What's the assignment?
Assignment: Police Discretion
Police discretion is essential to the success of the individual officer. Discretion determines the
officer's actions and modes of responsibility.
Training on the New Federal Deadly Force Policy" and "Deadly force in Defense of Life"
Force Policy" and "Deadly force in Defense of Life" found on aXcess.
o Define discretion in your own words.
o Explain why discretion is exercised in your own words.
o Identify how the officer exercised discretion in the scenario (use p.120 of your text as
o Identify the factors influencing the officer's discretion.
o In your opinion, did the officer use the appropriate course of action based on the
principles of police discretion described in the text? Explain your answer.
o Explain how discretion is controlled. What strategies can be implemented to ensure
appropriate use of discretion?
Discretion can be defined as decisions that humans make every day. Discretion in everyday life is used for almost everything that we do. From what we let our children watch and play to what we as adults decide to go to work or not. We know that if we do not we will be fired. In the world of policing this discretion has to be right. Not only right but also quick. The police have to react with the best outcome within a split second, whether it is to tazer, mace, shoot or a takedown (Dempsey & Forst, 2005, p.120).
The officers have many duties that require them to use their discretion such as searching a possible suspect, stopping a car that looks suspicious, or just patrolling. In today's world, the officers have to use their judgment wisely or they could possibly lose their life (Dempsey & Forst, 2005, p.120).
The officer used discretion when she went to the man that fell off the bike. When the man ran, she knew that something was up, so she pursued him. She used her discretion, she figured that the bike was stolen and the man knew that she knew. This discretion allowed her to know that he needed to be pursued. The factors that caused her to use the discretion that she did was that the man ran from her, upon him slipping on the ice she, she attempted to cuff him. After beating her head on the pavement she realized that he could be considered a dangerous man and had to be stopped. She used her discretion and continued to pursue the man. Upon the second struggle, he injured the officers left arm, she had then broke free and order the man to stop. After this the man started to come at the officer, she shot him. Her discretion saved her life. This man was not going to stop at anything until she was dead (Axcess Material Appendix C).
I think that she used the appropriate action. She knew that she was smaller than he was and that he tried to take her out the first time meant that he was serious about her not getting him. Her judgment kept her alive. Part of a human discretion can be control by the agency. However, the agency cannot control what happens out in the field. The agencies provide the officers with policies to follow; the officer's uses these policies as a guideline for everyday routines. However, we all know that sometimes the officer has to do what it takes to save their life (Dempsey & Forst, 2005, p.120).
Axia College of University of Phoenix. (2005). Week three reading. Retrieved November 2, 2008, from Axia College Week Three, aXcess, CJS210-Fundamentals of Policing Course Web site.