Personal Side Of Policing

1163 Words5 Pages
Personal Side of Policing With the role of law enforcement in today’s world police officers take on more responsibilities, are put into stressful situations and force themselves to deal with some of the toughest decisions one can ever imagine. The environment in which a police officer works can determine how slight or severe these factors affect his or her daily policing duties. Every police officer has the ability to use judgment when responding to a situation. This judgment is could determine whether the offender will be warned, cited, arrested, or even have force used against him. All factors of the situation should be taken into consideration when using this discretion. Some of these factors include the seriousness of the offense, attitude of the suspect, position and preference of the victim, relationship between the suspect and victim, evidence of the offense, and minority status of the parties (Black, 1971.) Police officers tend to have an overall common goal in ridding their community of crime. Although this goal falls within the wishes of residents in the community as well, there is typically a negative view when it comes to police officers. Some officer’s actions have labeled an entire force as racist, rude, and abusive. This ‘bad apple’ theory leads to a community who cannot trust their local law enforcement officers. When a community has distrust in the law, it becomes difficult for those officers to do their jobs. Cooperation is lost, normally compliant citizens question an officers actions, criminals step up their activities, and at this point an officers stress escalates to a level where it has never been before. The behavior, in which a police officer uses his judgment to bring forth the best course of action regarding a situation where an offense has been committed, is the discretion of the officer (Engel, 2003.) Discretion most often
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