Introduction. Police And Other Agencies Within Law Enforcement

1469 WordsApr 16, 20176 Pages
INTRODUCTION Police and other agencies within law enforcement receive multiple calls for service daily. They enter a world of the unknown while being required to serve and protect the general public fairly, without bias toward race, religion, gender, or political affiliation. They are confronted with serious crimes that they must deal with at any given moment, on any given day. Law enforcement officers may receive a call-for-service to handle a domestic dispute where weapons are involved, respond to call where a pet was tossed in traffic from an overpass, and become involved in a [shots fired – officer down] police run, all during an eight-hour day. Police and other law enforcement agencies must always be prepared for the unknown…show more content…
Since there was little information about the day-to-day administration of justice, topics that were requested in the survey included reasons for neglecting to report crimes, the discretion given to police not to make an arrest, and the discretion given to prosecutors to decide if they would prosecute or not (Walker, 1992). According to research by Beckett (2016), police discretion became an inevitability by the 1960s, “as a result of the design and implementation of an observational study by the American Bar Foundation (ABF) that focused much more on law in action than on the law on the books” (p. 78). The results showed that discretion was not an individual choice to deviate from the norm; but a practice among several criminal justice officials, including the police, to exercise the use of discretion at several levels of criminal justice (Beckett, 2016). The term “Discretion” in its purest definition can simply imply to have a choice in judgement. The use of discretion in policing allows a considerable amount of freedom to be used within departmental guidelines, referred to as controlled discretion (Gottfredson & Gottfredson, 1988). Police essentially have more discretionary power, regarding the liberty of offenders, than
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