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# Budget constraints have made police officials consider reassigning a

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JarvisR wrote:
Budget constraints have made police officials consider reassigning a considerable number of officers from traffic enforcement to work on higher-priority, serious crimes. Reducing traffic enforcement for this reason would be counterproductive, however, in light of the tendency of criminals to use cars when engaged in the commission of serious crimes. An officer stopping a car for a traffic violation can make a search that turns up evidence of serious crime.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument given?

A An officer who stops a car containing evidence of the commission of a serious crime risks a violent confrontation, even if the vehicle was stopped only for a traffic violation.
B When the public becomes aware that traffic enforcement has lessened, it typically becomes lax in obeying traffic rules.
C Those willing to break the law to commit serious crimes are often in committing such crimes unwilling to observe what they regard as the lesser constraints of traffic law.
D The offenders committing serious crimes who would be caught because of traffic violations are not the same group of individuals as those who would be caught if the arresting officers were reassigned from traffic enforcement.
E The great majority of persons who are stopped by officers for traffic violations are not guilty of any serious crimes.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument given?

A. A single incident can't be taken as an example
B. We have to focus, here we are dealing with criminals, not public!
C. Strengthens the argument given
D. It distracts by saying there are two types of criminals caught, followed by description of their crimes.
E. Again far away from the topic, mostly deals with public.
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Conclusion: Reducing Traffic enforcement is counter productive.
Premise: Criminals tend to use cars when committing serious crimes.

Assumption: Criminals using cars can be quickly detected.

Something which supports this assumption will strengthen the arguments.
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Here is the Official explanation.
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First , as for any CR problem lets break down the problem :

Conclusion : Shifting of Traffic officers to work on serious crimes would not prove fruitful.
Premise : Police force needs more officers to work on serious crimes and police officials from Traffic enforcement are being shifted for this cause. Why -> because traffic officials can catch Traffic violators and search for evidence of serious crimes in the car.

One should always pre-think some sort of answer before moving on to the answer choices.
In this case what can one pre-think ??
Pre-thinking - Evidence that shows that traffic police officers actually catch criminals who have committed serious crimes.

A An officer who stops a car containing evidence of the commission of a serious crime risks a violent confrontation, even if the vehicle was stopped only for a traffic violation. -> This if any weakens our conclusion as if traffic police officers risk violent confrontation then they actually would actually be discouraged to search vehicles.
B When the public becomes aware that traffic enforcement has lessened, it typically becomes lax in obeying traffic rules. -> This option choice does not affect our conclusion. It does not talk about serious crimes in any way.
C Those willing to break the law to commit serious crimes are often in committing such crimes unwilling to observe what they regard as the lesser constraints of traffic law. -> Correct -> Because this actually gives evidence that Traffic police officials would actually search these cars which have serious crime offenders.
D The offenders committing serious crimes who would be caught because of traffic violations are not the same group of individuals as those who would be caught if the arresting officers were reassigned from traffic enforcement. -> The question that we need to answer is that whether reassigning Traffic police officers to crime department would actually increase or decrease the number of criminals caught. This option choice does not help answer that in any way and hence is incorrect.
E The great majority of persons who are stopped by officers for traffic violations are not guilty of any serious crimes. -> This option choice again does not help answer the conclusion in any way as explained in option choice D.

Hope this helps !!!!
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mike - Could you please explain option C :unwilling to observe what they regard as the lesser constraints of traffic law:
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siddyj94 wrote:
mike - Could you please explain option C :unwilling to observe what they regard as the lesser constraints of traffic law:

Hi siddy,

I'll give it a try

I broke down the sentence (option C) into three parts-

1. Those willing to break the law to commit serious crimes = People committing serious crimes
2. are often in committing such crimes = when they are committing these serious crimes
3. unwilling to observe what they regard as the lesser constraints of traffic law = they do not observe the traffic laws (so they break traffic laws too) and think that breaking traffic laws is a lesser limiting factor than committing serious crimes.

Combining the meaning of the three parts- When people commit serious crimes, they also break traffic laws and they think that breaking traffic laws is a lesser constraint than committing serious crimes.

I hope this helps.

Aiena.
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Hi Expert,

Could you please explain why D is wrong. I think as criminals won't be caught because of reassignment, it is a strengthener
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torto wrote:
Hi Expert,

Could you please explain why D is wrong. I think as criminals won't be caught because of reassignment, it is a strengthener

torto, let's compare your paraphrasing (in bold above), to the answer choice as written:

Quote:
(D) The offenders committing serious crimes who would be caught because of traffic violations are not the same group of individuals as those who would be caught if the arresting officers were reassigned from traffic enforcement.

The answer choice identifies two groups of offenders: those who would be caught because of traffic violations, and those who would be caught if arresting officers were moved off of traffic enforcement into some other role.

We know from the passage that offenders have a "tendency... to use cars when engaged in the commission of serious crimes." What we don't know is how many offenders would be caught in a traffic stop, versus how many would be caught by those officers if they were reassigned elsewhere. So, we cannot conclude that this answer choice will strengthen the argument of the passage.

Your rewording of the answer choice only addresses one of the two groups: the criminals who will not be caught. Be careful when you paraphrase, because it is easy to leave out useful stuff.

I hope this helps!
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Dear Expert/ GMATNinja,

I do not understand why the answer is not A - isn't that the point? Police officer stopping a car containing evidence of the commission of a serious crime IS exactly what he wants. And so what if he faces a violent confrontation, what kind of police who wants to find and confront criminals is afraid of violent confrontation?

Isn't the possibility of stopping a car that contains evidence of the commission of a serious crime THE EXACT REASON why we should not reduce the number of traffic enforcement officers (so that they can stop as many cars that contain crime evidence as possible)?

Thank you!
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shabuzen102 wrote:
Dear Expert/ GMATNinja,

I do not understand why the answer is not A - isn't that the point? Police officer stopping a car containing evidence of the commission of a serious crime IS exactly what he wants. And so what if he faces a violent confrontation, what kind of police who wants to find and confront criminals is afraid of violent confrontation?

Isn't the possibility of stopping a car that contains evidence of the commission of a serious crime THE EXACT REASON why we should not reduce the number of traffic enforcement officers (so that they can stop as many cars that contain crime evidence as possible)?

Thank you!

To correctly answer this question, we have to strengthen support for the conclusion of the argument. So, let's identify the conclusion.

Conclusion: Reducing traffic enforcement for this reason would be counterproductive (to the goal of increasing the number of officers working on serious crimes).

We need information that strengthens the support for that conclusion.

Here's (A).

(A) An officer who stops a car containing evidence of the commission of a serious crime risks a violent confrontation, even if the vehicle was stopped only for a traffic violation.

All (A) describes what happens IF an officer stops a car containing evidence of a serious crime. (A) does not say that officers on traffic duty WILL or ARE LIKELY TO stop cars containing such evidence. So, (A) provides no reason to keep officers on traffic duty rather than reassign them to working directly on serious crime.
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JarvisR wrote:
Budget constraints have made police officials consider reassigning a considerable number of officers from traffic enforcement to work on higher-priority, serious crimes. Reducing traffic enforcement for this reason would be counterproductive, however, in light of the tendency of criminals to use cars when engaged in the commission of serious crimes. An officer stopping a car for a traffic violation can make a search that turns up evidence of serious crime.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument given?

(A) An officer who stops a car containing evidence of the commission of a serious crime risks a violent confrontation, even if the vehicle was stopped only for a traffic violation.

(B) When the public becomes aware that traffic enforcement has lessened, it typically becomes lax in obeying traffic rules.

(C) Those willing to break the law to commit serious crimes are often in committing such crimes unwilling to observe what they regard as the lesser constraints of traffic law.

(D) The offenders committing serious crimes who would be caught because of traffic violations are not the same group of individuals as those who would be caught if the arresting officers were reassigned from traffic enforcement.

(E) The great majority of persons who are stopped by officers for traffic violations are not guilty of any serious crimes.

Argument Construction

Situation Budget constraints have made police officials consider reassigning many officers from traffic enforcement to work on serious crimes. But criminals often drive when committing serious crimes, and police who stop cars for traffic violations can find evidence of those crimes.

Reasoning What additional information, when combined with the argument provided, would suggest that it would be counterproductive to reassign officers from traffic enforcement to work on serious crimes?

The argument implicitly reasons that because officers working on traffic enforcement can turn up evidence of serious crimes by searching cars that commit traffic violations, reassigning those officers would hinder police efforts to prevent serious crime, even if the officers were reassigned to work directly on serious crime. The argument could be strengthened by information suggesting that traffic enforcement may increase the probability that evidence relating to serious crimes will be discovered.

(C) Correct. This suggests that people committing serious crimes often commit traffic violations as well, increasing the likelihood that traffic enforcement officers will stop and search their cars and find evidence of those crimes.

Criminals, while committing crimes, use cars.
Traffic police can search when stopping a car for a traffic violation. They might find evidence of serious crime during search.

So, do not reassign traffic policemen to serious crime.

The argument depends on traffic policemen being able to find serious crime while carrying out their duty as traffic policemen. The argument will not make a lot of sense if those carrying out serious crime do not break traffic rules. Then they will not be stopped and searched and hence the argument falls apart.

What strengthens the argument? If something tells us that serious criminals often break traffic rules so they would be stopped for traffic offences. Then a search would be carried out and evidence found.

(C) Those willing to break the law to commit serious crimes are often in committing such crimes unwilling to observe what they regard as the lesser constraints of traffic law.
This tells us that criminals often break traffic rules while carrying out crime. Then it makes it more likely that traffic police will stop them.
So the argument makes sense that we shouldn't reassign traffic policemen to serious crime.

(B) When the public becomes aware that traffic enforcement has lessened, it typically becomes lax in obeying traffic rules.

We need a connect between traffic rule breaking and serious crime.

I got this wrong and chose option 'B'. I can see now why option 'C' is the right answer, but I am unable to understand the gap in my logic for choosing option 'B'.
As per 'B', there will be a higher number of traffic violations now and since we have fewer traffic policemen left, because of their movement to crime, we will not have adequate traffic policemen to handle this increase in traffic violations, leading to people committing serious crimes to abscond (probability becomes higher) as the traffic police would now be busy in handling increased number of violations.

These serious crime committers would have been caught if the traffic policemen numbers would not have been reduced.

Hope I was able to explain my reasoning clearly.

Thanks
Saurabh
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Sarjaria84 wrote:
JarvisR wrote:
Budget constraints have made police officials consider reassigning a considerable number of officers from traffic enforcement to work on higher-priority, serious crimes. Reducing traffic enforcement for this reason would be counterproductive, however, in light of the tendency of criminals to use cars when engaged in the commission of serious crimes. An officer stopping a car for a traffic violation can make a search that turns up evidence of serious crime.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument given?

(A) An officer who stops a car containing evidence of the commission of a serious crime risks a violent confrontation, even if the vehicle was stopped only for a traffic violation.

(B) When the public becomes aware that traffic enforcement has lessened, it typically becomes lax in obeying traffic rules.

(C) Those willing to break the law to commit serious crimes are often in committing such crimes unwilling to observe what they regard as the lesser constraints of traffic law.

(D) The offenders committing serious crimes who would be caught because of traffic violations are not the same group of individuals as those who would be caught if the arresting officers were reassigned from traffic enforcement.

(E) The great majority of persons who are stopped by officers for traffic violations are not guilty of any serious crimes.

Argument Construction

Situation Budget constraints have made police officials consider reassigning many officers from traffic enforcement to work on serious crimes. But criminals often drive when committing serious crimes, and police who stop cars for traffic violations can find evidence of those crimes.

Reasoning What additional information, when combined with the argument provided, would suggest that it would be counterproductive to reassign officers from traffic enforcement to work on serious crimes?

The argument implicitly reasons that because officers working on traffic enforcement can turn up evidence of serious crimes by searching cars that commit traffic violations, reassigning those officers would hinder police efforts to prevent serious crime, even if the officers were reassigned to work directly on serious crime. The argument could be strengthened by information suggesting that traffic enforcement may increase the probability that evidence relating to serious crimes will be discovered.

(C) Correct. This suggests that people committing serious crimes often commit traffic violations as well, increasing the likelihood that traffic enforcement officers will stop and search their cars and find evidence of those crimes.

Criminals, while committing crimes, use cars.
Traffic police can search when stopping a car for a traffic violation. They might find evidence of serious crime during search.

So, do not reassign traffic policemen to serious crime.

The argument depends on traffic policemen being able to find serious crime while carrying out their duty as traffic policemen. The argument will not make a lot of sense if those carrying out serious crime do not break traffic rules. Then they will not be stopped and searched and hence the argument falls apart.

What strengthens the argument? If something tells us that serious criminals often break traffic rules so they would be stopped for traffic offences. Then a search would be carried out and evidence found.

(C) Those willing to break the law to commit serious crimes are often in committing such crimes unwilling to observe what they regard as the lesser constraints of traffic law.
This tells us that criminals often break traffic rules while carrying out crime. Then it makes it more likely that traffic police will stop them.
So the argument makes sense that we shouldn't reassign traffic policemen to serious crime.

(B) When the public becomes aware that traffic enforcement has lessened, it typically becomes lax in obeying traffic rules.

We need a connect between traffic rule breaking and serious crime.

I got this wrong and chose option 'B'. I can see now why option 'C' is the right answer, but I am unable to understand the gap in my logic for choosing option 'B'.
As per 'B', there will be a higher number of traffic violations now and since we have fewer traffic policemen left, because of their movement to crime, we will not have adequate traffic policemen to handle this increase in traffic violations, leading to people committing serious crimes to abscond (probability becomes higher) as the traffic police would now be busy in handling increased number of violations.

These serious crime committers would have been caught if the traffic policemen numbers would not have been reduced.

Hope I was able to explain my reasoning clearly.

Thanks
Saurabh

(B) tells us that reassigning policemen to serious crime will lead to increase in traffic violations. It has no connection with increase in serious crime. The agenda right now is to reduce serious crime by reassigning instead of hiring due to budget constraints.
This option gives us no connection between traffic crime and serious crime. Hence we don't understand why moving traffic policemen to serious crime is counterproductive to the intent of reducing serious crime.

Option (C) explains that it is easy to identify serious criminals because they commit traffic crimes too. Hence moving would be counterproductive.
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Hi - is my understanding of (d) accurate ?

I think (D) is a weakener -- it is 'PRODUCTIVE' (not Counter-productive) to reassign traffic enforcement officers to work on serious crimes only.

Quote:
D) The offenders committing serious crimes who would be caught because of traffic violations are not the same group of individuals as those who would be caught if the arresting officers were reassigned from traffic enforcement.

Group 1 (in Yellow) - these criminals are being caught by Traffic police (from the pool of traffic police, that has recently been reduced in Number, because of Budget constraints).

Group 2 (In Blue) -- Traffic enforcement officers have been re-assigned to work on serious crimes only.

Now these Re-assigned officers (from traffic enforcement officers to Serious Crimes division) are catching CRIMINALS.

As per (d) -- Group 1 and Group 2 are DIFFERENT

What is the implication ?

The implication is -->

Traffic police officers [from this smaller pool of Traffic police officers] -- are catching DIFFERENT CRIMINALS -- than the ones -- reassigned officers are catching

Hence, it would fair to assume -- criminals in group 2 ARE GOING IN CARS (but not breaking any car speeding laws)
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I agree. These were my thoughts too.

The arguement is saying it is counterproductive because those same people you are reassigning them for can be caught in a traffic search. D weakens that.

jabhatta2 wrote:
Hi - is my understanding of (d) accurate ?

I think (D) is a weakener -- it is 'PRODUCTIVE' (not Counter-productive) to reassign traffic enforcement officers to work on serious crimes only.

Quote:
D) The offenders committing serious crimes who would be caught because of traffic violations are not the same group of individuals as those who would be caught if the arresting officers were reassigned from traffic enforcement.

Group 1 (in Yellow) - these criminals are being caught by Traffic police (from the pool of traffic police, that has recently been reduced in Number, because of Budget constraints).

Group 2 (In Blue) -- Traffic enforcement officers have been re-assigned to work on serious crimes only.

Now these Re-assigned officers (from traffic enforcement officers to Serious Crimes division) are catching CRIMINALS.

As per (d) -- Group 1 and Group 2 are DIFFERENT

What is the implication ?

The implication is -->

Traffic police officers [from this smaller pool of Traffic police officers] -- are catching DIFFERENT CRIMINALS -- than the ones -- reassigned officers are catching

Hence, it would fair to assume -- criminals in group 2 ARE GOING IN CARS (but not breaking any car speeding laws)

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Question wrote:
Budget constraints have made police officials consider reassigning a considerable number of officers from traffic enforcement to work on higher-priority, serious crimes. Reducing traffic enforcement for this reason would be counterproductive, however, in light of the tendency of criminals to use cars when engaged in the commission of serious crimes. An officer stopping a car for a traffic violation can make a search that turns up evidence of serious crime.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument given?

(A) An officer who stops a car containing evidence of the commission of a serious crime risks a violent confrontation, even if the vehicle was stopped only for a traffic violation.

(B) When the public becomes aware that traffic enforcement has lessened, it typically becomes lax in obeying traffic rules.

(C) Those willing to break the law to commit serious crimes are often in committing such crimes unwilling to observe what they regard as the lesser constraints of traffic law.

(D) The offenders committing serious crimes who would be caught because of traffic violations are not the same group of individuals as those who would be caught if the arresting officers were reassigned from traffic enforcement.

(E) The great majority of persons who are stopped by officers for traffic violations are not guilty of any serious crimes.

Understanding the argument :
1. Police officials are considering reassigning the traffic police officers to more serious crime investigations
2. Reducing the traffic police officers to move them to the investigation of more serious crime investigations will be counterproductive - i.e. if the police officers are moved from their traffic duties to the investigation of serious crime, it will result in less productive output
3. Criminals who commit serious crimes tend to use cars when they engage in such crimes
4. These traffic police officers can investigate the cars of the criminals who committed serious crimes and find some helpful evidence

To churn it down,
>> conclusion: Traffic police officers should not be reassigned to any other job because by staying in their current role, they can help catch criminals who commit serious crimes
>> reasoning: Traffic officers will be able to search the vehicles of such criminals who commit serious crimes

Now we need to strengthen the argument, therefore we need to think how a traffic police officer can help catching the criminals who commit serious crimes when he/she is in his/her traffic police job.

(A) An officer who stops a car containing evidence of the commission of a serious crime risks a violent confrontation, even if the vehicle was stopped only for a traffic violation. - Well, if anything, this provides a reason for why the traffic police officers should move from their current role. Discard!

(B) When the public becomes aware that traffic enforcement has lessened, it typically becomes lax in obeying traffic rules.
- This answer choice speaks about the general public. This answer choice suggests that if the police officers are moved away from their current duty as traffic police officers, there will be lesser scrutiny of traffic law violations and people will be more relaxed about breaking traffic laws. Yeah, that is quite a possibility, and it does tell why a police officer should not be moved, but it fails to address the main question - why a police officer should not move AND how could he help in catching criminals who commit serious crimes. Discard!

(C) Those willing to break the law to commit serious crimes are often in committing such crimes unwilling to observe what they regard as the lesser constraints of traffic law. - Hmmm! So, if criminals who commit serious crimes ignore the traffic crimes, they are at higher risk of getting pulled over by a traffic police officer. If the traffic police officer pulls over such a criminal, he will search the car. Searching the car might produce some evidence that could help the police further the investigation of the serious crime. Sounds reasonable! Note: It is not a 100% guarantee that any such scenario will happen. In strengthening questions, we are looking for anything that would contribute anywhere from 1% to 100% to support the conclusion of the author. Keep it!

(D) The offenders committing serious crimes who would be caught because of traffic violations are not the same group of individuals as those who would be caught if the arresting officers were reassigned from traffic enforcement. - The general public is divided into two categories: 1. those who break traffic rules, and 2. those who don't break the traffic rules. Those who break the traffic rules are pulled over by the traffic police officers. According to this answer choice, the set of general public who break traffic rules is different from the set of general public who commit serious crimes. Therefore, traffic police will not pull over the serious criminals. Unfortunately, in such a scenario, the police will definitely not be able to search the cars of the criminals who commit serious crimes. Discard!

(E) The great majority of persons who are stopped by officers for traffic violations are not guilty of any serious crimes. - This just states a fact! This does not provide any support to the conclusion.

Hence, the correct answer is (C)
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@GMATNinja, @eGMAT, @ManhattanPrep,

I marked D based on the logic that if traffic police can arrest/find evidence of serious crimes from a different set of offenders, then it strengthens the argument because then more offenders will be arrested and hence the worry of serious crimes will be taken care of.

Please explain why my logic is incorrect and option C is the correct answer.
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sk05 wrote:
I marked D based on the logic that if traffic police can arrest/find evidence of serious crimes from a different set of offenders, then it strengthens the argument because then more offenders will be arrested and hence the worry of serious crimes will be taken care of.

Please explain why my logic is incorrect and option C is the correct answer.

The first time I saw this question, I was wondering basically the same thing you are, but now I see clearly why (D) doesn't work and (C) does. So, here's what's going on.

We need a choice that provides additional support for the following conclusion:

Reducing traffic enforcement for this reason (to reassign officers from traffic enforcement to work on serious crimes) would be counterproductive, however, in light of the tendency of criminals to use cars when engaged in the commission of serious crimes.

So, we need to strengthen the support for the conclusion that "reducing traffic enforcement ... would be counterproductive," in other words, that it would reduce the effect of police work on serious crime.

Now, let's consider choice (D).

(D) The offenders committing serious crimes who would be caught because of traffic violations are not the same group of individuals as those who would be caught if the arresting officers were reassigned from traffic enforcement.

Notice that choice (D) is saying one thing only, that the offenders caught would be different. Different is not more or fewer. It's just different.

So, choice (D) doesn't give us any reason to believe that more or fewer offenders would be caught if officers were or were not reassigned from traffic enforcement. (D) tells us only that different offenders would be caught.

Also, notice that (D) is not saying that additional offenders would be caught because of traffic enforcement. After all, if officers who would be reassigned to work on serious crimes are working in traffic enforcement, then those officers are not focusing on serious crimes. So, there would be more officers working in traffic enforcement and fewer officers focusing on serious crimes. Thus, once again, (D) does not give us any reason to believe that more offenders would be caught if officers were not reassigned because we'd have more officers catching offenders one way but fewer catching them in another.

Now, let's consider (C).

(C) Those willing to break the law to commit serious crimes are often in committing such crimes unwilling to observe what they regard as the lesser constraints of traffic law.

(C) says basically that people who commit serious crimes often break traffic laws in the process committing those crimes.

That information indicates that reassigning officers from traffic enforcement to work on serious crimes could be counterproductive because, in doing so, you're taking officers away from a situation in which they are in a great position to catch those who are committing serious crimes because those people often break traffic laws.

So, (C) provides additional support for the conclusion.