Police officers are faced each day with a variety of situation in which they must deal; therefore we should ask ourselves the following questions: Should police officers enforce the law equally in all situations? In what situations should police officers be allowed to not enforce the law? What types of situations would they be required to fully enforce the law? Why does police discretion exist? What are its strengths and weaknesses? And what is the relationship between police discretion and police ethics?
Gaines, L. K., & Kappeler, V. E. (2014). Policing in america (8th ed.). (S. Decker-Lucke, Ed.) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America: Anderson Publishing. Retrieved January 2017
The field of police work is constantly being forced to develop and improve its protocols, procedures, and practices in an effort to keep pace with the ever-changing society in which it operates and criminal behavior it seeks to eradicate. While the history of policing has been marked by substantial changes throughout time, the work of modern-day police officers and officials demonstrate some of the most substantial adaptations to its surrounding environment that the field has ever seen. In order to understand where the future of policing is heading, it is important to first understand these current trends that are affecting the current landscape of the profession. By
First, having discretion in the police department can have numerous positive attributes. This can lead to a positive outlook from the community. The officer has many chances to use discretion for the people, meaning understanding the situation and acting based on that situation not going straight to the rule book. Rather use the rule book for a stricter guideline. An example would be if someone were to violate the law, the police officer could rather warn them then give them an expensive ticket or arrest them leaving them with a positive idea of the police and giving them a chance to correct their ways without paying heavy court costs. In Matthew Taylor's article “ Police discretion can reduce crimes and save lives” while talking about the positives of discretion he
"Proper use of discretion is probably the most important measure of a police officer or department." -- Rich Kinsey (retired police detective)
Policing is a very difficult, complex and dynamic field of endeavor that is always evolves as hard lessons teach us what we need to know about what works and what don’t work. There are three different Era’s in America’s policing: The Political Era, The Reform Era, and The Community Problem Solving Era. A lot has changed in the way that policing works over the years in the United States.
The reason some officers have resisted implementing problem-solving strategies is because problem solving has a dual focus. According to the course text, the first focus, is that it requires incidents to be linked to problems. The second focus, is time devoted to “preventive” patrol is required to be spent proactively, which determines problems in the community and their causes (Miller, Hess, & Orthmann, 2014). Although problem-solving is ideal, unfortunately officers cannot ignore specific incidents. For example, when call come in, officer respond as quickly as possible. In addition, even if officers respond to incidents, seek symptoms of problem, or both, the public can help or hinder their efforts (Miller, Hess, & Orthmann, 2014).
Discretion is defined as the authority to make a decision between two or more choices (Pollock, 2010). More specifically, it is defined as “the capacity to identify and to document criminal and noncriminal events” (Boivin & Cordeau, 2011). Every police officer has a great deal of discretion concerning when to use their authority, power, persuasion, or force. Depending on how an officer sees their duty to society will determine an officer’s discretion. Discretion leads to selective enforcement practices and may result in discrimination against certain groups of people or select individuals (Young, 2011). Most police officer discretion is exercised in situations with individuals (Sherman, 1984).
In the Bronx, there are countless of unsolved crime at the police department precinct, just waiting to be solved. However, due to the shortage of policeman power in the precincts located in the Bronx, and with many detectives with a caseload of about 300 to 400 cases per year, it’s impossible for the detectives to keep-up. According to the deployment analysis obtained by The New York Times most of the detective have a caseload of twice as the recommended for precincts with such high violence rate with the department. “The Times's deployment analysis grew out of a series of articles about murder in the 40th Precinct, a two-square-mile section of the South Bronx, where three detectives last year carried more than 400 cases and many others had loads in the high 300's, markedly more than the 150 cases per year the department recommends for precincts with high rates of violent crime.”
Policing in the United States has changed dramatically since it was first brought to the thirteen colonies from England. However, some of the issues faced then are being faced in policing today. There are also new trends that are prevalent, and these trends will continue to have lasting effects on the future of policing. Even though new trends improve policing overall, they can also cause more serious issues. It is crucial to continue making changes topolicing because it allows law enforcement officers to keep up with the rest of society, including the knowledge of new crime trends. This paper will
Over the years, police have been portrayed in the media, television shows, and the local newspaper as crime fighting heroes. This portrayal would make one think a police officer is always out doing a dangerous job, which may require shooting, beating up, or arrested the bad guy. The truth is, most officers will not make a felony arrest in a given year, and there are also many officers who have never fired their weapon. There are various perspectives of the policing functions. I will examine these perspectives from the local, state, and federal organizational levels. I will identify and address possible future changes in laws and the overall
In the United States of America, law enforcement has the ability to make their own judgement, while encountering criminals. Although discretion is at all levels of the police department, law enforcement agencies can easily make unlawful decision. Researchers determined that police officers are prohibited from using offensive language or speaking discourteously, abusing their authority, and using unnecessary force (Carroll, Kovath, & Pereira, 2004). Law enforcement officers are expected to respect their community and ensure that all citizens are kept safe. Some police activity can occur in a private view without supervision from the public, which allow police officers to make a reasonable decision. Police often make quick reaction when it comes
Police agencies all over the world implement different policing strategies in accordance with the purpose. Community policing is one of the philosophy in which most of the countries effectively working with it. According to U. S. Department of Justice Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social, and fear of crime (n.d). This essay critically examines the conditions, which would impact both positively and negatively on the police procedures required to implement community policing strategy in the Maldives.
Police officers are charged with enforcing the law and there is a level of permissible expectation that discretion will be used when making an arrest. The use of discretion by police officers aid prosecutors in successfully prosecuting a trial. Police officers are the first ones on the scene of a crime and they are the ones who initiate the case of probable cause. Court systems are bursting at the seams with cases and the police officer’s ability to use discretion will help to alleviate some of the backlog.
There are multiple approaches to engaging a police force with the community in order to most effectively prevent and respond to crime, and considering the relative strengths and weakness of each of these strategic models will demonstrate how models can impact the operation of daily policing practices and activities. The model under discussion here is called community oriented policing (COP), and focuses on building relationships and rapport between officers and the community in order to more effectively prevent crime. It is augmented by a model called problem solving policing (PSP), and depends upon rank-and-file officers identifying community problem areas through direct observation and analysis. Each model excels at slightly different things, and in practice most police agencies deploy a mix of models. By examining the Miami-Dade Police Department's handbook for school resource officers, it will be possible to view a COP/PSP policy in action in order to better understand how these models practically affect policing.