The Importance Of Police Discretion

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In the last couple decades in the United States, police decision-making in several encounters has come to great issue. It has been argued that police officers sometimes do not use discretion like they are supposed to with the citizens. Police discretion is simply viewed as making the best decision to a situation, whether they should use any time of force depending on the health or mental situation of the person who is being detained. Discretion has become the best source for police officers in the last couple years to deal with any confrontation. However, police discretion can be very judgmental to others because depending on the last results of a confrontation, many might say that it was not the best decision making of the officer. It has…show more content…
A police officer is required to handle the situation with discretion by all means, but there might be times in which that could not be the best source. A police officer needs to quickly observe the mentality of the detainee because he or she may have mental issues. According to the article Police discretion and encounters with people experiencing mental illness it is stated that, “Mental health legislation in most jurisdictions outlines the responsibility of the police regarding the protection of people who are a threat to themselves or others. It has long been recognized, however, that these laws represent a framework that can be difficult to apply in specific situations (Godfredson, Ogloff, Thomas & Luebbers, 2015, Pg. 1393).” These are situations in which the officer needs to take a different choice in order to take over of the situation. In some cases, a mental ill person can be getting out of hand and might be putting himself, the officer and others in danger. When a police officer finds him or her in this situation it is sometimes difficult to make a calm decision, especially if the mental ill detainee is not cooperating. Discretion might be a second source for the officer because it can get out of control instantly. According to the article Police discretion and encounters with people experiencing mental illness it is stated that, “the…show more content…
Police officers that make wrong choices tend to be less appreciated by the society, those who make the use of discretion effectively tend to have a positive impact in the community. The article Organizational-level police discretion states that, “officers with a great deal of discretion at their disposal may allow biases to affect their decision making. Such biases could convince an officer that one suspect is more dangerous than another, prompting preemptive use of lethal force, and many of these biases invoke extralegal factors, such as race (Nowacki, 2015, Pg. 646).” Teaching these officers how and when to use discretion is crucial because it will allow them to apply certain strategies to different cases. Officers understand that not all situations will always be easy, either some may be dangerous; others can be simply misunderstandings between cases. Citizens who cooperate with any law enforcement officer will end up well because no use of force or breaking of the law was committed in the situation. Unlike other cases some citizen seem to dislike officers, which leads them not to comply with officers and that leads officers to make quick decisions to not let these citizens get out of control. According to the article Organizational-level police discretion states that, “Thus,
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