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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99030 Find in a Library
Title: Discretion and Order (From Moral Issues in Police Work, P 43-54, 1985, Fredrick A Elliston and Michael Feldberg, ed. - See NCJ-99027)
Author(s): W B Hanewicz
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Rowman and Allanheld Publishers
Totowa, NJ 07512
Sale Source: Rowman and Allanheld Publishers
Division of Littlefield, Adams and Co
81 Adams Drive
Totowa, NJ 07512
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although law and organizational regulations are required to minimize gross improprieties in the use of police discretion and to introduce predictability and order in police functioning, the psychological and ethical insights of individual officers applied to particular situations must be preserved to prevent policing from being insensitive and mechanical.
Abstract: Abuses in the use of police discretion have been eliminated or minimized by setting legal and administrative parameters for the use of police discretion. Legislation delineates police behavior that is clearly abusive, and administrative regulations set guidelines for the use of police discretion in particular situations. A third approach blends management principles and psychology to develop general guidelines for appropriate police behavior in situations likely to be encountered in field duties. These efforts express the desire of the American culture to provide bureaucratic order and predictability in human behavior. Attempts to make police behavior mechanical and predictable can, if pushed to the extreme, preclude the exercise of creative, sensitive ethical decisions that respond to the circumstances of particular persons in problematic situations. Officers should be trained in psychology and ethics so that they are prepared to exercise ethically sensitive individual judgments within the broader parameters for behavior set by law and administrative regulations. Nineteen suggested readings are listed.
Index Term(s): Ethics training; Police discretion; Police human relations training; Police legal limitations; Police policies and procedures; Police-citizen interactions
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