Police Role Description in the Media
CJA/333 Policing Theory & Practices
Instructor – Patrick S. Montes, MSCJ
University of Phoenix
May 18, 2010
Men and women who fight against crime, not only in uniform of the police force they work for but also as civilians who want to keep their neighborhood free of crime, are considered Crime Fighters. This title is not limited to just men and women, it may also be a title for the piece of equipment that the police officers use.
The article by Conor Berry of The Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle titled “Breath-test technology heads to Ma. Courtroom,” questions the efficacy and accuracy of the alcohol-detection device used in drunk-driving cases.
The Alcotest 7110 is an alcohol-detection device used by Massachusetts police department. On September 23, 2010, Worcester District Court Judge Richard Sullivan is expected to hear testimony from Pittsfield attorney Leonard H. Cohen and other Massachusetts defense attorneys advocating for a legal position regarding the reliability of this device.
To obtain answers about the dependability of test results about the Alcotest and to have it admissible in court of law, the company who manufacturers the device, a German manufacturer, needs to disclose information about the device. Such requirements need a judicial intervention.
In the past, Alcotest’s manufacturer says that the information being sought was proprietary in nature and therefore off-limits to lawyers and the public. However, company officials at Drager, Alcotest manufacturer, have agreed to turn over the source codes. The source codes are a series of algorithms arranged in a way to implement Alcotest’s breath-testing sequence. This inferred breath-testing manner is “the only accepted method for evidentiary breath testing in the commonwealth” according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Cohen anticipates the issue will make it to the Appeals Court or possibly to the Supreme Court, in which clear-cut legal precedents would be established.
Does this article give and accurate view of police work or a media enhanced view? I believe that it clearly points out the “behind the scenes” of police work and the people who are trying to make police work easier and fair. This article brings up a question, if we are acquiring problems with such devices, such as, not being able to get the print-out or the schematics of a product from a foreign country being used by our officers in the field, why are we purchasing these products from foreign countries? Why not purchase the products from an American company who can easily be “forced” by a court order to give up the idea or plans on how this type of device works. Social Servant
“Off-duty Illinois deputy stood by as shoplifter was killed.” This was the headline of an article in the Chicago Sun Times written by Kim Janssen and Frank Main. Police and eyewitness accounts are different about what exactly happened when a correction officer just stood by as a drugstore employee strangled a shoplifter to death at a CVS pharmacy.
The incident was filmed on the stores camera and it showed the off-duty Cook County Sheriff’s officer standing just yards away while the employee strangled the shoplifter. Chicago Police said that they were unaware of the off-duty correctional officer’s presence during the shoplifter’s final moments. Chicago Police spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane said the officer dialed 911 from the scene and identified herself.
Anthony Kyser, 35, an unemployed barber with a history of drug and burglary arrests, was choked to death by a store employee, after stealing toothpaste and crayons from the CVS store. Police say the death was “accidental” and that the employee will not be charged.
Conflicts remain regarding whether the officer drew her weapon or left the scene before the Chicago Police arrived. Witnesses told the Sun-Times, that shortly before 11 a.m....
References: Berry, C (2010, May 16). Breath-Test Technology heads to Ma. Courtroom. The Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from http://www.policeone.com.
Janssen, K., Main, F. (2010, May 16). Off-duty Ill. Deputy stood by as shoplifter was killed. Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from http://www.policeone.com.
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