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Personal Leadership Issues and the Rule of Law Term Paper

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Updated: May 23rd, 2021

Postsecondary Education requirements for Police Officers

Law enforcement is one of the most demanding professions in the United States. Over the years, numerous changes have been made in a bid to improve the efficiency of police officers in maintaining law and order. One of the key changes that have been witnessed in the American police force is the educational requirements that police hiring services have for potential candidates. Studies have shown that higher education plays a crucial role in increasing the retention rate within the police force (Rodgers & Frevel, 2018).

As early as 1994, all new recruits into the American police service were required to have a bachelor’s degree. Since the turn of the century, more changes have been made within the police service that require officers seeking promotions to have a degree regardless of the policing experience that one has. Studies have shown that higher education has a positive impact on the behavior of police officers and their decision-making (Rodgers & Frevel, 2018).

According to police hiring services, higher education is one of the elements that have influenced professional policing in the United States. Research has established that police officers with a college degree tend to have better output and opportunities for career advancement compared to those without any form of postsecondary education (Rodgers & Frevel, 2018).

One of the main reasons why potential candidates for joining the American police academy ought to have at least a college degree is the need to promote police ethics. According to research, police officers with the college education have the ability to think critically, thus are less likely to choose using force as a way of gaining compliance from citizens (Rodgers & Frevel, 2018). College education equips one with problem solving skills, which allow police officers to determine situations that require the use of force and those that should be resolved using dialogue or any other strategy. Apart from building innovative and progressive law enforcement agencies, police officers with university degrees help to increase the level of professionalism, as well as strengthening community relations (Rodgers & Frevel, 2018).

Comparison of the Fundamental Differences between Arrests, Searches, and Seizures Conducted With and Without Warrants

One of the main duties of police officers in the United States is making arrests, searches, and seizures (Beckham, 2017). Arrests involve officers taking someone into custody. This is often done through a bench warrant or an arrest warrant. A bench warrant refers to an order issued by a judge’s bench ordering for the arrest of a defendant who fails to appear in court for a scheduled hearing. On the other hand, an arrest warrant refers to an order for arrest given when there is enough evidence that a crime was committed. However, arrests can also be made without any warrant. This happens in situations such as when an officer witnesses a crime being committed, a violation of the traffic law has occurred, as well as cases of child abuse, domestic violence, and violations of restraining orders (Beckham, 2017).

Police officers are also mandated to search crime scenes and seize evidence. This should happen through a warrant, which entails an order authorized by a judge who acknowledges that there is a reasonable existing cause for an area to be searched (Means, 2014). The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures by police officers. It guarantees that citizens cannot be subject to searches in areas and situations that are likely to compromise one’s privacy (Beckham, 2017).

In addition, the Fourth Amendment provides three conditions that any warrant ought to meet before any search or seizure happens. A warrant must be supported by an oath or affirmation from a judge, specify the areas to be searched, and should describe the people or things that are to be seized as evidence after a search (Beckham, 2017). However, police officers can conduct a search and make seizure without a warrant in a number of exceptions.

For example, a police officer can conduct a search if he or she has witnessed a crime happening. Another one is the motor vehicle exception, which involves a situation where a police officer detects the possibility of another crime other than the one that gets someone pulled over. Other notable exceptions are emergencies, as well as stop and frisk in case an officer suspects that someone is armed and dangerous (Beckham, 2017).

Ways in which Packard’s Crime Control Model and the Due Process Model Differ in the Matter of Police Ethics

Ethics is one of the guiding principles for effective policing in the United States. The criminal justice process in the country is based on two frameworks, namely the due process and crime control models. Research has shown that the two models have had great opposition for several years because of the unique ways in which they describe the concept of policing (Bergman, 2015). The due process model is based on the principle that it is not possible to deny any citizen their right to life, liberty, or own property without following the necessary legal procedures. This model advocates for arrestees to be perceived innocent until they are proven otherwise in a court of law.

On the other hand, the crime control model is based on the assumption that police officers are reliable enough with regard to finding adequate facts on a crime and should treat arrestees as criminals. The two models also differ in their perception of police officers and their role in the criminal justice system (Bergman, 2015). The due process model believes that police officers are an essential element of the criminal justice process, while the crime control model states that police officers are not necessary because arresting people creates a negative image for law enforcement agencies. In addition, the crime control model believes that following the due process slows down the justice process (Patterson & Graham, 2018).

Another difference between the models is their understanding of defendant rights. The due process model believes that defendants have rights that should be respected and protected through a legal route before being subjected to any form of punishment (Means, 2014). On its part, the crime control model believes that defendants do not have any rights. In addition, the model argues that the government should invest in building more prisons and increasing the capacity of law enforcement agencies (Bergman, 2015).

However, the two models strongly believe in punishing criminals who violate the law and acknowledge the job of a defense counsel as pleading on behalf of their clients within the criminal justice system (Bergman, 2015). Of the two models, the crime control model lends itself to the possibility of ethical violations in law enforcement. This phenomenon is necessitated by the fact that the model does not believe in following the due process provided by the criminal justice system to prove the guilt of an arrestee (Bergman, 2015). This means that applying this model would lead to so many innocent people suffering due to crimes they never committed.

Situations where Police Supervisors may be held Criminally Liable for their Officers’ Misconduct

According to legal experts, there are numerous situations where police supervisors may be held criminally liable for mistakes made by their juniors. Supervisory liability is a characteristic element of policing and the criminal justice system in the United States (Griffin & Heilbrun, 2015). A police supervisor can be held liable for a constitutional rights violation by an officer under his or her supervision if there is a grave risk of harm.

For example, a police officer having mental health issues should not be allowed to make arrests, as well as conduct searches and seizures because they pose a threat to the people that will be involved in the process. In such a situation, the supervisor can be held liable in case an arrestee is subjected to any form of abuse because he or she had or ought to have had the knowledge of the risks involved (Griffin & Heilbrun, 2015).

A supervisor can also be held criminally liable if one fails to train his or her junior officers. For example, an arrestee can be mishandled by an officer following an arrest to the extent of having his or her privacy compromised. Officers are not supposed to get physical or use force on a citizen who does not resist an arrest or show intent to do the same (Means, 2014). In such a situation, the supervisor can be held liable because of inadequate training for junior officers who are supposed to know the way an arrestee should be handled.

References

Beckham, D.B. (2017). Warrantless search & seizure. Texas, TX: Texas District & County Attorneys Association.

Bergman, P. (2015). Criminal law: A desk reference. San Francisco, CA: Nolo.

Griffin, P.A., & Heilbrun, K. (2015). The sequential intercept model and criminal justice: Promoting community alternatives for individuals with serious mental illness. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Means, R. (2014). The law of policing: Federal constitutional principles. New York, NY: Labor Relations Information Systems.

Patterson, G.T., & Graham, W.K. (2018). Clinical interventions in criminal justice settings: Evidence-based practice. New York, NY: Elsevier Science.

Rodgers, C., & Frevel, B. (2018). Higher education and police: An international view. New York, NY: Springer.

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