Critical Issues in Policing Essay

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Critical Issues in Policing Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1495

  • Pages: 6

Critical Issues in Policing

Critical Issues in Policing
Introduction
There are a number of critical issues when concerning policing and this task quite frankly is not an easy one. Police officers have to be mindful of many things that affect how their job must be done. This paper will discuss the dangers of policing and how it affects police officers; less-than-lethal-weapons and the benefits that it has for officers and our community; past, present, and future technology of policing and some of the benefits that they entail; Homeland Security and law enforcements relationship; and Police Deviance. DANGER POLICING

There are many dangers concerning the work of a police officer. Officers face various types of dangers and risk. When a person signs up to become an officer of the law, they already know the nature of the job means that they will be putting themselves at risk of different dangers. Possessing the job of protecting others and keeping peace within the community is a risk in itself. Some of these dangers that officers face every day of their lives are health problems like getting the following high blood pressure, insomnia, increased levels of destructive hormones, heart problems, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a big one is suicide and this is from the stress of the job (Zink, 2012). It does not only affect an officer’s physical health but also their mental health and with that is where suicide can come into the picture. Driving is also another danger that an officer faces because they can crash or get hit while on a traffic stop due to other drivers either not paying attention to what they are doing, not knowing how to drive, or they are under the influence of something; not the officer but the other driver. A big danger is getting hurt on the job in some way or another and even death. Officers face different people every day that can be in bad situations like fighting, on some type of drug, or just plain hate life and the person may not care and want to harm the officer in any way possible. This occurs when a police officers’ training and weapons can help with the situation. LESS THEN LETHAL WEAPONS

It is the police officer’s job to enter volatile and unpredictable situations to apprehend suspects, and keep everyone safe in the process of doing so. Each officer is trained to assess situations and to apply no more force than necessary (CJi Interactive, 2012). There are many different types of force which include: use of authority: voice tone, choice of words, body language, and physical positioning; use of body: pushing, restraining, grabbing or holding, hitting, and choking; use of restraints: cuffing; and deadly force: gun and intentional vehicle collision. One use of force that is used often is less than lethal weapons. Some examples of less than lethal weapons would be a baton, pepper spray, a stun gun or Taser, and nets (CJi Interactive, 2012).Another option is less than lethal ammunition such as rubber bullets, bean bags, and pepper balls. Less than lethal weapons were developed to assist law enforcement with the apprehension of suspects without having to use deadly force. Many of these examples aid the officers in doing their jobs more efficiently and providing a safe environment not only for the suspect, but for any bystanders, and the officer as well. POLICE TECHNOLOGY

Technology is changing the way police operate. “In the past 10 years the rate of technological change is so fast that one could reasonably suggest that the top 10 jobs 10 years from now might not even exist today.” (“The Future Is Here: Technology In Police Departments”, 2003-2012). Technology is changing how grants requests are formatted and funding is a big issue in policing. The things that police do with technology were not common knowledge 10 years ago. For the officers that have been with the police force for years they may have a hard time adjusting to the new technology but for the younger police officers it makes the job easier. Crime lights, in car camera system, photo enforcement systems, graffiti cameras, thermal imaging, criminal investigations records system, electrical white board, and much more are some of the new things technology is bringing to help police our communities. Crime lights let crime scenes be handled faster than in the years before technology became a big thing.

Things that was not able to see before and now available. In car camera system record video footage of procedures containing the public such matters as traffic stops, criminal investigations, and arrests. Photo enforcement systems generate traffic violations like when people speed or run red lights. Graffiti cameras allow pictures to be taken of suspects who vandalize property. Thermal imaging makes it easier to find suspects because it tracks their movements because it is body censored. Criminal investigations records system gathers relevant information to help identify suspects. Electrical white board makes things run faster in meeting instead of using a regular white or chalk board. HOMELAND SECURITY

The federal government has declared a war on terrorism that has changed our lives and had a profound effect in ways that affect local police agencies. New aggressive actions by the law enforcement and intelligence communities have been taken because of the threat of terrorism (“Homeland Security and Law Enforcement”, n.d.). Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are concerned with terrorist activities. After 9/11 attack, the federal government started to advocate that terrorism activity is best responded through a multi-agency approach, which means with the help of local, state and federal agencies which includes efforts as investigating suspected terrorists and preparing and responding to terrorism acts. The federal government also states that police are the first ones to come in contact with criminal aliens who may be threat to national security and believes that local and state agencies should enforce immigration laws. Adding these activities to local and state agencies can be dangerous as it can take officers from their current duties and is costly.

A lot of police departments do not want enforce immigration laws and many local authorities are ordering local police officers not to assist federal agents in arresting illegal aliens as they do not want the aliens to see the police as a threat to their legal status (Walker & Katz, p. 517, 2011). Local police officials are worried that by enforcing immigration laws in identifying and deporting illegal immigrants would alienate them from local communities where they are trying to develop positive relations. They are also concerned that illegal immigrants are afraid to report crimes to police due to their legal status. There is also a concern that it jeopardizes trust and cooperation between illegal immigrants and the police. POLICE DEVIANCE

Another additional critical issue in policing is police deviance also known as police corruption. Police deviance occurs when law enforcement officers behave in a manner that is “inconsistent with the officer’s legal authority, organizational authority, and standards of ethical conduct” (Barker and Carter, 1986, pp. 2–3). This is an intentional violation of rules and regulations, standards, or procedures by police officials of the organization. Police corruption involves criminal activity of a police officer which includes committing crimes like robbery, selling drugs, or doing some type of criminal act that violates or doesn’t enforce the law. As part of the policing issues that take place in the organizations police deviance is relevant because these types of misconducts take place with police officials and are part of the community. It relates to danger in policing because a lot of the time the deviance and corruption is done outside of the organization while on duty in the streets. This causes issues amongst the community and the police when its sexual harassment, excessive use of force, use of restricted weapons, and discrimination. Police officials usually stick with each other when it comes to these types of misconducts taking place especially since officers adopted the code of silence, where any officer refused to testify against another officer in their ranks. CONCLUSION

In policing it is fair to say that there are issues that are easier addressed then others and that it will take time and effort. It is critical that the police stay focused and continue to do everything in their power possible to be effective on a day-to-day basis

Reference
CJi Interactive. (2012). The Police: Issues and Challenges. Retrieved from http://media.pearsoncmg.com/pcp/pcp_94869_mutchnick_cj_uop/learning_modules/chapter7/7.2typesofforce/index.html Homeland Security and Law Enforcement. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://what-when-how.com/police-science/​homeland-security-and Police dangers.html. (n.d.). Retrieved from police officers pages:

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Critical Issues in Policing Essay

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Critical Issues in Policing Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 465

  • Pages: 2

Critical Issues in Policing

Many people count the possibility of getting shot as the most significant danger a police officer faces. Officer-involved shootings appear to be on the rise, and there is no shortage of video footage on television or online showing shootouts between officers and criminals. Today’s law enforcement officers face a multitude of dangers during everyday duties that rival the threat of getting shot. Officers are exposed to these dangers on a daily basis such as, foot and vehicle pursuits, responding code three (lights and siren), making an arrest, traffic control, heat stroke, stress, and duty equipment and biohazard or sun exposure.

Officers wear ballistic vests and heavy leather belts containing batons, pepper spray, handcuffs, a radio and a handgun. The equipment that is worn can weigh up to 20 pounds, which puts a tremendous amount of stress on the back, hips, knees and feet. Officers must also get into and out of a patrol vehicle up to 20 times a day wearing this equipment. As a result many officers are injured to the point of being unable to work in law enforcement any longer. Officers are also exposed to extreme temperatures for extended periods of time. Officers are at the mercy of whether, whether conducting traffic control at an accident scene in 100 degree heat or providing crime scene security in freezing temperatures. Most time they have not had time to stop at the store or the station before they are sent to the call so they can be standing out there without the proper protection or hydration they might need.

In addition to the physical dangers, being ready for the unknown is what officers must deal with, and this can place a significant amount of physical and mental stress on the officer. Officers need to remain vigilant and prepared for any situation that develops. Rarely does an officer have time to fully prepare for the emergency call for service. Officers have to rely on training and make split second decisions based on an ever changing set of circumstances. But one of the most dangerous aspects of police work is pursuit driving or responding “code 3.” Not only do the officers have to be in control of their own vehicle, they must be fully aware of the traffic surrounding them. Officers are also responsible for the fleeing suspect even though they have no control over his vehicle. One of an officer’s main priorities when responding “code 3”, or pursuing a fleeing suspect is to ensure the safety of the public. This takes split-second decision making, specific driving skills and an awareness of the motoring public that may not see the officer or the fleeing suspect.

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Critical Issues In Policing Essay

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Critical Issues In Policing Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1824

  • Pages: 7

Critical Issues In Policing

Abstract

There is an abundance of issues when concerning policing. In this paper the following things will be discussed: the dangers of policing, less-than-lethal-weapons, technology used in policing, and police corruption and how it relates to this paper.

Critical Issues in Policing

Policing has grown in possibly the most positive and beneficial direction since the beginning of time. It is a constant grueling and agonizing pace at some times but in all reality that is what makes it even more beneficial because the officers, supervisors and the community are taking their time in making sure they are establishing a proper balance of needs. In all of this time they have continually figured out ways to reduce crime, protect citizens and the community while putting themselves at the risk of danger and death. As the technology continues to rises as time goes on and the changes in society the law enforcement will become an unpredictable turn of events. The realistic view is that there has been a lot of things to change and keep up with but some of the biggest changes in the policing area have been changes in how they deal with recruitment, gender and racial equality, better education, dangers, technology, less than lethal weapons, and

Dangers of Policing

While working in or at a job or in a position where you have to protect people or even the whole community, your job will be filled with a huge number of risks and dangers. Policing involves a number of dangers, and the officers that are there to serve and protect face different dangers every day. Some of the dangers that are an issue in policing are the risk of physical injury and or death of an officer, automobile crashes, the mental and emotional stress not only of the job but of the balance between the job and personal lives. They have to deal with the elements of Mother Nature, with extreme temperature changes which involve heat stroke and or hypothermia. They also have to worry about the lack of proper nutrition, and also the exposure to contagious diseases, such as AIDS or Hepatitis. The final and most severe aspect of most of the dangers in policing is the threats of violence to themselves and their families. I can’t imagine that these thoughts don’t play a role in the thoughts of a police officer’s mind every time they get ready to do their job every day, it would also have an effect on how they do their jobs.

There really is only one positive that someone can see out of the dangers that these officers expose themselves to on a daily basis. It is with hope and faith that having so many dangers keeps these officers prepared, attentive, and conscious of everything around them and how cautiously and carefully they do their jobs. Looking into the issues of policing we need to help improve officer safety with more effective and possibly even more equipped cars, more effective firearms, and the better invention of less lethal weapons for our officers to use when they are in the streets battling and fighting with criminals. There is no doubt that we also need to have better communication with the entire police force and other agencies, but that will come in time as everything else evolves. I think that another good way to combat the dangers in policing is that our government heads mandate it that no officer is allowed to work the beat alone.

Although it is an understanding that extra patrol costs money, there is no single person that can put a price on another person’s safety or life. Driving is a huge concern for officers because not only are they having to concentrate on how they operate a car they are also having to be aware and almost have to predict in some instances what the person next to them is going to do. Now getting to the health aspects of dangers in policing, the reality of this is that the equipment that they wear can sometimes weigh more than most two month old babies and it puts quite a lot of stress on their lower extremities such as hips, knees, and feet.

They also get in and out of vehicles up to hundreds of times in one day and so they risk the wear and tear on their joints and tissue. They also have to deal with people who have various communicable diseases such as AIDS, HIV or hepatitis. They are constantly dealing with people spitting or urinating on them or by them. Part of that health is the mental and physical aspects of it, the job alone can be a hard, tiring and exhausting day to day job, then a lot of these officers go home to another life, a wife, kids, pets all of which demand even more from these people that have just spent hours out there protecting citizens and a community from criminals and terrorists.

Less-than-lethal weapons

These are weapons that officers use to protect themselves from a distance, they usually use them as a distraction, to disorient or incapacitate a suspect or known criminal. It is not considered to be a deadly weapon although if used in the wrong manner could cause death. There are a variety of options in relation to less than lethal weapons such as chemical agents, electrical weapons, projectile weapons, and pepper spray. It would seem that out of these options a taser is something that is more common among officers and agencies, although this is not a lethal weapon used with force it could cause death or serious injury.

Less than lethal weapons are a positive thing for officers to be able to use. If an officer is alone and cannot get control of a person and they are being resistant or violent then they have another option than to just use their lethal weapon. It is a great alternative to a deadly weapon choice and usually helps the officer protect himself just as good in most cases. Without the assistance that officers have with less than lethal weapons most officers wouldn’t feel as secure in certain situations and they can also avoid someone being seriously injured or even shot to death.

Technology used in policing

When it comes to technology, it is and will continue to be one of the most growing and evolving parts of policing. There are what seem to be millions of types of technology that police officers use are, crime lights, lasers, crime mapping, global positioning systems. (“The Future Is Here: Technology in Police Departments”, 2003-2014). One example that the officers use is dashboard cameras. These cameras are mounted inside police cars and they videotape images that happen in front of the police car and outside of the police car, they are not a new form of technology but they are as usual coming out with newer and better imaging and sound recordings and the angles at which they can be set can now be changed to view different angles.

The cameras are beneficial to not only help catch criminals but they also have been used to catch police officers that are using criminal behavior. Another example is RADAR/LIDAR-Radar is a system in which they use for detecting the direction or distance, even the speed of objects by sending out pulses or waves that reflect off the article and back to the starting place. LIDAR is the light detection and ranging that is yet another acronym to describe the technology used in LTI’s family of Lasers. This technology allows for more information and communication to be more accurate and instant among police organizations and their police officers, command centers and citizens even. They are benefiting from technology because they have better chances to identify perpetrators through a higher technology base such as AFIS, they also can collect data through the DNA analysis.

Police Corruption

I think that there is one critical issue in policing that needs more attention and it is about police corruption. Police corruptions are abuses of police authority. (“Police Corruption and Misconduct”, 2014. There are multiple example of police corruption but one example would be an officer allowing someone to keep trafficking drugs as long as they receive something in return for letting them traffic them across state lines. It has been a part of society since the beginning of time and it will probably find a way and spot into the future of policing. The thing that drives police officers to commit such corruption is usually greed or personal gain.

The prevention of corruption is a hard one to deal with, there is always going to be one officer somewhere out there that is going to want more than they have. They are not blamed for doing anything but action on those decisions that they have made when they are tempted by such corruptive things. It is a critical issue because citizens are suppose to put their life and trust in these officers hands and if they can’t make good decisions for themselves then how can one trust they will make good decisions when it comes to the community.

Conclusion

The best way to improve the concerns we have about safety is to have constant and reoccurring training that way we are keeping our officers up to date about any and all dangers that they may have to deal with in their fields that they go out and work in everyday. I also believe that we have to try and stay ahead of the criminals when it comes to technology; they have the ability to use this as something to better the amount of violence and crime. Without police forces being able to use the same technology we will fall behind on crime prevention and the reality of the situation is that policing will not ever be effective in catching these criminals is we are continually a step behind them.

References

Police Corruption and Misconduct. (2014). Retrieved from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Police+Corruption+and+Misconduct The Future Is Here: Technology in Police Departments. (2003-2014). Retrieved from http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?article_id=1527&fuseaction=display&issue_id=62008

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