This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Proper Use Of Police Discretion Essay

2179 words - 9 pages

"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 ...view middle of the document...

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 one of the crime scene, it is the work of the Chief of Police to use his better judgment and not to release the latest findings to the media and the public at large.

The 2002 Beltway Sniper Attacks in Washington DC is one of the cases that the Chief of Police had to use discretion during the investigations (Reaves, 2002). He made sure that certain information did not reach the public for their safety. In the sniper attacks, around ten people were killed and three other injured. The Chief of Police of the Montgomery Police Department, Charles A. Moose led the investigations of the attacks. He had to make a strong decision of keeping the information they got at the crime scene from the media and the public so as to protect his investigation and get the rest of the perpetrators. As the Police Chief, he has the duty to protect the public and so he exercised his duties which worked to his advantage in his investigations.

The Montgomery Police Department Chief of Police controlling protocol can be seen when he decides to keep the public at ease and calm because it is his duty to protect them. He had recovered a note at one of the crime scenes which was evidence and had two choices to make, either to give it to the media and let the attackers know that they can be found and choice two, to evacuate the people from the are and search and target for the attackers; but instead, he decided not to give the information to the media and keep the attackers in the dark so as to get them unawares. Initially, information had been leaked and resulted to more deaths and so the chief of police justified his discretionary actions with...

Other Essays Like Proper Use Of Police Discretion

Uni 17 P1 Essay

663 words - 3 pages decide to not grant the police a warrant then they can arrest the suspect on suspicion or if its a drug crime raid the house of the suspect. If the warrant is then granted the police officers can then make an arrest and are now allowed to use reasonable force to gain entry into the property where they think the suspect must be. The reasons why warrants are issued are failure to come to court, breach of bail conditions and the failure to pay any

Social Media Essay

816 words - 4 pages that the media’s main focus is to generate profits. With that mindset of always wanting to make money, the media will sometimes make decisions to reveal things to the general public that are not entirely true. As an effect, that could cause the public to lose respect for law enforcement. An example of this can be seen from the events that took place in Ferguson, Missouri where teen Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer and eventually

Policing and Society

5082 words - 21 pages might think. The use of items that are typically viewed as military equipment (Armored vehicles, plastic bullets, CS gas, harassment and sanctioning of the shoot-to-kill mentality (Jefferson, 1990)) are not accepted by citizens because it invokes fear and dominance that the police shouldn’t have. The military aspect can create a different line of thinking. Being more aggressive towards rules and punishment without having officers be involved in


1122 words - 5 pages harm’s way. The police can be an educator, assisting schools or teaching topics on how to prevent drug use. Some studies showed that 80% of call did not involve crimes. Because police agencies usually on call year round 24 hours a day people call the police when they are upset about something, police may include roadside service for some one’s car. Finding a lost dog or cat or checking locks on vacation homes. Federal police has full authority

Policing Developement and Operation Trends

1357 words - 6 pages them. In the 1960s there was a need for attention of improving police performances, which inspired their leadership, the need of employees, and the approach of human relations. Emphasis, on the other hand, has been another improvement of police tactics and strategies from the past needing attention now. They need a more institutional approach focusing on structure discretion. There are programs that exist that did not exist in the past; racial

Organizational Effectivness

1215 words - 5 pages proper preparation. The bureaucratic approach to organization within criminal justice is not only what is most effectively used but is necessary, because it would be impossible to put all of the decision making in the hands of the citizens and officers that do not have the experience or expertise on managing criminal justice personnel. Because an organization or in this case a department cannot use just one method to provide effectiveness to the

Breach of Peace

3117 words - 13 pages of modern policing. Police duties, by their very nature, are discretionary in the sense that they involve an exercise of interpretive judgment. On one end, the principle of legality takes the normative approach of eliminating discretion completely and on the other, unfettered discretionary powers absent of conditions or guidelines are inherently nebulous (and most dangerous) in nature. The words ‘suspects on reasonable grounds’ of s 99(2) begs

Public Administration: Administrative Discretion

673 words - 3 pages . Commanders within the chain of command can use their discretion to meet the objectives of the higher command but must do it in accordance with current military regulations and the laws of the United States. Public administrators are in a position that they need to have the public trust. They also need to be able to operate objectively ensuring that all citizens are treated equally and fairly under the law. Congress in this case provides the

Organizational Design: Help or Hendrance

1877 words - 8 pages may become overzealous when they see citizens' problems ignored by other agencies. (George L. Kelling, 1988) Historically police departments have been held to standard police procedures that were based on traditions where police officers work under central control, in other words centralized with limited discretion in the decision making process. But, with the implementation of community policing program it has relieved much of the

Racial Profiling

2803 words - 12 pages case is termed a pretextual stop, which is the use of the observance of a minor traffic violation in order to investigate some other unrelated offense. Pretextual stops gives police officers wide discretion on whom they may pull over. Traffic violations occur so frequently and place any driver at the risk of being pulled over. This case decision is controversial because it makes it more difficult to determine whether a stop has been conducted based

Courtroom Work Group

1094 words - 5 pages dropped by entering therapy and counseling to avoid the case being tried in court. Discretion The majority of cases in the criminal justice system are investigated, tried or dismissed on the basis of personal choices made by officials who use discretion to decide on individual cases. Police officers decide whether to investigate cases or arrest individuals based on personal choice, while judges and lawyers interpret information to decide on bail

Related Papers

Ethical Research Paper

669 words - 3 pages Laws regulating the use of force differ, but usually officers may not use deadly force unless they or other persons are threatened with seriously bodily harm or death. They may use as much non-deadly force as is reasonably necessary to make an arrest, control a crowd, or engage in any other legitimate police functions. Generally, a police officer cannot use deadly force to apprehend a misdemeanant (someone who commits a misdemeanor, a less

Effects Of Police Officer Training Essay

2420 words - 10 pages . Providing training is not enough because it must be relevant to the topics that the officer deals with in the course of their job. This training must have training in use of force and law updates. Police departments should be required to keep clear documentation of the training each officer receives in the officer’s file. Finally, agencies can develop a rotation schedule so all officers can receive proper training even during budget cuts. Well

Why Is Healthy Discretion A Critical Tool When Working In The Criminal Justice System?

363 words - 2 pages There are numerous reasons why healthydiscretion is a critical tool in the criminal justice system. Here are a few of the reasons I think healthy discretion needs to be used in all decisions made in the criminal justice field whether it's officers, lawyers, courts or corrections facilities.The most visible and possibly most important is police discretion or an officers ability to decide to arrest or not arrest someone purely on the basis of his

History Of Police Essay

951 words - 4 pages confidence those citizens should feel knowing police presence is vital. 6.) The sixth principle focuses on the temper police officers need to sustain in events that become hostile. Police officers are trained to using their common discretion in apprehending suspects without excessive force. 7.) The seventh principle suggests a proper appearance demands respect. Police officers always need to be in a neat order, hair groomed and poses a