Police Officers and Discretion Analytical Essay by Nicky

This paper examines officer discretion issues in modern policing.
# 145859 | 1,300 words | 5 sources | APA | 2010 | US
Published on Nov 30, 2010 in Law (Criminal) , Criminology (Public and Crime) , Sociology (General) , Political Science (General)

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In this article, the writer points out that police officers must exercise professional discretion in performing their duties in many different respects. The writer discusses that without the ability to make decisions such as whether to take police action over every apparent violation of any rule, ordinance, or law, they would be virtually unable to respond to serious crimes altogether. On the other hand, police discretion can also be misused by officers to give preferential treatment to specific individuals instead of to make decisions for their objective strategic or tactical value. The writer maintains that the concept of police discretion is not intended to allow officers to enforce laws (or fail to) preferentially; it is intended to allow for practical decision making and reasonable prioritization of their many responsibilities and to allocate police resources and assets in the most beneficial way to the communities in which they serve.

Background and History of Police Discretion in the United States
Professional Courtesy in Modern American Policing
Distinguishing Appropriate and Impermissible Police Discretion

From the Paper:

"Examples where police officers generally try to avoid taking official police action generally include routine traffic violations (and even some comparatively serious traffic violations) that do not result in property damage or injury to other persons. These are usually overlooked by police officers as soon as the violator identifies himself as a fellow law enforcement officer. Individual officers may differ in so far as the exact lines that they draw between the types of violations for which they will extend professional courtesy and those for which they perceive themselves as having no choice but to take police action against a fellow police officer.
"Even where the violation involves drunk driving, once the violator is identified as a police officer, the on-duty officers are much more likely to take unofficial action, such as contacting the off-duty officer's coworkers to respond to the scene to handle the situation or provide transportation home for both the violator and his vehicle. Naturally, police administrator rarely officially condone such practices and the vast majority of modern police academies actually provide specific training to the contrary as well as oral board ethics inquiries during the recruit selection and screening phase that raise those very issues."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Caldero, M., Crank, J. (2004). Police Ethics The Corruption of the Noble Cause. Anderson Publishing.
  • Conlon, E. (2004). Blue Blood. New York: Riverhead.
  • Peak, K. (2002). Policing America: Methods, Issues, Challenges. Princeton, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Schmalleger, F. (2008). Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century. Princeton, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Shusta, R., Levine, D., Harris, P. (2007). Multicultural Law Enforcement: Strategies for Peacekeeping in a Diverse Society. Princeton, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Police Officers and Discretion (2010, November 30) Retrieved May 08, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/police-officers-and-discretion-145859/

MLA Format

"Police Officers and Discretion" 30 November 2010. Web. 08 May. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/police-officers-and-discretion-145859/>