Characters and Cops by Edwin J. Delattre

By Edwin J. Delattre

The 5th version of this enduring paintings good points new fabric on how present day law enforcement officials can meet the moral demanding situations of policing whereas dwelling as much as heightened calls for for larger defense. Professor Delattre addresses the necessity for cautious number of legislations enforcement recruits by utilizing 4 examples of highbrow competence and ethical probity in policing and legislations enforcement: the research of mass homicide at Columbine highschool, which was once carried out less than FBI management; the powerful transformation of the police strength within the Rampart sector of l. a. following the catastrophic police misconduct of the Nineteen Nineties and the reforms of the la police division as an entire; the profitable anti-gang paintings carried out by way of the Fairfax County police in Virginia; and the layout and growth, because the September eleven terrorist assaults, of the recent York country place of work of place of origin safeguard.

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27 THE MISSION OF POLICE 29 Police often sense that people draw into themselves when the police are around. That is, perhaps, the reason the social life of many police officers centers on the companionship of other officers. They share in the tradition of St. George, because they have the authority to use force, even deadly force, though for most officers the need is rare. But police must remember that their mission is more complicated than St. George’s, and if they work well, they will convey much more to the public than the image of a mere slayer of dragons.

The police fail because the lawyers won’t let them succeed. The lawyers prevail because liberal jurists, cheered on by columnists and editorial writers intent on expanding their notions of civil rights, have erected a vast legal jungle gym of evidentiary procedures, subjected police conduct to extensive second-guessing, and eliminated nearly all discretion from the cop on the beat—for example, by outlawing vagrancy laws. . The system of criminal justice . . 11 Although police can still exercise discretion on the beat, the problems of the criminal justice system are real.

We allow police to use force because we prefer a disinterested party to have this authority, rather than allow those impassioned by involvement to use force against each other. The use of reasonable force by an authorized official for a legitimate purpose—even if extreme force is required—is not the same as the brutal use of force or as police brutality. Undue reliance on communication when force is needed jeopardizes innocent citizens and police officers. Police necessarily exercise some discretion in their duties.

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