Police Discretion

Topics: Police, Violence, Domestic violence Pages: 4 (1370 words) Published: May 14, 2010

Police Discretion

University Of Phoenix

Police Discretion
Police discretion is an important tool in police work due to the law sometimes being too vague or ambiguous. Police officers are trained on different scenarios that one may come across while they are at the academy. The problem tends to arise when a police officer comes across a situation that they were not trained for, and since the academy cannot cover every possible scenario that one may come across. Therefore, police officers must use his or her discretion when put into a situation where they need to make a choice on how to enforce the law. There are however, several scenarios where police discretion is either used or in some instances where even mythical aspects are involved. Some of these cases include: domestic violence, public intoxication, trespassing, disorderly conduct, traffic enforcement, hate crimes, mentally ill, use of force, and prostitution. Domestic disturbances is also categorized and more commonly known as domestic abuse. Domestic abuse occurs when a family member, current partner or an ex-partner tries to control the victim physically or mentally. Since domestic violence knows no boundaries it can occur with any race, gender, and class and perpetrated by both women and men (Domestic Violence, n.d., ¶ 1). This situation for a police officer to come across is probably the most difficult due to the laws being vague in this type of situation. In these types of cases police discretion is typically used where they separate the couple even to the point where an arrest is made for the abuser for a 24 hour cool down period. The police officers can also help the victim by given them support pamphlets as well as suggest counseling for both couples to attend. Yet, as the laws change over time most states have laws regarding this type of case that result in mandatory arrest when there happens to be physical violence present....
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