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Policing Duties: Criminal Justice Essay

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Updated: May 9th, 2022

In the US, police officers regard crime investigation procedures as a paramount facet of criminal justice. These processes entail examination and evaluation of crime scenes with the aim of recovering crime evidence and documenting crime details (Albanese, 1999). For effective crime investigations, police officers are required to assess, observe, document, search, collect, and analyze crime scene evidence. This paper focuses on police experiences as they perform their policing duties.

Simple Assault

Simple assault is defined as a willful cause of bodily harm to an individual. In the US, procedures used in criminal investigations related to assaults are similar to those used in homicide investigations. Simple assault differs from aggravated assault in that it does not involve the use of weapons (Fisher, 2000). Upon arrival at the crime scene, police officers should analyze the scene critically. Through this, they should collect samples of fingerprints and blood samples. After this, they are supposed to interview the witnesses. During this procedure, the victim’s information is paramount.

The above procedures have been stated in accordance with the procedures documented in the textbooks and classroom environments. However, in contemporary society, some of these procedures do not hold. For instance, more often cases of physical assault are reported after the suspects or other individuals have distorted the crime scene evidence. Because of this, the investigators will be forced to rely on other evidence (Fisher, 2000). Any individual who willfully causes threat or bodily harm to another individual is termed to have violated the assault law. To understand the major causes of this crime and how to deter it, law enforcers should employ psychological theories in coming up with appropriate policies.

Robbery

Robbery crime refers to the unlawful act of taking someone’s property. More often, investigators arrive at the scene of the robbery after the robbers have fled. This implies that soon after arriving at the robbery scene police officers are required to attend to emergencies (Fisher, 2000). Thereafter, they are supposed to broadcast the robbers’ information to their fellow officers at various locations to begin the follow-up searches. After this, follow-up vehicles are supposed to be dispatched. Similarly, police officers and forensic experts should detail the evidence left behind by the robbers by taking pictures of the crime scenes and searching for fingerprints.

During the robbery investigations, investigators may find that some of the mentioned procedures do not hold in any of the investigations. According to the existing literature, police officers are expected to follow standardized procedures during their investigations. However, during their investigations, investigators might be prompted to interview the eyewitnesses before first-hand information is lost. Just like other common crimes, a better comprehension of robbery crimes can be achieved through the help of psychological theories (Albanese, 1999).

Burglary

Individuals who forcefully enter someone’s property are termed to have violated the burglary laws. Once the police officers arrive at the crime scene, their primary objective is to identify and preserve possible sites of forensic evidence. Through this, the police officers are expected to determine the points of entry and methods of entry into the premises (Albanese, 1999). Afterward, the experts are expected to collect tool marks left behind by the burglar. During this process, the tool marks should be collected with caution to ensure that the impressions of the crime scenes are not destroyed. Similarly, the cast impressions and photographs of the crime scene should be taken. After this process, investigators should interview the witnesses.

By employing the use of rational choice theories and routine activity theories, the investigators can evaluate who conducted the crimes, where the crimes were conducted, and how burglary crimes were carried out. Similarly, societies can employ these theories in exploring means of deterring burglary crimes. Through this, they can comprehend what encourages burglars to break into their properties (Albanese, 1999). During the criminal investigations, investigators might realize that the public members have interfered with the tools or marks left behind by the suspects before their arrival. In such extreme situations, the procedure is dropped in favor of other procedures to enhance the case’s admissibility in the court of law.

Domestic assault dispute

Domestic assault dispute crimes are assault crimes that involve domestic relationships. When investigating such crimes, police officers should conduct a search in the crime scene focusing on finding weapons, and blood samples if bodily harm occurs. Similarly, the police officers are required to evaluate the crime scene based on the evidence received from the witnesses, victims, and the offenders. After this, the police officers should do a walk-through of the scene with the victims (Albanese, 1999). Through this, the victim should be given a chance to narrate the events prior to the crime, during the crime, and after the crime. Similarly, the suspect should be interviewed. When a domestic assault crime involves bodily injuries photographs of the victim’s injuries should be taken. During the trials, the prosecutor should employ the social learning theories of domestic assault in explaining their investigations.

During the course of their investigations, investigators might find that some of the laid down procedures do not hold in their investigation process. For instance, it is required that investigators assess domestic assault cases based on the evidence received from the witnesses. More often, an investigator might realize that the witnesses gave vague evidence that will fail to pass the admissibility test during the court sessions. To strengthen his or her case, an investigator might be forced to assess the crime scene based on other available facts rather than from the witnesses’ perspectives (Albanese, 1999).

Vandalism

In the US, vandalism law is broken when an individual willfully damages another person’s property. Whenever vandalism crimes occur, members of the public are urged to report the crimes to the police departments as soon as possible. This will ensure that crime investigation is initiated before the public members disturb the crime scenes. Once the police department is informed of a vandalism case, they are required to rush to the crime scene (Fisher, 2000). At the crime scene, the police officers should assess the extent of vandalism noting pieces of evidence left behind by the suspect. Through this, the officers should look for fingerprints and footprints in the vandalized items. They should then take photographs of the crime scene. After this, the officers should interview the witnesses. Some experts argue that the adoption of the aesthetic theory of vandalism can enable investigators to improve the admissibility of their investigations. The theory will enable investigators to come up with appropriate accusations. While carrying out their investigations, investigators might realize that some procedures might jeopardize follow-up investigations in the future by disturbing the crime scene.

Disorderly Conduct

Within the US jurisdiction, disorderly conduct refers to all acts that compromise public peace. In this regard, disorderly conduct law decriminalizes all acts such as drinking in public and loitering in some areas due. In the US, police officers are mandated to arrest any individual found engaging in acts that compromise public peace (Fisher, 2000). After the arrest, police officers are supposed to interrogate the suspect. Thereafter, investigators should interview the witnesses.

To understand the basis of these crimes, police enforcers should employ the use sociological crime theories. Through this, they can understand the causes and the ways of deterring the crimes in society (Harris & Kiel, 1999).

Possession of a deadly weapon

In the US, once an individual is suspected to be in possession of a deadly weapon, the suspect should be apprehended (Fisher, 2000). After the arrest, the police should carry out an investigation to ascertain the claims. Through this procedure, the suspect should be searched for possession of the alleged weapons. Similarly, the police are allowed to extend their search into the suspect’s premises. With the help of psychological and sociological crime theories, the police should question the suspect thoroughly for further evidence.

Like other criminal investigations, investigators might collect vague evidence from interviewing the suspect and the witnesses compromising on the admissibility of their investigation (Harris & Kiel, 1999).

Loitering

Under US laws, individuals found to have violated loitering laws are supposed to be apprehended. After the arrest, investigators should question the suspect (Albanese, 1999). Similarly, the investigators should record the place where the suspect was apprehended. This information would be useful in the court of law in proving that indeed the suspect had committed a crime.

In real-world experiences, investigators have noted that there are contentious issues when proving whether the suspect committed a loitering crime. Critics argue that the definition of loitering is ambiguous (Albanese, 1999). To understand the nature of loitering crimes, law enforcers should employ the use of sociological and psychological crime theories.

Motor Vehicle Theft

In the US, most motor vehicle theft cases are reported in large numbers unlike other crimes owing to the statutory requirements that mandate police reports when processing insurance policies (Albanese, 1999). Once a car theft case has been reported, police officers should commence their investigations by recording the make, model, license number of the stolen vehicle. Similarly, the police officers should record the names of the operators of the vehicle, the name of the places the vehicle was stolen and recovered, and how the thief broke into the vehicle. Afterward, the officers are expected to interview the witnesses.

The above procedure is based on the existing literature. However, in real-world experiences, the above procedures might be carried out randomly so long as substantial evidence is gathered (Albanese, 1999). A motor vehicle theft suspect is termed to have violated the robbery law.

Larceny

According to US laws, larceny crime occurs when an individual deprives another person’s property. In the US, larceny is one of the eight index crimes. The steps used in investigating the crime and theories used in analyzing the crimes are similar to those used in robbery crimes. As such, it is vital that the police officers assess and document the crime scene experiences with the help of crime scene processing techniques (Fisher, 2000).

References

Albanese, J. S. (1999). Criminal justice. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Fisher, B. A. (2000). Techniques of crime scene investigation (6th ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Harris, B., Kohlmeier, K., & Kiel, R. D. (1999). Crime scene investigation. Englewood, Colo.: Teacher Ideas Press.

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