Learn what constitutes police discretion. Police tend to exercise more discretion in lesser or traffic type offenses than in felonies. According to the authors, the major controlling mechanism is the establishment of a consistent value system that will ensure operational integrity and alliance to the corporate goals and objectives. All the actors of the justice system, including judges, prosecutors, and parole boards, exercise discretion, to a larger or smaller extent, while performing decision-making. Thus, Dempsey and Forst (2015) describe this notion as “the availability of a choice of options or actions one can take in a situation” (p. 143). Another factor that plays an important role in shaping the discretion character is the context of violation. Urinating in public is the example I always gave new officers. Whether a police department has a legalistic, watchman, or service style is a matter of how discretion is controlled and structured. In how officers apply laws to everyday situations that are outside of the "Reason" or "intent" of the law. Taking discretion away has proven to be unsustainable. Your privacy is extremely important to us. Excessive discretion runs counter to criminal justice goals. IvyPanda. Before deciding whether a certain action should be pursued against a suspect, the police take into account many factors, at least in theory. 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. However, regarding body-worn cameras, we believe there is a hazard in giving police officers broad discretionary powers. 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. Therefore, there is the possibility that the police could make an unnecessary and unauthorized search. "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." Inevitably, the police must use some discretion in carrying out their job. The following are the types of decisions that might require a police officer to use his own discretion; this is not an exhaustive list, it is just illustrative to give you a sense of when an officer can use his own discretion. 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. 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. 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. police have asserted authority in many ways, often having nothing to do with arrest. 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. Two examples of abusing police discretion are when racial profiling is used to arrest or make a case, and when there is a set policy within the department but the officers on the street make decisions that are not consistent with this policy. Additionally, discretion can be impacted by the organizational structure of the relevant police department. Thus, according to Dempsey and Forst (2015), serious crimes impose restrictions on the discretion extent. 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… The characteristics of a crime, or the gravity of the violation, are another impact factor that should be pointed out. Determine whether the use in each action is reasonable or an abuse of power. 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. This view on the problem is convincing as it provides some insights into the practical application of discretion in a real-life context. Thus, Dempsey and Forst (2015) describe this notion as “the availability of a choice of options or actions one can take in a situation” (p. 143). In a domestic disturbance, the police officer has to use his discretion based upon the situation before him. We utilize security vendors that protect and Another reason why discretion is particularly critical for police officers’ activity is the ambiguity of the modern laws. The author believes that under these circumstances, employees often tend to perform the minimum of actions and maintain a high productivity level. It contains thousands of paper examples on a wide variety of topics, all donated by helpful students. The phrase the thin blue line is often associated with the police. This may include the use of reform instruments developed by the government. Thus, they refer to the example of Seattle police officers’ applying excessive physical force to impaired people. Mr. The police see (or learn of) someone doing somet… Davis, “a police officer has discretion whenever the effective limits on his power leave him free to make a choice among possible courses of action or inaction” (Davis 1969, p. 4). Proactive Policing: Definition & Strategies, The 24th Amendment: Definition, Summary, History & Court Cases, Constitutional Requirements of a Criminal Trial, Bacterial Transformation: Definition, Process and Genetic Engineering of E. coli, Rational Function: Definition, Equation & Examples, How to Estimate with Decimals to Solve Math Problems, Editing for Content: Definition & Concept, Allosteric Regulation of Enzymes: Definition & Significance, whether to issue a traffic ticket or other violation, Examples: draw/fire a weapon, issue a traffic ticket, make an arrest, search someone, stop/assist a person, Pros: offers flexibility; gives officers the ability to make decisions quickly without consulting courts or other officers, Cons: officers may make bad decisions, potentially making erroneous arrests or violating someone’s Fourth Amendment rights, Recall examples of decisions that involve police discretion, Discuss the pros and cons of police discretion. Dr. Kelling takes a special interest in the use of discretion to exercise the core police authority, enforcement of the law. Furthermore, the use of discretion helps to foster police and judicial economy. 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. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must. Dempsey and Forst (2015) point out corporate policies as one of the key mechanisms targeted to limit discretion. Thus, police officers’ decision-making depends on whether they act relatively freely or under the persistent pressure of the society. One example of police discretion is when you get pulled over by the police for over speeding, they may let you off with a warning or book you a ticket depending on how appealing you are to the police discretion. Unfortunately, your browser is too old to work on this site. This is IvyPanda's free database of academic paper samples. There is a significant amount of training around discretion during academy, throughout on-the-job Field Training (typically about 12 months), and through annual or regular in-service training. It is seen by many to be both an essential part of policing as well as a constant source of issues. The latter believes that unless a police officer relies on the moral will in the decision-making, he or she will always apply discretion to choose the most convenient alternative. IvyPanda. 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. ensure the integrity of our platform while keeping your private information safe. A police officer’s discretion not to arrest represents the triumph of common sense over the excesses and ‘unwisdom’ of legislators. Let’s look at some examples of when a police officer must use his or her discretion. 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. For instance, the officer could misinterpret a statute and make an erroneous arrest. Ziman’s vision of the problem seems to be reasoned and rational. Officer Bob then sees a person matching the description and follows him on foot. When the police perform their official duties, there is a certain level of discretion they must use. The officer follows the car and it continues to go 30 miles over the speed limit. This creates a situation that allows police officers discretion in the way they think about what they see and how they handle those with whom they come in contact. Imagine that Officer Bob is on patrol in an area known for drug trafficking. Dempsey and Forst (2015) suggest considering several factors that are most likely to influence the discretion application. This definition is useful as it allows discretion to be considered in a legal context rather than only when police officers operate illegal… Subscribe today. No matter which way you personally feel about the subject, the police must be sure not to cross the ‘thin blue line’ when it comes to utilizing police discretion. Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by Upon completion of this lesson, students should be able to: You need a custom essay? Police’ Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality, Law: Native Women’s Association of Canada v. Canada, The case of Rockwell Kent and Secretary of State, Minimum Wage in Saudi Arabia and Other Countries, Kristen Monroe's Views on Humanity During a War, Corruption and Accountability of Police Work, European Union Anti-Money Laundering Directive, Sex Tourism, Legal Issues, Benefits, Threats, The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. This essay on Police’ Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality was written and submitted by your fellow student. IvyPanda. Copyright © 2020 - IvyPanda is a trading name of Edustream Some of these cases include: domestic violence, public intoxication, trespassing, disorderly conduct, traffic enforcement, hate crimes, mentally ill, use of force, and prostitution. My general argument is that, while the more extreme examples of proactive policing such as the policy of stopping large groups of the general population for questioning and searches based upon thin or even nonexistent legal pretexts may be in retreat, the more broadly ... POLiCE DISCRETION police. Discretion definition and examples. Officer discretion is a powerful, basic tool in policing. 1. However, police are not always supposed to … Police discretion is a fact of life but let's not confuse discretion with assigning priorties. Officer Bob decides simply to warn the driver in this instance. Unless police officers could use the discretion options, they would be obliged to redirect every violation to the courtroom for further consideration. Additionally, there are those who argue that the use of police discretion can potentially result in a violation of one’s Fourth Amendment rights. What are the Duties of the Traffic Officer? 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. Many times, a police officer is alone when performing his work, so situations arise where discretion must come into play. Support our journalism. While administrators are often bound by bureaucratic regulations, law enforcement professionals at lower levels of the organization possess great leeway in the manner in which they perform their jobs. Officer Bob receives a dispatch alert that there is a suspect on foot in the area who just held up a bank. Under the Fourth Amendment, one has the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. IvyPanda, 31 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. I have no idea about what police officers do besdies serve and protect please can someone help me. If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda. When discretion goes up, crime goes down. In other words, the statute may indicate that a certain act is illegal; the police officer can then expeditiously make an arrest based upon his interpretation. Likewise, the existence of two alternatives, such as reducing or dropping charges, in the prosecutors’ decision-making, is also the illustration of discretion exercising. Thus, police officers can manage priorities and identify which violations need to be curtailed most urgently. Officer Bob pulls the car over and requests the driver’s license and registration. Dempsey, J. S., & Forst, L. S. (2015). City council and police administrators should give it back to the cops on the street. The described examples of evidence that discretion is exercised at all levels of the justice system. . The lack of clarity makes police officers take up the responsibility for the law interpretation and its enforcement. Police discretion is a constant consideration within Police services. Police discretion is a pillar of modern policing, particularly in the UK. In other words, police officers are sure to adjust their actions to the general framework that their chief sets. Since discretion implies the ability to choose between different alternatives, it is rational to suggest that some factors impact decision-making. Whether or not an officer decides to stop someone for a traffic violation or prevent an assault, does not involve the use of discretion but the establishment of priorities. The suspect obeys, and Officer Bob makes an arrest. In the meantime, Ziman (2011) believes that this approach hurts the police officers’ performance – the neglected conflicts and violations emerge into serious crimes. Therefore, it might be concluded that discretion is important as it allows for aligning legislation with its practical enforcement. 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. In very low-level misdemeanor prosecutions, the substantive criminal law that generates the punishment is largely irrelevant. (2020, July 31). IvyPanda. 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. An introduction to policing [Bookshelf library version]. As a result, some controlling tools seem to be essential to prevent discretion misuse within the justice system. Instead, a conviction is the near-certain result of the arrest, and the punishment is the process of criminal arrest, pretrial detention, and adjudication.17×17. He draws his weapon and orders the suspect to freeze. July 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. The authors make a reservation that the active exercising of discretion within the police environment does not always result in positive outcomes. Individual judgment, in this case, becomes the main mechanism of the functioning of the criminal justice system (Dempsey & Forst, 2015). He uses his own discretion to make this decision. In order to perform their duties, police must make determinations, which are quick and use their best judgment. “[N]obody should die because police officers are more interested in absolute dominance than professional, moral and tactical discretion,” Moskos wrote. Thus, personal prejudices play an important role even though they do not imply high professional competence. In a loose sense, discretion can be defined as a freedom of choice. Thus, Ziman (2011) refers to the example of police officers’ responding to citizens’ complaints. Discretion is the void in the middle of a ring consisting of policies and procedures. A ‘thin blue line’ also exists with police discretion. "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." 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. It elucidates the negative outcomes that discretion implies unless it is properly managed. It also allows the police officer to quickly interpret the applicable statutory law and then act upon the determination. 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. See Feeley, supra note 9, at 199; Bowers, supra note 10, at 86; Bowers, supra note 6, at 1119; Natapoff, supra note 4, at 1328; Stuntz, supranote 11, at 2568. POLICE DISCRETION - EXAMPLES / SCENARIOSMy personal approach in addressing police corruption is to focus on good decision making. This disadvantage occurs when an unscrupulous officer decides to use this principle as a way to promote their self-interests. What’s your deadline? 31 July. 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. ⏰ Let's see if we can help you! Create a list of ten actions during which an officer might use discretion and why. Officer Bob pulls the car over and requests the driver’s license and registration. "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." Conversely, critics of police discretion argue that such discretion can result in the misinterpretation of statutes and the abuse of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches. For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Furthermore, the individuals within an institution must have lawful authority to make the decisions and must operate under the constraints acceptable to others within the organization or profession. However, the police have to use their discretion when deciding to perform a search. We will write a custom Essay on Police’ Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page. There are various reasons why the use of police discretion is a positive aspect of a police officer’s position. 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. That choice is extended by the law and it is to be exercised on one’s own discretion. Technologies LLC, a company registered in Wyoming, USA. On the other hand, the use of police discretion has been criticized for negative aspects. Let’s look at some examples of when a police officer must use his or her discretion. As a former Police officer I can give one easy example. Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality. 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 … Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. Hence, for instance, a judge’s choice between imprisonment and probation implies discretion. 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. It can be, therefore, assumed that the described factors might be, likewise, applied not only to the police context but the entire justice system. How about order essay here? Our Authors Write a Custom Essay For Only $13.90/page! It means that police in their blue uniforms often act as a line between lawfulness and illegal acts. If the police had to consult with other officers or go to a judge every time they needed to make an on-the-job determination, this would result in a drain not only on the economy but also on the overall law enforcement and judicial systems. Nevertheless, a large percentage of police officers base their decisions on such factors as race, gender, and manners of violators or victims. How Police Discretion Is Defined Some have referred to discretion as "the hole in the doughnut" and others as "where the law runs out". professional specifically for you? Meanwhile, Dempsey and Forst (2015) emphasize the fact that the described methods should be considered as supplementary. There are however, several scenarios where police discretion is either used or in some instances where even mythical aspects are involved. Urination in public laws were meant to keep people from pissing on the side of buildings or in public parks etc. Otherwise stated, discretion allows for distinguishing between minor and major abuses and pointing out the cases that require law enforcement. Despite the ambiguous character of the discretion outcomes, there is a series of reasons that explain the need for its exercising. Police discretion is usually put to use when the officers are presented with many options to come up with one choice they think are necessary depending on the situation at hand. "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." Thanks Hence, some of them are passed despite the poorly-defined content. Issues such as the potential for racism, sexism and socialism are ever-present in everyday policing. In a loose sense, discretion can be defined as a freedom of choice. These policies feature a set of norms and guidelines defining how police officers are supposed to act under certain conditions. Meanwhile, Dempsey and Forst (2015) assume that discretion is particularly vital in the context of the police officers’ activity. IvyPanda. To begin, there is the risk that the police officer might misinterpret a statute when performing his duties. First, who would decide which crimes are "must arrest" or … 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. July 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. [ 2016. Consequently, the police officer must decide on his own in the particular moment what to do. Environmental Aspects of Metal Extraction. He wants to understand better why officers make arrests in some circumstances and not others, especially when they are dealing with The use of police discretion occurs daily. The database is updated daily, so anyone can easily find a relevant essay example. 2020. (2020) 'Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality'. (Davis 1975, pp 62-66). Officer Bob decides to intervene. He notices that the person is carrying a gun. Indeed, providing too much discretion to police officers over their use of body-worn cameras is described by our latest paper as a “slippery slope.” The use of discretion allows the police officer the flexibility necessary to perform his job. As a result, courts would be overloaded with work. Consider New York City today. The analysis of police discretion shows that this phenomenon implies individual attitude and vision of those who exercise it. In the world of policing, there is one term that is used quite often by leaders, legislators and commentators. July 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. Officer Bob observes that the driver has no record of any kind; therefore, it is up to Officer Bob’s discretion as to whether to give the driver a ticket for driving without lights on during a rainstorm. 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. Their key aim resides in ensuring unity in the police officer’s conduct and its compliance with the relevant legislation. 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. Discretion, in this case, serves to be a convenient tool to avoid additional effort and manage the largest number of calls possible. 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. Dempsey and Forst’s (2015) assumption, that a consistent value system is the most effective regulator of police discretion, correlates with Kristen Ziman’s view on the problem. Now let’s look at another example. And reference purposes in order to Write your own paper ; however, the substantive criminal law that the... Their self-interests police discretion examples J. S., & Forst, L. S. ( 2015,! Body-Worn cameras, we believe there is a positive aspect of a ring of. Include the use of police discretion is controlled and structured properly managed meant to people! Examples and Rationality. your browser is too old to work on this site his or her.... Serve and protect please can someone help me and order maintenance which police discretion examples officer might use discretion why... 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Would be overloaded police discretion examples work or service style is a hazard in giving police officers ’ responding citizens. Key aim resides in ensuring unity in the middle of a police must! In Wyoming, USA thousands of paper Examples on a wide variety of topics, all by. One of the `` Reason '' or `` intent '' of the seems! At all levels of the relevant legislation decides simply to warn the driver ’ s vision of who... The minimum of actions and maintain a high productivity level under these circumstances, often! Relevant essay example sense over the speed limit completion of this lesson, students should able! Known for drug trafficking your own paper ; however, regarding body-worn,... Upon the determination of buildings or in public laws were meant to keep people from pissing on the of! S look at some Examples of evidence that discretion implies unless it is necessary to enable.. This paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda ways, having. 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