Police Discretionary Behavior

Essay by boscoannCollege, UndergraduateB+, February 2007

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

Downloaded 61 times

After carefully reading the text for this reposonse (Police Discretionary Behavior, A Study of Style) I could not put my finger on one factor that I believe leads to police discretion. I believe there is not an absolute to every situation every time. There are different people involved in different locations with different attitudes. I agree with several arguments in the chapter. Including age, race, income, attitude toward the officer, gender, and income status are all being factors of how police respond to a situation.

For example, I believe Police are more likely to use more force against African Americans, they are less likely to take a juvenile complaint as serious as an adult, and they are likely to deal with a situation involving mentally ill people differently than normal citizens. Something that was not mentioned in the chapter that I believe plays a role in the discretion Police use is the seriousness of the crime-a misdemeanor/traffic type compared to felonies.

I do believe that one of the highest factors of police discretion is your gender. For example: an officer witnesses a car driving down a street doing approximately 30 miles over the speed limit. The officer follows the car and it continues to go 30 miles over the speed limit. The officer turns on his lights and sirens and instructs the driver of the car to pull over to the side of the road. The driver does so. The officer approaches the car and inquires as to why the driver was speeding. The senior citizen female driver explains that her husband, who is in the passenger seat, is having a heart attack and she needs to get him to the hospital. At that point the officer decides that the health of the passenger is much more important...