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NCJ Number: 64525 Find in a Library
Title: POLICE - AN IMPORTANT SUBSTANTIVE POLICY-MAKING AGENCY OF GOVERNMENT (FROM ANATOMY OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE - A SYSTEM OVERVIEW, 1980, BY CLEON H FOUST AND D ROBERT WEBSTER SEE NCJ-64520)
Author(s): F REMINGTON
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: POLICIES SHOULD INDICATE THE DEGREE OF POLICE DISCRETION TO BE EXERCISED IN ENFORCING THE LAWS; ADVICE FROM LOCAL POLICYMAKERS AND DISTRICT ATTORNEYS SHOULD BE SOUGHT IN PARTICULARLY QUESTIONABLE SITUATIONS.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH SOME POLICE FORCES HAVE POLICIES GUIDING POLICE DISCRETION, MOST POLICIES CONCERN METHODS OF ENFORCEMENT SUCH AS THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE, RATHER THAN WHEN AND HOW TO FULLY ENFORCE. SUCH POLICY IS LACKING BECAUSE LAWYERS AND OTHERS QUESTION WHETHER IT IS LEGAL OR DESIRABLE FOR POLICE TO MAKE POLICY ON LAW ENFORCEMENT ISSUES. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT LEGISLATORS INTEND THAT POLICY FULLY ENFORCE ALL ENACTMENTS. SOME LAWS, SUCH AS GAMBLING STATUTES, COVER MORE CONDUCT THAN LEGISLATORS WISH PROHIBITED AND THUS IMPLY POLICE DISCRETION. OTHER STATUTES REVEAL NO CLEAR LEGISLATIVE PURPOSE; ALTHOUGH LEGISLATURES INTEND FULL ENFORCEMENT FOR SERIOUS CRIMES, POLICE DO NOT ALWAYS MAKE ARRESTS FOR SERIOUS BATTERY IN FAMILIES. ALTHOUGH COURTS AS WELL AS LEGISLATORS RECOGNIZE FULL ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS MAY NOT BEST SERVE THE COMMUNITY, POLICY IS NEEDED TO MINIMIZE QUESTIONABLE USE OF POLICE DISCRETION AND PROTECT POLICE FROM ACCUSATIONS OF UNFAIRNESS. REMEDIES FOR THE POLICE DISCRETION PROBLEM INCLUDE LEGISLATURES' INDICATING MORE CLEARLY WHEN POLICE SHOULD FULLY ENFORCE AND COURTS' CONTRIBUTING TO CAREFUL LEGISLATION BY RULING SOME TOO-BROAD LAWS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. NOTES AND AN APPENDED COMMENTARY ARE PROVIDED. (PAP)
Index Term(s): Decisionmaking; Law enforcement; Police decisionmaking; Police discretion; Police diversion; Police legal limitations; Police responsibilities
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64525

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