Police Officers deal with moral dilemmas on daily basis. The recent increase of police related incidents has put police officers in a moral dilemma at times when it comes to certain situations involving civilians. According to the text police officers can make decisions based on the situation which can cause a huge dilemma. The first guideline that I believe should be incorporated in the police discretion policy is that every police officer should be held accountable for their actions. I have seen on the news how police officers decide and then try and use police policies to justify their actions.
If a police officer decides, then they should be held accountable for their actions. For example, I saw on the news that two police officers were charged with murder after they repeatedly tased an unarmed man to death. The reasons the officers gave was the man was not complying and that they operated within the confines of law. Holding the officers accountable for their actions was key because even though they could use their discretion at how many times they tased the suspect they choose to use an excessive amount of force to do so. The negative consequences of this policy is that I can see officers being reluctant to use force because of the potential negative consequences and it may have a bad effect on their job performance.
The second guideline I would use is combating the corruption of police officers. Not all police officers are honest, and this can go from lying on police reports to abusing their authority by harassing people. The corruption of police officers has a very negative effect on the community and more people are no longer willing to help police officers when they may need it. To ensure that the relationship between the community and police department remains in good standing there needs to be things done to help reassure the community that the police officers are there to help protect them. I live in Florida and I have a few relatives who are police officers and every few months they host an even in the community where they grill outside and invite the community to join them, so they feel comfortable enough to call or talk to them when they are around.
One potential negative consequence I see is that people may use that opportunity to cause some sort of disruption by breaking the law or doing something negative to impact the community in a negative way. I can also see that if the police officers host events such as barbeques in which they invite the community out and the they do things that impact the community in a negative way then they are not building in type of relationship with the community. The final guideline I would use is quarterly training on police policies and procedures so that excessive force and the different methods that can be used when they have a situation with a hostile civilian.
Officers are in these communities for years and may need to be reminded what their options are when it comes using force in a hostile situation. Having those classes regularly will ensure that each officer when faced with a hostile situation used an escalation of force instead of skipping to deadly force.
Banks, C. (2016). Criminal justice ethics: Theory and practice (4th ed.). Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Barber, R. (Writer & Producer). (2010). Cops and ethics (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Series episode]. In R. Barber (Executive producer), In the Line of Duty, Volume 13. Retrieved from the https://secure.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?