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. July 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. Likewise, the existence of two alternatives, such as reducing or dropping charges, in the prosecutors’ decision-making, is also the illustration of discretion exercising. 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. However, regarding body-worn cameras, we believe there is a hazard in giving police officers broad discretionary powers. (Davis 1975, pp 62-66). For instance, the officer could misinterpret a statute and make an erroneous arrest. In the policy context, for instance, discretion is essential to preserve the balance between law enforcement and order maintenance. Another factor that plays an important role in shaping the discretion character is the context of violation. 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 is a constant consideration within Police services. Let’s look at some examples of when a police officer must use his or her discretion. 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. Meanwhile, Dempsey and Forst (2015) emphasize the fact that the described methods should be considered as supplementary. Dempsey, J. S., & Forst, L. S. (2015). As a result, courts would be overloaded with work. City council and police administrators should give it back to the cops on the street. "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." The police see (or learn of) someone doing somet… Some of these cases include: domestic violence, public intoxication, trespassing, disorderly conduct, traffic enforcement, hate crimes, mentally ill, use of force, and prostitution. The described examples of evidence that discretion is exercised at all levels of the justice system. Consequently, the police officer must decide on his own in the particular moment what to do. Dempsey and Forst (2015) point out corporate policies as one of the key mechanisms targeted to limit discretion. Police discretion is a fact of life but let's not confuse discretion with assigning priorties. Officer Bob then sees a person matching the description and follows him on foot. It can be, therefore, assumed that the described factors might be, likewise, applied not only to the police context but the entire justice system. 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). Otherwise stated, discretion allows for distinguishing between minor and major abuses and pointing out the cases that require law enforcement. In very low-level misdemeanor prosecutions, the substantive criminal law that generates the punishment is largely irrelevant. Dempsey and Forst (2015) suggest considering several factors that are most likely to influence the discretion application. 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. An introduction to policing [Bookshelf library version]. 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. When the police perform their official duties, there is a certain level of discretion they must use. In other words, police officers are sure to adjust their actions to the general framework that their chief sets. These policies feature a set of norms and guidelines defining how police officers are supposed to act under certain conditions. Whether a police department has a legalistic, watchman, or service style is a matter of how discretion is controlled and structured. Urinating in public is the example I always gave new officers. Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality. 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. Officer discretion is a powerful, basic tool in policing. 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). Police discretion is a pillar of modern policing, particularly in the UK. This is IvyPanda's free database of academic paper samples. 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. Unfortunately, your browser is too old to work on this site. IvyPanda. This definition is useful as it allows discretion to be considered in a legal context rather than only when police officers operate illegal… First, who would decide which crimes are "must arrest" or … 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). Police tend to exercise more discretion in lesser or traffic type offenses than in felonies. Therefore, there is the possibility that the police could make an unnecessary and unauthorized search. In the meantime, Ziman (2011) believes that this approach hurts the police officers’ performance – the neglected conflicts and violations emerge into serious crimes. The characteristics of a crime, or the gravity of the violation, are another impact factor that should be pointed out. Discretion is the void in the middle of a ring consisting of policies and procedures. The database is updated daily, so anyone can easily find a relevant essay example. 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. 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. This disadvantage occurs when an unscrupulous officer decides to use this principle as a way to promote their self-interests. 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. 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. Technologies LLC, a company registered in Wyoming, USA. Let’s look at some examples of when a police officer must use his or her discretion. It contains thousands of paper examples on a wide variety of topics, all donated by helpful students. The analysis of police discretion shows that this phenomenon implies individual attitude and vision of those who exercise it. The authors make a reservation that the active exercising of discretion within the police environment does not always result in positive outcomes. What are the Duties of the Traffic Officer? Dr. Kelling takes a special interest in the use of discretion to exercise the core police authority, enforcement of the law. Hence, for instance, a judge’s choice between imprisonment and probation implies discretion. It also allows the police officer to quickly interpret the applicable statutory law and then act upon the determination. Learn what constitutes police discretion. When discretion goes up, crime goes down. 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… POLICE DISCRETION - EXAMPLES / SCENARIOSMy personal approach in addressing police corruption is to focus on good decision making. Now let’s look at another example. A police officer’s discretion not to arrest represents the triumph of common sense over the excesses and ‘unwisdom’ of legislators. 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. IvyPanda. As a result, some controlling tools seem to be essential to prevent discretion misuse within the justice system. Create a list of ten actions during which an officer might use discretion and why. Imagine that Officer Bob is on patrol in an area known for drug trafficking. 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. The suspect obeys, and Officer Bob makes an arrest. 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. 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. The officer follows the car and it continues to go 30 miles over the speed limit. ⏰ Let's see if we can help you! Under the Fourth Amendment, one has the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. 31 July. Their key aim resides in ensuring unity in the police officer’s conduct and its compliance with the relevant legislation. IvyPanda. [ 2016. 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. Additionally, discretion can be impacted by the organizational structure of the relevant police department. July 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. Thus, police officers’ decision-making depends on whether they act relatively freely or under the persistent pressure of the society. However, the police have to use their discretion when deciding to perform a search. 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. It elucidates the negative outcomes that discretion implies unless it is properly managed. Many times, a police officer is alone when performing his work, so situations arise where discretion must come into play. In a loose sense, discretion can be defined as a freedom of choice. There are however, several scenarios where police discretion is either used or in some instances where even mythical aspects are involved. 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. 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. Thus, police officers can manage priorities and identify which violations need to be curtailed most urgently. Since discretion implies the ability to choose between different alternatives, it is rational to suggest that some factors impact decision-making. . Another reason why discretion is particularly critical for police officers’ activity is the ambiguity of the modern laws. 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. In the world of policing, there is one term that is used quite often by leaders, legislators and commentators. “[N]obody should die because police officers are more interested in absolute dominance than professional, moral and tactical discretion,” Moskos wrote. Issues such as the potential for racism, sexism and socialism are ever-present in everyday policing. Therefore, it might be concluded that discretion is important as it allows for aligning legislation with its practical enforcement. Inevitably, the police must use some discretion in carrying out their job. Copyright © 2020 - IvyPanda is a trading name of Edustream Discretion definition and examples. He uses his own discretion to make this decision. Mr. The lack of clarity makes police officers take up the responsibility for the law interpretation and its enforcement. 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.” (2020) 'Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality'. This essay on Police’ Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality was written and submitted by your fellow student. Furthermore, the use of discretion helps to foster police and judicial economy. That choice is extended by the law and it is to be exercised on one’s own discretion. Excessive discretion runs counter to criminal justice goals. IvyPanda, 31 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. Before deciding whether a certain action should be pursued against a suspect, the police take into account many factors, at least in theory. police have asserted authority in many ways, often having nothing to do with arrest. What’s your deadline? Upon completion of this lesson, students should be able to: You need a custom essay? A ‘thin blue line’ also exists with police discretion. "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." 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. Environmental Aspects of Metal Extraction. We utilize security vendors that protect and 2020. (2020, July 31). Meanwhile, Dempsey and Forst (2015) assume that discretion is particularly vital in the context of the police officers’ activity. 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. In order to perform their duties, police must make determinations, which are quick and use their best judgment. For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Taking discretion away has proven to be unsustainable. He wants to understand better why officers make arrests in some circumstances and not others, especially when they are dealing with 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. Hence, some of them are passed despite the poorly-defined content. professional specifically for you? Support our journalism. Officer Bob decides to intervene. However, police are not always supposed to … In how officers apply laws to everyday situations that are outside of the "Reason" or "intent" of the law. 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. 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. IvyPanda. If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-discretion-definition-examples-and-rationality/. The use of discretion allows the police officer the flexibility necessary to perform his job. 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’ 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. It is seen by many to be both an essential part of policing as well as a constant source of issues. The author believes that under these circumstances, employees often tend to perform the minimum of actions and maintain a high productivity level. 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). You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must. Officer Bob pulls the car over and requests the driver’s license and registration. 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. Officer Bob decides simply to warn the driver in this instance. The use of police discretion occurs daily. Discretion, in this case, serves to be a convenient tool to avoid additional effort and manage the largest number of calls possible. Ziman’s vision of the problem seems to be reasoned and rational. 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. Officer Bob pulls the car over and requests the driver’s license and registration. Thus, Ziman (2011) refers to the example of police officers’ responding to citizens’ complaints. Thanks There are various reasons why the use of police discretion is a positive aspect of a police officer’s position. Determine whether the use in each action is reasonable or an abuse of power. We will write a custom Essay on Police’ Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page. 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. Additionally, there are those who argue that the use of police discretion can potentially result in a violation of one’s Fourth Amendment rights. This may include the use of reform instruments developed by the government. Officer Bob receives a dispatch alert that there is a suspect on foot in the area who just held up a bank. Individual judgment, in this case, becomes the main mechanism of the functioning of the criminal justice system (Dempsey & Forst, 2015). "Police' Discretion: Definition, Examples and Rationality." In a domestic disturbance, the police officer has to use his discretion based upon the situation before him. Thus, they refer to the example of Seattle police officers’ applying excessive physical force to impaired people. 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