Law Enforcement Officer Violation Essay

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When a law enforcement officer begins his or her job, they are sworn to uphold the laws of The United States and the State of which they serve. For most people, that seems like a basic task. However, once the officer begins the job, they understand that it is a lot more complicated than just reading a book and determining if the elements of a crime occurred, then taking the appropriate enforcement action. An experienced law enforcement officer knows when it is appropriate to enforce laws based on the letter of the law or the spirit of the law.

Enforcing laws based on the spirit of the law and the letter of the law both contain the same essential elements. A person violates a written rule or law. Many of these statutes are written with specific
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This officer will often consider the circumstances of the cause of the infraction, and base the enforcement action on not just the elements of the violation, but also the reason the violation occurred. Many times, an officer acting under the spirit of the law will allow a minor violation to continue with little to no enforcement action. An officer acting under the spirit of the law may only flash their lights at a driver who is slightly above the posted speed limit, and when that speed does constitute more than the quick flash, the officer may initiate a stop and issue a warning. While this approach can be effective against a negative view of the officer and his/her agency within the community, if used too often, the community may build a belief that the negative behavior is acceptable, as such, the behavior will continue.
A well-rounded officer can find an appropriate balance between enforcing laws based on the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Without this balance, the officer will neither be an effective officer nor will his agency be able to provide the citizens of their community with the appropriate level of service that they
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