DSST Intro to Law Enforcement

Abuse of discretionary power when officers exercise

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Abuse of Discretionary Power – when officers exercise discretion that is outside of the law and policy a. This is illegal and an abuse of discretionary power b. Police discretion can affect public policy – example: refusing to arrest persons with small amounts of marijuana, they are in effect decriminalizing the offence c. Racial Profiling another example of abuse of police discretion d. Factors that affect police discretion: d.i. Situational conditions d.ii. Race and gender d.iii. Level of resistance encountered d.iv. Type of neighborhood d.v. Character of the officer d.vi. Departmental policy and political culture e. 3 main approaches to controlling police discretion e.i. Removing it e.i.1. Some experts believe it should be removed and is illegal e.ii. Improving the professional judgment of officer through training e.iii. Managing it through written policies e.iii.1. Three common clear policies e.iii.1.a. The use of deadly force e.iii.1.a.i. Garner vs. Tennessee, the Supreme Court ruled that deadly force can only be used to: e.iii.1.a.i.1. Defend themselves from death or serious bodily injury
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e.iii.1.a.i.2. Defend another person from death or serious bodily injury e.iii.1.a.i.3. Stop a fleeing person who has committed a forcible felony (someone was killed or seriously injured, or threatened with death) e.iii.1.b. Domestic violence e.iii.1.c. High-speed chase f. Benefit of Standard Operating Manual (SOM) – officers cannot be accused of discrimination in their treatment of victims, offenders or witnesses if they are following the rules laid out in the manual g. Officers must file written reports when they exercise discretion, (ie: firing their weapon) h. Disadvantages of Standard Operating Manual – (SOM) is that officers may feel the rules are there to catch them, it may promote lying; avoidance, confusion and negative response from officers 100. Police Community Relations (PCR) – the relations between the police and racial and ethnic minority communities a. Research reveals that the Hispanic Community are subject to more police initiated contact than any other race and the issues concentrate on immigration b. Homosexuals, transgendered persons, and women also face police difficulties c. 1998 Bureau of Justice Statistics survey reveals that minorities are content with the police unless the use of deadly force was used and then the rating is less favorable d. Other critical factor is age, teens believe they are targeted by the police e. Research has shown that the people who favor the police the least are usually poor, less educated, victims of crime or discrimination and who feel alienated from society f. discriminatory hiring practices – include under representation of blacks, women and other ethnic minorities f.i. the department should reflect the population composition it serves, (ei: if the community has 20% Hispanic population the police force should have 20% Hispanic officers) g. google - had Women in Law enforcent at 12% and Minorities at 20% h. women only represent 10% of officers nationally, even thought 40% are in the labor force, barriers still exist for women, including test that test upper
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Abuse of Discretionary Power when officers exercise...

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