Essay on Police Officer Discretion

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Discretion of a police officer is the subject I would like to tackle. In this paper I will discuss the issues I have with the discretion, the problems with these discretions I have, and how some officers may use discretion to their advantage. By the conclusion of the paper the reader will be educated on the subject of discretion and the issues facing it. Discretion is defined by Pollock (2010) as, “having the authority to choose between two or more courses of behavior. Law enforcement professionals have a great deal of discretion regarding when to enforce the law, how to enforce it, how to handle disputes, when to use force, and so on. Every day is filled with decision-some minor, some major.” (p.198) When I look at this definition …show more content…

Who is to stop these officers from taking these bribes, it is at their discretion anyway. I am sure there are solutions or programs that are in effect to help the department control these bribes, things such as undercover officers out getting pulled over on purpose in order to be put in the situation to test the officers work ethic. Another issue with discretion is the fact that the police have the power to choose when, where, and who they want to use the discretion against. If an officer pulls over a man that is traveling 30 miles per hour over the speed limit, when the officer gets to the window and ask for the drivers ID, the driver then shows his badge. What is an officer to do? Should he cite the officer with a ticket? More the likely the officer will till the driver that he is putting him in a bad position allowing him to leave with a warning. I know that it is in the police's informal code to stick with other officers but where should the line be drawn. If that same driver had been speeding like that through a neighborhood and then hit the child this information could surface and make the whole department look bad. When these types of accidents happen the community will fight against the police department claiming that the

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