Discretion In Policing

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Police officers enforce laws, but also held to those same laws they are enforcing on a daily basis. Laws influence how police behave and how to handle some situations. While also telling them how they can and cannot act. Some author’s feel this influence from the law may be why officers, “run roughshod over legal restrictions on such activities as searches and seizures” (Herbert, 1998; Chambliss, 1994; McBarnet, 1979). Officers are rarely supervised while on patrol and if they are, it is by a fellow officer rather than a superior officer. Because of this, officers have discretion in almost every situation they encounter. Each officers uses this discretion in their own way, whether they want to be strict or let someone off with a warning that …show more content…

Police officers encounter dangerous situations on a daily basis with moment’s notice. The police subculture and members of it encourage fellow officers to be safe and come home after their shift at all cost. It is a brotherhood and they look out for each other all the time. It is considered a good day in the department when a call goes on without any trouble and all the officers return safe to their homes at the end of their shift. A moto of the police subculture that is said around the United States is, “It is better to be judged by twelve than carried by six,” (Herbert, 1998). The moto that is said around police departments means, it is better to break the law and deal with the consequences in court than to die and have six fellow officers carrying your body at the funeral. This issue of safety determines how officers perform in situations throughout their shift and how they approach them to find a solution. There are many different techniques used by police departments in order to keep the officers’ safe while on the job. Officers in dangerous areas usually go on patrol in pairs, that way two officers are on the scene right away rather than just one officer. This allows there to be more than one officer to say what happened when things go wrong. It terminates the possibility of an officer getting hurt and no one knowing about it. In Los Angeles, the police department uses helicopters for some situation to get an aerial view of the criminal pursuit, whether it is car chases or foot pursuits. Officers in the helicopter can view the suspect when the ground officers may have lost site. This is important in case a suspect decides to hide from the police or gets a weapon and tries to attack the ground officers. The air support can inform the ground units of this to prepare them for what is around the next corner. Officers are also encouraged to wear their vest at all times while on the job to protect

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