Criminal Justice Decision Making

Topics: Sheriff, Police, Constable Pages: 3 (964 words) Published: December 8, 2012
Decision Making Case Study
CJA 444
September 24, 2012

Decision Making Case Study
This case study has information that seems common sense would keep the situation from going out of control by Deputy Ripley’s actions. This paper will discuss the central issues of the case study; compliance of department policies; a lieutenant’s on the spot decision making; the firing of warning shots at the scene; possible complaints by residence in the area and if policies need to be updated or changed. The first central issue found in this case study is probable cause. The fact that seems odd is that Deputy Ripley assumes immediately of wrong doing by seeing a parked car on the street. Deputy Ripley has just completed Academy training and is ready to serve and protect. This is admirable, but experience is the best teacher. Deputy Ripley instead of identifying himself to the people in the car calls for backup in case his assumptions are right that a crime is happening. This is good, because officer safety is vital to any officer’s life. The lighting of the area was poor and Deputy Ripley had turned his headlights off, the driver of the car probably did not see the Deputy standing next to his patrol car with is dog. There is a possibility that the driver of the car thought he was in danger and proceeded to do what he needed to do to be safe. The last issue in the case study that needs to be discussed is the warning shot by Deputy Ripley. The justification of the warning shot is not clarified. There are too many other circumstances that require more investigation. The probability of a crime happening is not defined in the case study. The Pineville County Sheriff’s department has a separate policy that prohibits the firing of warning shots unless the “circumstances warrant” shots are fired by an officer. (Peak, 2010) Deputy Ripley’s reaction is clearly premature. Deputy Ripley’s non-compliance in not following the department’s policies is reactive. Deputy Ripley...
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