He draws his weapon and orders the suspect to freeze. Therefore, it might be concluded that discretion is important as it allows for aligning legislation with its practical enforcement. The use of police discretion helps to foster the best use of police resources, permit the police to make quick and appropriate determinations under the circumstances and effectively use law enforcement and judicial resources. Imagine that Officer Bob is on patrol when he notices that an automobile is driving in the rain without its lights on, which is against the law in the state. Excessive discretion runs counter to criminal justice goals. City council and police administrators should give it back to the cops on the street. POLICE DISCRETION - EXAMPLES / SCENARIOSMy personal approach in addressing police corruption is to focus on good decision making. Taking discretion away has proven to be unsustainable. Many times, a police officer is alone when performing his work, so situations arise where discretion must come into play. Technologies LLC, a company registered in Wyoming, USA. How Police Discretion Is Defined Some have referred to discretion as "the hole in the doughnut" and others as "where the law runs out". "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." Another controlling method is the implementation of different performance monitoring techniques that allow supervisors and managers to track the cases of discretion misuse and eliminate improper employee behavior at the early stages. However, police are not always supposed to … A couple examples of police discretion would be an officer witnesses a car driving down a street doing approximately 30 miles over the speed limit. This view on the problem is convincing as it provides some insights into the practical application of discretion in a real-life context. The database is updated daily, so anyone can easily find a relevant essay example. However, regarding body-worn cameras, we believe there is a hazard in giving police officers broad discretionary powers. "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." This essay on Police’ Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality was written and submitted by your fellow student. In how officers apply laws to everyday situations that are outside of the "Reason" or "intent" of the law. What’s your deadline? It, likewise, reveals the ambiguity of the discretion phenomenon: discretion is essential as it ensures a regular functioning of the justice system; in the meantime, it should be regulated by moral principles and values to imply positive outcomes. Police discretion is the power or authority that is given to a police officer to act officially in a manner that appears to be just and proper under the presented circumstances. IvyPanda. This disadvantage occurs when an unscrupulous officer decides to use this principle as a way to promote their self-interests. Thus, they refer to the example of Seattle police officers’ applying excessive physical force to impaired people. An example of when police discretion was not used in a controlled and regulated manner was when Mr. Samuel Dubose was shot and killed on July 19, 2015, over his front license plate missing on the vehicle he was driving. (Davis 1975, pp 62-66). It means that police in their blue uniforms often act as a line between lawfulness and illegal acts. Because of the power that police have to deprive citizens of their life and liberties, the role of discretion in policing is of great concern to scholars and th… (2020) 'Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality'. Support our journalism. Another reason why discretion is particularly critical for police officers’ activity is the ambiguity of the modern laws. Thus, police officers’ decision-making depends on whether they act relatively freely or under the persistent pressure of the society. Thus, Ziman (2011) refers to the example of police officers’ responding to citizens’ complaints. Removing officer discretion by creating "must arrest" offenses would result in too many unnecessary arrests, while creating "can't arrest" offenses would result in people ignoring the existing laws. Meanwhile, Dempsey and Forst (2015) emphasize the fact that the described methods should be considered as supplementary. Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by As a result, some controlling tools seem to be essential to prevent discretion misuse within the justice system. Inevitably, the police must use some discretion in carrying out their job. 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In a loose sense, discretion can be defined as a freedom of choice. However, the police have to use their discretion when deciding to perform a search. You can use them for inspiration, an insight into a particular topic, a handy source of reference, or even just as a template of a certain type of paper. Urinating in public is the example I always gave new officers. Officer Bob sees the person assault a passerby and must now use his discretion to decide whether he will intervene and possibly draw and use his weapon, or call for back up assistance. Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality. In very low-level misdemeanor prosecutions, the substantive criminal law that generates the punishment is largely irrelevant. Police discretion is a pillar of modern policing, particularly in the UK. Thus, personal prejudices play an important role even though they do not imply high professional competence. IvyPanda. The described examples of evidence that discretion is exercised at all levels of the justice system. ensure the integrity of our platform while keeping your private information safe. Mr. The officer follows the car and it continues to go 30 miles over the speed limit. "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." Additionally, there are those who argue that the use of police discretion can potentially result in a violation of one’s Fourth Amendment rights. On the other hand, the use of police discretion has been criticized for negative aspects. As a former Police officer I can give one easy example. As a result, courts would be overloaded with work. Consider New York City today. Likewise, the existence of two alternatives, such as reducing or dropping charges, in the prosecutors’ decision-making, is also the illustration of discretion exercising. To begin, there is the risk that the police officer might misinterpret a statute when performing his duties. Their key aim resides in ensuring unity in the police officer’s conduct and its compliance with the relevant legislation. These policies feature a set of norms and guidelines defining how police officers are supposed to act under certain conditions. the more personal the relationship, the more variable the use of discretion - family issue may not be as bad as it seems, spouse may not end up pressing charges relationship between police and … The lack of clarity makes police officers take up the responsibility for the law interpretation and its enforcement. The phrase the thin blue line is often associated with the police. He uses his own discretion to make this decision. Free Advantages and Disadvantages of Police Discretion Essay Sample Police discretion is defined as the freedom to choose how to respond to a given situation depending on the circumstances. In a loose sense, discretion can be defined as a freedom of choice. Some of these cases include: domestic violence, public intoxication, trespassing, disorderly conduct, traffic enforcement, hate crimes, mentally ill, use of force, and prostitution. First, who would decide which crimes are "must arrest" or … It also allows the police officer to quickly interpret the applicable statutory law and then act upon the determination. Imagine that Officer Bob is on patrol in an area known for drug trafficking. Within the highest levels in the chain of command, the police discretion is used for example in deciding to target certain areas of crime with the use of initiatives or policies, possibly through the influence of government and the line department. The police see (or learn of) someone doing somet… It contains thousands of paper examples on a wide variety of topics, all donated by helpful students. Officer Bob decides simply to warn the driver in this instance. Examine several examples of police discretion and review the pros and cons to understand why people are for and against the use of police discretion. There are various reasons why the use of police discretion is a positive aspect of a police officer’s position. The author believes that under these circumstances, employees often tend to perform the minimum of actions and maintain a high productivity level. As a recent development in criminal justice scholarship, researchers have begun to focus on the level of discretion that police officers have in enforcing the law. Parole boards, in their turn, are enabled to exercise discretion when deciding whether defendants should serve the assigned sentence completely or they be potentially paroled from prison. Police discretion Police discretion can be defined as actions undertaken by law enforcers in which they exercise their individual judgment in order to determine the best course of action (Gaines & Kappeler, 2003). In the policy context, for instance, discretion is essential to preserve the balance between law enforcement and order maintenance. In this case, police are given discretion, or freedom to decide, on the job to make decisions, but there is a ‘thin blue line’ that the police cannot cross or they will be in violation of the law. Police Officers’ Decision Making and Discretion: Forming Suspicion and Making a Stop Abstract Most police activity occurs in private, away from the public=s view. 31 July. IvyPanda. Upon completion of this lesson, students should be able to: You need a custom essay? Let’s look at some examples of when a police officer must use his or her discretion. This may include the use of reform instruments developed by the government. Under the Fourth Amendment, one has the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. What are the Duties of the Traffic Officer? If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda. IvyPanda, 31 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. Police discretion can sometimes cause law enforcement officers and the general public to believe that unlimited authority exists in the application of statutory or common law. Hence, for instance, a judge’s choice between imprisonment and probation implies discretion. The use of police discretion occurs daily. ⏰ Let's see if we can help you! That word is “discretion.” Police officers are given the right and opportunity to act according to their discretion in stopping people, arresting them and using force to bring about an arrest. “[N]obody should die because police officers are more interested in absolute dominance than professional, moral and tactical discretion,” Moskos wrote. July 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. In the meantime, Ziman (2011) believes that this approach hurts the police officers’ performance – the neglected conflicts and violations emerge into serious crimes. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must. Police discretion is a fact of life but let's not confuse discretion with assigning priorties. Officer Bob pulls the car over and requests the driver’s license and registration. According to McGregor (Kleinig,1996), discretion can only be interpreted as those decisions that are made with lawful authority rather than decisions made for illegal reasons. Discretion, in this case, serves to be a convenient tool to avoid additional effort and manage the largest number of calls possible. When discretion goes up, crime goes down. 2020. Let’s look at some examples of when a police officer must use his or her discretion. Officer discretion is a powerful, basic tool in policing. 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