Discretionary Actions of Law Enforcement

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Discretionary Actions of Law Enforcement
Discretionary actions of law enforcement in some cases have proven to be an effective tool by all levels of law enforcement for many years, but have also been an ethical problem as well. In the early years of organized law enforcement agencies such as the New York Municipal Police, which began conducting law enforcement activities in the mid-1800s, it was possible for police officers to use their own judgment to enforce the laws they saw fit to enforce. In some instances police officers could be paid off by gangs and gang leaders to render enforcement of the laws which would benefit the gangs. Additionally the officer would just look the other way as laws were being broken. This could have happened by the people perpetrating the crimes paying off the officers or the officers simply refused to get involved due to fear of the criminals.
As the country began to develop and people began to move west of the major cities in the east, law enforcement moved with it. During the old west time period, cities and counties began to see the need for their own law enforcement officers in the form of city, town, or county Sheriffs. Many times we would fine the individuals placed in these positions often times were men with criminal backgrounds. Again just like the New York Municipal Police example these sheriffs would dictate the laws they saw fit to enforce. This would sometimes be the case at the federal levels also. Some U.S. Marshals often
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