A growing concern in America is the unnecessary use of force police officers use on the innocent or those in their custody. The role of the police officer carries both power and authority and the abuse of that power and authority raises issues society must face. This paper discusses the problem of officers who use unnecessary force, what managers and executives are doing to deal with this problem and the ethical dilemmas associated with the use of excessive or unjustified force on the police department.
Law enforcement agencies and the laws in which they uphold have been shaped by a number of historical antecedents and philosophical perspectives according to Frank Schmalleger. The Old and New Testaments, religious practices, early Roman law, English common law, and our nations Constitution have shaped today’s law enforcement agencies and agents (Schmalleger, 2002). The role of police in today’s society has changed from the days of the Old Testament and early Roman law as society has changed tremendously. M.L. Dantzer claims that few can realize or appreciate the manifold duties of the police officer. To the majority of individuals the officer is just a nuisance to be endured and even among our courts a general attitude of disfavor is often found. The services law enforcement agents perform are great and their labor is full of interest and yet rarely among specialists, is full credit given to the position. (Dantzker, 2003). The actions of law enforcement agents are usually honorable as they risk their lives daily to keep peace and order in this chaotic society. Unfortunately, the duties of law enforcement agents often involve the use of force as we live in a violent and unruly country. Although the majority of law enforcement agents perform their duties within the guidelines of the department, every year the few ‘bad apples’ disgrace the badge, uniform, and department by abusing...