycyjnych – socjologiczna analiza problemu, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Wrocław 2001 r., s. 401.