Counseling Chapter 5 Class Discussionactivity Identify Some The Major Factors That Influence Police Discretion The

Document Type
Homework Help
Book Title
An Introduction to Policing 9th Edition
Authors
John S. Dempsey, Linda S. Forst, Steven B. Carter
Chapter 5
The Police Role and Police Discretion
Learning Objectives
LO1 Discuss the police role, including the distinctions between crime fighting and order
maintenance.
LO2 Describe the ambiguity of the police role, particularly in the aftermath of 9/11.
LO3 Identify the primary and secondary goals and objectives of policing.
LO4 Explain the different definitions of police operational styles and how they address the major
goals and objectives of policing.
LO5 Explain and identify the factors that affect police discretion.
LO6 Summarize the issues surrounding police shootings and the use of deadly force, including
current and historical practices, the role of discrimination in use of force, the influence of the
public response to police shooting, and the current use of force policies.
Lesson Plans
Correlated to PowerPoints
I. The Police Role
Learning Objective 1: Discuss the police role, including the distinctions between crime fighting
and order maintenance.
A. Two Major Views of the Role of the Police
1. The police are crime fighters concerned with law enforcement (crime fighting).
3. The two major ways of looking at the police role are the crime-fighting role (law
Class Discussion/Activity:
Explain the basic difference between the crime-fighting role and the order maintenance role of the
police.
B. Crime-Fighting Role
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1. Historical overemphasis of the role as crime fighters and played down their role
as peacekeepers
2. Most common contact between police and the public were during traffic stops.
C. Order Maintenance Role
2. Embodied in the “broken windows” theory of policing
See Assignment 1
Media Tool
“Role Conflict-police officer”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WGNAwdkoGo
o CNN video of New Orleans police officer during Hurricane Katrina who is caught in
dilemma between his family and duty.
o Discussion: Discuss what you see on the video. What would you have done in a similar
situation? What is the role of the police in this type of situation?
II. Ambiguity of the Police Role
Learning Objective 2: Describe the ambiguity of the police role, particularly in the aftermath of
9/11.
B. The Police Role in the Aftermath of 9/11
1. The police role is very ambiguous, but thinking about the role of the police has
increased since September 11, 2001.
Class Discussion/Activity:
Discuss the effect on the police role of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United
States.
See Assignment 2
III. Goals and Objectives of Policing
Learning Objective 3: Identify the primary and secondary goals and objectives of policing.
A. Primary Goals and Objectives
1. Maintaining order
2. Protecting life and property
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What-If Scenario
Your department has embraced the philosophy of community policing. You are expected to be
more “community oriented” in your policing activities. While on patrol you see some young kids
vandalizing a vacant property. What would you do?
B. Secondary Goals and Objectives
2. Arresting and prosecuting offenders
4. Assisting the sick and injured
6. Delivering services not available elsewhere in the community
7. Create a sense of omnipresence
IV. Police Operational Styles
Learning Objective 4: Explain the different definitions of police operational styles and how
they address the major goals and objectives of policing.
Class Discussion/Activity:
What are police operational styles? Discuss some of them.
A. Police Role
2. Order maintenance (peacekeeping)
B. Police Operational Styles
1. Siegel and Senna
a. Crime fighters
2. Broderick
a. Enforcers
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C. Styles of Policing
1. James Q. Wilson
a. Watchman style
D. Policing Ideals
1. Mendias and Kehoe
a. Law enforcement
V. Police Discretion
Learning Objective 5: Explain and identify the factors that affect police discretion.
A. What Is Discretion?
2. Discretion involves making a judgment and a decision; it involves selecting one
from a group of options.
Class Discussion/Activity:
Define discretion. Discuss some of the major ways police exercise discretion.
B. How Is Discretion Exercised?
Media Tool
“The Nice Thing About Law Enforcement is That We Have Discretion”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4DVw5Vq7mc
o The Nice Thing About Law Enforcement Is That We Have Discretion, states Sgt.
Davis of the WI State Capitol Police to Citizen Mary. This 87-year-old visitor to the
Capitol has some questions and wonders what is going on over the noon hour with
Solidarity Sing Along as Unlawful Assembly was declared on three different days last
week, yet no arrests were made.
o Discussion: Discuss what this video shows about police discretion. When and under
what circumstances is it appropriate to exercise discretion?
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1. The police exercise discretion to perform the following crucial actions:
a. Arrest
What-If Scenario
You are a new officer, just having cleared your probationary period, and you want to impress
you supervisor with your aggressiveness. You spot a vehicle going 10 miles over the speed
limit. It is 2 A.M. on a quiet street. You make a traffic stop and when you approach the vehicle
after it stops; you realize you have pulled over your Operations Captain. What would you do
and why?
f. Use certain enforcement tactics (harassment, moving loiterers, warning,
See Assignment 3
C. Why Is Discretion Exercised?
1. If the police attempted to enforce all the laws all the time, they would be in the
2. Because of political realities, legislators pass some laws that they do not intend to
have strictly enforced all the time.
4. Most violations of the law are minor (e.g., traffic violations) and do not require
full enforcement.
6. The full enforcement of all the laws would overwhelm the courts, jails, and
prisons.
7. The police have so many duties to perform and such limited resources that good
judgment must be exercised in when, where, and how they enforce the law.
D. What Factors Influence Discretion?
2. Relationship between the alleged criminal and the victim
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4. Department policies
6. Suspect behavior
8. Time and place were not significant.
9. In recent years, much attention has been given to the need to prepare police for
the appropriate use of discretion.
Class Discussion/Activity:
Identify some of the major factors that influence police discretion.
E. The Ferguson Effect
2. Increased scrutiny has made police officers reluctant to use force when necessary
and reluctant to stop and question people who seem suspicious.
3. Police officials agree that national political leaders stand against them, and imply
through their words and actions that disrespecting law enforcement is acceptable.
F. How Can Discretion Be Controlled?
2. The limits on discretion should be sufficiently specific to enable an officer to
3. CALEA Standards
a. If followed by the officers, provide protection to the officer and the
public
b. Standards can act as a conscience for officers when they are tempted
See Assignment 4
VI. Police Shootings and the Use of Deadly Force
Learning Objective 6: Summarize the issues surrounding police shootings and the use of deadly
force, including current and historical practices, the role of discrimination in use of force, the
influence of the public response to police shooting, and the current use of force policies.
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1. Use of deadly force is the ultimate example of police discretion.
2. Despite common perceptions, police rarely use force.
What-If Scenario
You are responding to a “man with a gun” call. While en route to the call you spot a subject
matching the description and stop him. After you make contact and before you can approach
him, he makes a movement to his waist, grabs something. You draw your weapon The suspect
grabs what appears to be a gun. What would you do and why? (Instructorafter the students
debate thisadd that the gun is plastic.)
B. Use of Force Policy and Monitoring Police Use of Force
1. National Consensus Use of Force Policy (2017)
a. Provided law enforcement with guidelines for the use of less-lethal and deadly
2. Increased use of body cameras
C. Number of Citizens Shot by the Police
D. Do Police Discriminate with Their Trigger Fingers?
2. The Chicago Law Enforcement Study Group found that the disparity among rates
E. Departure from the Fleeing Felon Rule
1. Fleeing felon doctrine: law enforcement officers could, if necessary, use deadly
force to apprehend any fleeing felony suspect.
3. “Defense of life standard”
4. Imminent danger standard
a. Restricts the use of deadly force to situations where lives are in
imminent danger
b. Forbids firing warning shots and shooting at moving vehicles
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What-If Scenario
Your chief has asked you to update your use of force policy allowing for maximum discretion
for the officers. How would you address this request? What would you include and exclude in
the policy?
F. Firearms Training
1. Academy recruits spend an average of 60 hours in firearms training.
See Assignment 5
1. Less-than-lethal weapons
a. Chemical sprays
2. Almost all local police departments and sheriff’s offices use less-than-lethal
weapons, most commonly chemical sprays, batons, or electronic devices such as
stun guns or Tasers.
Media Tool
Taser Compilation UOF Training
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x-8NJH4fy4
o Compilation of use of Taser
o Discussion: Discuss what you see on the video. Is the use of the Taser reasonable? Are the
subjects a threat, actively resisting, or fleeing? What would you do?
Class Discussion/Activity:
Discuss the extent and use of less-than-lethal weapons by the police.
VII. Summary
Lecture Notes
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1. Explain the police role in society.
The police role in the United States is unique in that it is not limited to specifically defined tasks.
First, police act as crime fighters. Many police officers emphasize their role as crime fighters.
2. What are the goals of policing?
3. What are the various operational styles of the police?
4. Police officers use discretion every day. How is it regulated?
The use of discretion is one of the major challenges facing U.S. police today. Discretion is the
availability of a choice of options or actions one can take in a situation. Depending on the
5. The media is quick to point out police use of excessive force. How do police officers know
when to use force and how much to use?
One researcher pointed out that out of approximately 40 million contacts between police and
citizens in one year, only about 1.4 percent involved police use of force or threat of force.
6. The “fleeing felon” rule was overturned in Tennessee v. Garner in 1985 by the
U.S. Supreme Court. Was this a good decision? Why or why not?
The fleeing felon rule, like most of England’s common law, came to the United States. Today,
however, there is little need for the fleeing felon rule in the United States, because we have
sufficient armed police and modern communications systems to aid in the apprehension of
Key Terms
ambiguous The concept that the police role is very diverse and dynamic. (p. 135)
deadly force Force that can cause death. (p. 149)
defense of life standard Doctrine allowing police officers to use deadly force against
fleeing felon doctrine Doctrine widely followed prior to the 1960s that allowed police officers
less-than-lethal weapons Innovative alternatives to traditional firearms, such as batons, bodily
noble cause corruption The substitution of personal values for the values of the profession and
omnipresence A concept that suggests that the police are always present or always seem to be
order maintenance Major view of the role of the police that emphasizes keeping the peace and
providing social services. (p. 133)
police operational styles Styles adopted by police officers as a way of thinking about the role of
the police and law in society. (p. 137)
police role The concept of “what do the police do.” (p. 133)
Tennessee v. Garner U.S. Supreme Court case that ended the use of the “fleeing felon” rule. (p.
Assignments
1. Police officers like to fight crime, especially newly hired officers. These officers may feel
that crime fighting is their main job. How do you get rookie officers to fill an order
2. You are the chief of the Anytown Police Department. A newly elected city council wants
a mission statement from the police department. What would yours be? [LO 1]
3. Police make decisions on the street every day. Now it is your turn. You stop a vehicle
doing 45 mph in a 35-mph zone. You just wrote a speeding ticket 10 minutes ago in the
same location for the same speed. This time it is a friend of yours. What do you do? You
4. Many experts believe that discretion itself is not bad, but that the real problem is
5. Using the Internet, research innovative less-than-lethal weapons. Report your findings on

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