Police Discretion Position Paper

1398 Words6 Pages
Running Head: Police Discretion Position Paper Police Discretion Position Paper John Doe CJA 333 June 11, 2011 Instructor’s Name Here An important aspect of policing is the use of discretion. Discretion is decision making when dealing with situations that has no clear rule of action. Criminal laws do not specify every circumstance. However, law enforcement train to use the right discretion for situations they may encounter. Problems could come up when officers are on the work scene, and encounter specific situations where they lack proper training. For the most part, police use discretion when they are in positions that allow them to make decisions from a list of choices. This paper covers the use of discretion in police work. It includes mythical aspects, sources, suggest how discretion might be controlled, it has a list of 10 actions during which an officer might use discretion and explains why. Along with that, the paper has my personal opinion about whether the use of discretion in each action is reasonable or an abuse of power. The Mythical aspects of Police Discretion are legendary. When asked about practicing full enforcement on a consistent basis, or following policy in specific circumstances, agencies tend to offer the mythical aspect. However, it is not true in all cases. At some point, desertion comes into play. People should not believe the myth of full police enforcement because many citizens have experienced officers giving them a break. For example, when officers conduct traffic stops, they may, or may not give out tickets. However, there are some drivers who have received traffic citations, and others motorist gets traffic tickets for violations. If police used full enforcement, at all times, they would not give out citations, and tickets would be issued on every traffic stop. According to Kelling G, (1999),
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