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The Role Of Police In Society Essays

The Role of Police Essay

2107 WordsDec 6th, 20069 Pages

The Role of Police. People depend on police officers and detectives to protect their lives and property. Law enforcement officers, some of whom are State or Federal special agents or inspectors, perform these duties in a variety of ways, depending on the size and type of their organization. In most jurisdictions, they are expected to exercise authority when necessary, whether on or off duty. Police officers have general law enforcement duties, including maintaining regular patrols and responding to calls for service. They may direct traffic at the scene of an accident, investigate a burglary, or give first aid to an accident victim. In large police departments, officers usually are assigned to a specific type of duty. Many urban…show more content…

That officer is still upholding the law and enforcing it by warning the driver and letting him know what he did was wrong. However, the typical day-to-day execution of law tends to run more towards controlling situations where the public comes into disagreement. Whether breaking up a domestic disturbance, a loud party, or a traffic jam, the role of Police does not generally have much to do with enforcing the law as much as to smooth out any issues and have them be dealt with in court. Because of this, it can be said that the actual, practical role of Police in society is to act as expedient mediators. Not only should an officer enforces the laws he should also be a follower of them. It is not within the role of a police officer to be a criminal. Everyone makes mistakes sure, but an officer that breaks more serious law such as doing drugs, stealing, or assaulting someone becomes a hypocrite and gives a bad name to other officers. Also, part of enforcing the law is leading by example and being a good model for others to look at and copy. Approximately only 10 to 20 percent of calls made to the police involve a situation that needs immediate enforcing of laws. These are the burglaries in progress, the fights, and other things that usually lead to the officer having to make an arrest. (Schmalleger, 110) Police are sometimes limited in their resources and do not have

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The Role of Police.

People depend on police officers and detectives to protect their lives and property. Law enforcement officers, some of whom are State or Federal special agents or inspectors, perform these duties in a variety of ways, depending on the size and type of their organization. In most jurisdictions, they are expected to exercise authority when necessary, whether on or off duty.

Police officers have general law enforcement duties, including maintaining regular patrols and responding to calls for service. They may direct traffic at the scene of an accident, investigate a burglary, or give first aid to an accident victim. In large police departments, officers usually are assigned to a specific type of duty. Many urban police agencies are involved in community policingÐ'--a practice in which an officer builds relationships with the citizens of local neighborhoods and mobilizes the public to help fight crime.

The role of police goes far beyond what initially meets the eye. Whether a police officer if carrying out his/her duties appearing in court to testify in a criminal case. If they need to chase the bad guy down on foot and forcing him into custody. Something as routine as writing a speeding ticket to something as unorthodox as driving by and checking a citizen's house for them well they are on vacation. In all of these scenarios the officer is carrying out their role in the criminal justice system.

As Bryan Vila claims in his writing, The Role of Police in American Society "Policing addresses one of the most fundamental problems of social living --- how to deal with those who violate group customs, norms, rules, and laws that enable cooperation. Cooperating together in large groups enables us to take advantage of one another's strengths and to compensate for individual weaknesses. The resulting sum can be much greater than the parts and, all else being equal, the largethe social group, the larger the potential benefit. But social living also provides opportunities for people to cheat. Instead of cooperating to produce a shared benefit, people can use force, fraud, or stealth to obtain valued resources. Once again, generally speaking, the larger the social group, the greater the opportunities for cheating. Cheaters weaken the cooperative bonds that enable productive social living and, like parasites in an animal, too many cheaters can kill or cripple a society." (Vila, xxiii)

In 1822, Robert Peel who was the founder of the British system of policing explained the role of police to be "The basic mission for which the police exist is to reduce crime and disorder." Maybe that would sum up the role of police in 1822 but nowadays one would find it much harder to put the extensive obligations that a police officer has from day to day into a single sentence. (Andersen, 1)

The United States of America utilizes a system of policing that has an officer focusing on many different tasks. These tasks can range anywhere from enforcing a law to providing a service but generally include about 5 basic principles. Enforcing and supporting the law, investigating crimes and apprehending offenders, preventing crime, helping to keep domestic peace, and providing services. When these qualities come together they represent what it is to be a police officer today. (Schmalleger, 110)

Looking at the mission of police, any aspect can be examined to great detail. For example, enforcing the law and supporting the laws. A police officer has the obligation to enforce laws whether they be federal, state, or local. For example, writing a speeding ticket is enforcing the law. When a law is clearly broken in the view of an officer the officer has to use discretion to decide what steps should be taken.

The more serious a crime, the less discretion an officer has over whether or not he should act on the crime. Should the police officer pull over the speeding driver, the officer will then have to decide wether or not to write a ticket.

Even if the officer has alright decided not to write a ticket he might just want to check to make sure the drive has a licence and was not drinking and driving and/or doing drugs. That officer is still upholding the law and enforcing it by warning the driver and letting him know what he did was wrong.

However, the typical day-to-day execution of law tends to run more towards controlling situations where the public comes into disagreement. Whether breaking up a domestic disturbance, a loud party, or a traffic jam, the role of Police does not generally have much to do with enforcing the law as much as to smooth out any issues and have them be dealt with in court.

Because of this, it can be said that the actual, practical role of Police in society is to act as expedient mediators.

Not only should an officer enforces the laws he should also be a follower of them. It is not within the role of a police officer to be a criminal. Everyone makes mistakes sure, but an officer that breaks more serious law such as doing drugs, stealing, or assaulting someone becomes a hypocrite and gives a bad name to other officers. Also, part of enforcing the law is leading by example and being a good model for others to look at and copy.

Approximately only 10 to 20 percent of calls made to the police involve a situation that needs immediate enforcing of laws. These are the burglaries in progress, the fights, and other things that usually lead to the officer having to make an arrest. (Schmalleger, 110)

Police are sometimes limited in their resources and do not have enough time, money, or man power to enforce all laws so not all laws are enforced. Many of the old laws prohibiting minor offences that today hold little significance in society such as spitting on a side walk or j-walking are set aside so officers can go after bigger problems. J-walking may seem like a relatively useless law to have but under certain circumstances an officer will still enforce it. What if someone runs across a busy high way or road with lots of traffic. This is a danger to everyone because not only could the person get hit. He could cause I car to swerve and hit another car and cause a wreck. (Schmalleger, 110)

Apprehending offenders is another major responsibility that police have. Officers have the responsibility to arrest offenders of certain crimes during the crime if they see the law being broken and if not possible at that time, then after the crime is committed. (Schmalleger, 111)

Lets say for example if a call is received reporting a suspicious person who is snooping around the side yard of a house. When the police officer arrives the man tries to walk out onto the side walk and start walking down the street like he was not doing anything.

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