Crime Fighter vs. Public Servant

817 Words4 Pages
In chapter five of Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice, Pollock states when one asks most people what the role of policing is in society, the response is some version of “catch criminals” or “fight crime”. (p.105) The majority of police officers are professional and ethical; however a small minority abuses their power. This leads to close suspicion by the public of all police. Police have great power in our society to arrest, use force and also have the power of life and death. Police have two types of perceptions of the police mission, either a crime fighter or public servant. Police perception of themselves as crime fighters leads to certain decisions in their use of force, definition of duty, and their use of deception. If one views police as crime fighters these assumptions may include; criminals are the enemy and are different from good people, the police are the arm that fights the enemy using any means to get the job done, good people accept and understand that police are in a war and must be allowed deference in their decision making because they are the experts and only they know the enemy. The book states the definition of public servants as “professionals who are paid by the public and whose jobs entail pursuing the public good. If one views police as public servants, other assumptions include; criminals are people too just like the rest of us they shop, pay taxes, and have a family, police have limited ability to affect crime rates because the history of law enforcement originates in order maintenance, not crime control, and lastly they assume that police as public servants serve all people, including criminals meaning to not judge on decisions about an individual not being able to receive services. On page 134, situation five states that “You and your partner have been working together for more than 5 years. He has seen you go
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