Discretion definition and examples. The phrase the thin blue line is often associated with the police. This disadvantage occurs when an unscrupulous officer decides to use this principle as a way to promote their self-interests. However, regarding body-worn cameras, we believe there is a hazard in giving police officers broad discretionary powers. To begin, there is the risk that the police officer might misinterpret a statute when performing his duties. 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). 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. As a result, courts would be overloaded with work. Discretion is the void in the middle of a ring consisting of policies and procedures. 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. 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. Police discretion is a constant consideration within Police services. We will write a custom Essay on Police’ Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page. Taking discretion away has proven to be unsustainable. Under the Fourth Amendment, one has the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Imagine that Officer Bob is on patrol in an area known for drug trafficking. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must. As a result, some controlling tools seem to be essential to prevent discretion misuse within the justice system. How Police Discretion Is Defined Some have referred to discretion as "the hole in the doughnut" and others as "where the law runs out". Thus, Ziman (2011) refers to the example of police officers’ responding to citizens’ complaints. Consequently, the police officer must decide on his own in the particular moment what to do. Their key aim resides in ensuring unity in the police officer’s conduct and its compliance with the relevant legislation. ⏰ Let's see if we can help you! Officer discretion is a powerful, basic tool in policing. Additionally, there are those who argue that the use of police discretion can potentially result in a violation of one’s Fourth Amendment rights. The characteristics of a crime, or the gravity of the violation, are another impact factor that should be pointed out. July 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. IvyPanda. ensure the integrity of our platform while keeping your private information safe. 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. Another reason why discretion is particularly critical for police officers’ activity is the ambiguity of the modern laws. It is seen by many to be both an essential part of policing as well as a constant source of issues. 1. 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… Thus, they refer to the example of Seattle police officers’ applying excessive physical force to impaired people. What are the Duties of the Traffic Officer? IvyPanda. . Dempsey and Forst (2015) suggest considering several factors that are most likely to influence the discretion application. 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. 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. 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. IvyPanda, 31 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. On the other hand, the use of police discretion has been criticized for negative aspects. 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. I have no idea about what police officers do besdies serve and protect please can someone help me. 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. IvyPanda. 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. Thus, police officers’ decision-making depends on whether they act relatively freely or under the persistent pressure of the society. 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. Dempsey and Forst (2015) point out corporate policies as one of the key mechanisms targeted to limit discretion. In a loose sense, discretion can be defined as a freedom of choice. For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Urination in public laws were meant to keep people from pissing on the side of buildings or in public parks etc. (2020) 'Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality'. "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." Officer Bob pulls the car over and requests the driver’s license and registration. 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. 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. Furthermore, the use of discretion helps to foster police and judicial economy. Create a list of ten actions during which an officer might use discretion and why. 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. “[N]obody should die because police officers are more interested in absolute dominance than professional, moral and tactical discretion,” Moskos wrote. 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. 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. 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. 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). What’s your deadline? Individual judgment, in this case, becomes the main mechanism of the functioning of the criminal justice system (Dempsey & Forst, 2015). 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. Support our journalism. Unless police officers could use the discretion options, they would be obliged to redirect every violation to the courtroom for further consideration. In how officers apply laws to everyday situations that are outside of the "Reason" or "intent" of the law. Meanwhile, Dempsey and Forst (2015) emphasize the fact that the described methods should be considered as supplementary. Otherwise stated, discretion allows for distinguishing between minor and major abuses and pointing out the cases that require law enforcement. 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. Mr. This essay on Police’ Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality was written and submitted by your fellow student. "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." Hence, for instance, a judge’s choice between imprisonment and probation implies discretion. Nevertheless, a large percentage of police officers base their decisions on such factors as race, gender, and manners of violators or victims. How about order essay here? POLICE DISCRETION - EXAMPLES / SCENARIOSMy personal approach in addressing police corruption is to focus on good 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. 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. Unfortunately, your browser is too old to work on this site. Discretion, in this case, serves to be a convenient tool to avoid additional effort and manage the largest number of calls possible. 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.” Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by It contains thousands of paper examples on a wide variety of topics, all donated by helpful students. First, who would decide which crimes are "must arrest" or … In order to perform their duties, police must make determinations, which are quick and use their best judgment. However, the police have to use their discretion when deciding to perform a search. We utilize security vendors that protect and The suspect obeys, and Officer Bob makes an arrest. An introduction to policing [Bookshelf library version]. It means that police in their blue uniforms often act as a line between lawfulness and illegal acts. 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. He wants to understand better why officers make arrests in some circumstances and not others, especially when they are dealing with 31 July. Let’s look at some examples of when a police officer must use his or her discretion. The database is updated daily, so anyone can easily find a relevant essay example. 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. 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. It also allows the police officer to quickly interpret the applicable statutory law and then act upon the determination. Inevitably, the police must use some discretion in carrying out their job. 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Therefore, it might be concluded that discretion is important as it allows for aligning legislation with its practical enforcement. Another factor that plays an important role in shaping the discretion character is the context of violation. Meanwhile, Dempsey and Forst (2015) assume that discretion is particularly vital in the context of the police officers’ activity. 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. Officer Bob then sees a person matching the description and follows him on foot. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. In a domestic disturbance, the police officer has to use his discretion based upon the situation before him. [ 2016. The analysis of police discretion shows that this phenomenon implies individual attitude and vision of those who exercise it. As a former Police officer I can give one easy example. 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. A police officer’s discretion not to arrest represents the triumph of common sense over the excesses and ‘unwisdom’ of legislators. There are however, several scenarios where police discretion is either used or in some instances where even mythical aspects are involved. Police discretion is a pillar of modern policing, particularly in the UK. These policies feature a set of norms and guidelines defining how police officers are supposed to act under certain conditions. 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. It can be, therefore, assumed that the described factors might be, likewise, applied not only to the police context but the entire justice system. 2020. In a loose sense, discretion can be defined as a freedom of choice. Despite the ambiguous character of the discretion outcomes, there is a series of reasons that explain the need for its exercising. Many times, a police officer is alone when performing his work, so situations arise where discretion must come into play. Consider New York City today. 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. The authors make a reservation that the active exercising of discretion within the police environment does not always result in positive outcomes. (2020, July 31). Copyright © 2020 - IvyPanda is a trading name of Edustream IvyPanda. Determine whether the use in each action is reasonable or an abuse of power. Police tend to exercise more discretion in lesser or traffic type offenses than in felonies. professional specifically for you? 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. In very low-level misdemeanor prosecutions, the substantive criminal law that generates the punishment is largely irrelevant. Police discretion is a fact of life but let's not confuse discretion with assigning priorties. 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. July 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. The officer follows the car and it continues to go 30 miles over the speed limit. Hence, some of them are passed despite the poorly-defined content. Since discretion implies the ability to choose between different alternatives, it is rational to suggest that some factors impact decision-making. 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 … 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). Officer Bob receives a dispatch alert that there is a suspect on foot in the area who just held up a bank. Whether a police department has a legalistic, watchman, or service style is a matter of how discretion is controlled and structured. The lack of clarity makes police officers take up the responsibility for the law interpretation and its enforcement. 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. Additionally, discretion can be impacted by the organizational structure of the relevant police department. This may include the use of reform instruments developed by the government. He draws his weapon and orders the suspect to freeze. Uniforms often act as a line between lawfulness and illegal acts generates the punishment is largely irrelevant unnecessary and search. Depends on whether they act relatively freely or under the persistent pressure of the relevant.! 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