Police Discretion

Topics: Police, Misdemeanor, Constable Pages: 3 (833 words) Published: March 21, 2005
In this paper, I will be writing about Police Discretion. I will start by defining Police Discretion then briefly discuss the use in domestic disturbances, minor misdemeanors, and traffic enforcement. I will also discuss the application of police discretion, the provisions it uses and how it is currently practiced. At the end of these brief descriptions, I will then present the myth that exists in regards to police discretion. And finally, I will end this paper with my personal opinion as well as a brief conclusion. First, I will define Police Discretion. Police discretion is the power or authority that is given to a police officer to act officially in a manner that appears to be just and proper under the presented circumstances. In a domestic disturbance, the police officer has to use his discretion based upon the situation before him. The officer needs to make a decision that will make both parties involved be content with the resolution. This discretion that a police officer uses at the time of a domestic disturbance is the most difficult because his decisions ends up affecting either parties to a situation for the better or for the worse. In such situation, the officer can either mediate a peaceful agreement, can suggest counseling or if this doesn't work he can also make an arrest of the person that is not willing to come to a peaceful resolution to the problem. At the time a police officer encounters a minor misdemeanor, he can also make use of his discretion. A minor misdemeanor that a police officer could encounter can be that of a minor assault, public intoxication, disorderly conduct or even trespassing. The action taken by a police officer in such cases all depends on his discretion at the time, just as it is done on a domestic disturbance case. The officer has the option of making an arrest or making a report and is all based on his discretion used at the time the situation arises. The other area that a police officer...
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