Freedom of Action in The Police

For Police Officers, as well as the Administrative positions in law enforcement tend to have some sort of say in who to arrest and who to not arrest. A lot of the times officer discretion is a powerful, yet basic tool in policing. Removing officer discretion by creating, “Must Arrest” offenses would result in too many unnecessary arrests, while creating “Can’t Arrest” offenses would result in people ignoring the existing laws. One of the many reasons to why police officers have discretion is so they may take the entirety of the conditions unto contemplation while inspecting a precise occurrence to help regulate the need for an arrest.

While a lot of crimes are mostly forthright, there are also those inquiries which necessitate thought of other issues. Thus, Police Officers tends to use specialized ruling. When it comes to administrative roles, then tend to deal with discernment, renunciation of due process, and complications reported by people within the community.

They tend to look for the ones who use knowledge and judgement when making a choice or performing official duties, as contrasting to severe guidelines or positions.

One Example: when an administrator is trying to choose the correct course of action, when one of their employees commits something or a crime has been committed. With Police Discretion an example: when an officer pulls over someone who is speeding. They have the choice to either give them a warning, citation, or ticket, however they have the choice to do that. A few of the exterior and inner factors that may affect police officers’ discretion is based on what type of crime is committed.

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Was it a slight crime like speeding or a main crime like homicide? Also, domestic violence, like will a partner press charges, and public opinion concerning the issue. These are some things that could really play a big role when an officer is using discretion to possibly arrest someone. A lot of the times it takes a lot based on the circumstance for an officer to arrest someone. When one has good judgment whether they are in law enforcement, or are a part of the administrative process. Good judgment will take them a long way just for the fact that when one has it they can determine whether or not to let someone go, arrest someone, or cold heartedly determine on if this person needs to exist or not. In comparison to the two, Law Enforcement uses judgment every single day they go on patrol. Let us look at the ways an officer uses discretion, incident exposure. When someone commits this crime, they can have that judgment to arrest said person just for the fact they are technically harming others based on them being nude in public.

That is when an officer is going to make a judgement call and arrest someone. Administrative discretion, could be an employee that is “Flirting” with another co-worker when that co-worker does not want that to happen. They can fire someone right off the spot, or they can have said person arrested based on the discretion. All in all, this is something that continuously happens on a daily basis whether you are an officer or part of the administrative process. A lot of the time it is not something to joke about, but it is something that can determine someone’s fate. I feel that officers have plenty discretion, some do abuse it. However, a lot of officers do tend to have a lot of good instinct when it comes down to it. That is something that someone needs o be a good officer because without it judgement calls will be hard.

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Freedom of Action in The Police. (2021, Dec 27). Retrieved from

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