Police Discretion

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  • Topic: Police, Law, Discretion
  • Pages : 2 (527 words )
  • Download(s) : 199
  • Published : December 16, 2005
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Police discretion in law enforcement has always been a hot topic with the police and the community. The community thinks the police do not use enough discretion and the police think they use too much discretion. In my opinion I believe that the police should use discretion when they can. The police make very hard decisions on a daily basis and you do not want the police officer to rush into a decision where he either has to shoot, or has to talk you down. Discretion is a very important tool used by law enforcement. Discretion designates power or freedom to judge and decide what needs to be done in a certain situation. Discretion defines the space that mediates between the "law on the books" and the "law in action" (Aaronson). When the police get involved in a situation the first thing he does is figure out whether or not the situation should be criminalized or if it just involves some intervention by the police. For instance, if the police arrive at a bar fight, there has been a law broken. It is now up to the police to figure out if they should use the "law on the books" and arrest the person, or cut the person a brake and let them go with a warning. The police may arrive on scene to assist a person give birth to a child; the officer must make quick and accurate decisions. He may first call an ambulance or he may have to decide whether or not to try to escort her in the police car to get her there quicker. The police have to use discretion on a daily basis. There will never be a way for the police to have a manual on every situation that may occur and what the officer should do in that situation. This is where discretion comes into play for the police, there are just way to many out of the ordinary situations out there for the police not to use discretion. If there was a manual on everything that could possibly happen I am sure it could become of important use. The police receive all types of training but they cannot be trained on every...
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