Police Discretion Research Paper

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Discretion is when the effective limits on a public official’s power leave him or her free to make a choice among a number of possible courses of action” (Davis 1980). This same concept is true for police officers, police are tasked with using their best judgment when it comes to dealing with situations that arise in there busy day. Unfortunately as seen in recent history police do not always use their power of discretion in the best interest of the community. Due to lack of self-control or just having poor training of the few police officers our government has developed several control mechanism to ensure that police are using their best discretion. These mechanism include, internal control, external control, control by citizens, legislative control and control by courts. Unfortunately when it comes to police discretion there is not right or wrong there is allot of situational instances that may arise in which action has to be taken. Police discretion describes a police officer's right to determine whether to what action to take. Examples of when police use…show more content…
Essentially the government controls were money goes thus eliminating the need for administrative discretion. An example of this many government allocate more money to drug trafficking and gangs in their community. Meaning the police department does not have to choice were to use their money it is pretty much decided for them. The last piece of the legislative control mechanism is legislative oversight. Legislative oversight is a relatively new to being researched. Legislative oversights committees are created to oversee organizations. This process of checks and balances is used to determine operational efficiency and integrity. In essence legislative oversight committees act as a “big brother” to police departments. The last and perhaps the most important form external control mechanisms are control by the

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