Essay on Proper Use of Police Discretion

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"Proper use of discretion is probably the most important measure of a police officer or department." -- Rich Kinsey (retired police detective) Police officers are faced each day with a vast array of situations with which they must deal. No two situations they encounter are ever the same, even when examines a large number of situations over an extended period of time. The officers are usually in the position of having to make decisions on how to handle a specific matter alone, or with little additional advice and without immediate supervision. This is the heart of police discretion. As we shall find, the exercise of discretion by police has benefits and problems associated with such exercise. The unfettered use of discretion can…show more content…
Although the Chief of police is not in the field, he/she will still have to use discretion in making very important decisions that will affect the community and the police department. The Chief of police may use discretion in a criminal investigation by deciding that some information should not be shared with the public. In addition, the Chief of police might even give a decision on which information to be shared to the public. The duty of the Chief of police is to protect the public and so while making decisions, he has to be careful of the information the public should know. One of the most important duties of the Chief of Police is to re-assure the public of their safety and so, he cannot comprised their safety by allowing certain information that could harm them reach them. Therefore, while trying to keep the public safe and trying to inform them of the investigations about criminal activities in their community without causing them panic, he/she will make sure that the details that reaches them are limited so that f there are more criminals among them, they are brought to book. In addition, the Chief of Police will give limited information so as to save the public from more criminal activities, and to save their lives. For example, maybe there have been numerous murder cases in a community, and evidence is found at

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