How the Constitution, Jurisdiction, and Corruption Lead to Law Enforcement Being Less Effective in the War on Drugs?
It is considered that the Constitution and jurisdiction contribute to effective law enforcement. However, there are cases when the impact of the mentioned issues might be negative. For instance, the Constitution proposes no racial or religious profiling of both suspects and criminals. Although this is clearly stated in the document, the Metropolitan Police of Washington, DC might use violence and racial profiling by offenders. In particular, the case of Garner who was condemned in selling loose cigarettes and then attempted to be arrested with chokehold proves the violation of the Constitution (Natarajan, 2014).
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Also, jurisdiction sometimes causes inefficient law enforcement. The research shows that excessive force occurs from the Metropolitan Police resulting in unfair treatment of individuals. Therefore, there is a need for the creation and implementation of new federal and local laws that would ensure the appropriateness of police operations in the field of drug trafficking prevention. More to the point, racial profiling and ethnic treatment should be eliminated from everyday police performance.
Speaking more precisely of jurisdiction impact upon law enforcement, it is essential to pinpoint that law enforcement officers do not possess the right to operate nationwide. In turn, it creates misconduct and misunderstanding due to several peculiarities existing in different geographical areas (Natarajan, 2014). However, as a rule, they can make warrantless arrests only within their jurisdiction.
As an example, let us consider the Metropolitan Police that operates exclusively in DC. A drug dealer, let us say, escaping from investigation enters another state so that Metropolitan Police officers would not be able to arrest him or her directly. As a result, one might note the decreased effectiveness of law enforcement.
Corruption existing in the modern system of policy undoubtedly affects drug trafficking law enforcement negatively. There is no reason to consider that drug-related corruption is specific differing from other forms of corruption. However, corruption is often linked with drug trafficking. Illegal drug markets are intricate, continuously changing, and very tenacious phenomenon. At that, traffickers can adapt quickly to changes resisting attempts made by the state to struggle with them. To derive an income from this illegal market, traffickers should have some degree of sophistication and organization.
That is why a dominant position in such markets is usually taken by organized criminal communities. The most successful among them, as a rule, are those who can systematically erode the state control and law enforcement system, deliberately using violence and systematically resorting to bribery and intimidation. Thus, these bodies and mechanisms that are created to limit the illicit drug trade often diminish or lose their capacity due to corruption.
In their turn, feds might influence jurisdictional issues related to drug trafficking, drug laws, and law enforcement by offering some changes to drug policies. Being a fed and encountering traffickers regularly, it is easier to understand fundamental issues concerning drug trafficking.
According to DeSilver (2014), sentencing reform was discussed in Washington leading to “cut of mandatory minimums for a host of federal drug crimes” (para. 6). Gupta (2014) adds that it is rational to make “nonviolent drug offenses a lower priority” for federal prosecutors (para. 1). It seems that these measures would contribute to the enhancement of struggle with drug trafficking in the corresponding jurisdiction.
Street-Level Drug Law Enforcement
There are three principal ways of street-level drug law enforcement including problem-oriented, hot-spots, and community-wide policing approaches. Let us consider each of them in detail. First, a community-wide policing is a question of police activity effectiveness. It is inextricably linked with the formation of the positive attitude of the population to the law enforcement agencies.
At that, the central idea is that the police wanting to control the situation should be engaged in crime prevention, which, in turn, requires cooperation with the population (Street-Level Drug Law Enforcement, n.d.). Cooperation with the public means respect for human and civil rights in the implementation of any professional function of the police. Thus, the police officers form the population’s attitude as a defender of human rights, which helps to reveal intersection points of state and citizens. For example, it is much better when the police officer walks on the streets, communicates with the population, and controls disadvantaged areas.
To this end, a set of principles need to be implemented:
- Human rights and police work are to be inseparably linked;
- Human rights did not prevent the police, on the contrary, they define the boundaries of its work and the basis for the exercise of powers under the law. On the other hand, the police should be interested in seeing that the public is informed about the problems and realities based on the following principle: understanding of how it works is a much more effective approach to improving relations with the population than the detached observation and criticism.
Second, the hot-spots policing approach might be referred to as traditional policy with a focus on hot spots of crime activity. This approach promotes adequate allocation of limited resources, namely, in the places where crime is more likely to be committed (Street-Level Drug Law Enforcement, n.d.). It is believed that if the crime would be prevented in hot-spots areas, then the overall rate of crimes would also decrease.
Speaking of drug trafficking prevention, it might be useful to monitor those areas where trafficking takes place more frequently. For example, sudden police raids might be rather beneficial. Furthermore, drug trafficking houses should also be taken under control. In other words, hot-spots policing provides a place-based activity with a high degree of focus and low intervention rate. It is also quite important to point out that large geographic units are to be completely ignored to ensure a full concentration on specific locations.
Third, problem-oriented policing assumes an approach when each disorder or crime is a subject to precise consideration. Through such an approach, it is expected to detect the most important ways to resolve the problem and choose an appropriate strategy (Street-Level Drug Law Enforcement, n.d.). The problem-oriented policing pays attention to responses, new strategies, and details. It also tends to engage other public agencies to analyze crime prevention. In the case of drug trafficking, it might be, for instance, the National Crime Agency or local businesses.
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Furthermore, this approach to policing aims at effective evaluation of events and the subsequent selection of the perspective strategies (Street-Level Drug Law Enforcement, n.d.). To implement problem-oriented policing, it is necessary to conduct a careful analysis of current issues in cooperation with the other agencies. Finally, the last but not least is the fact that police officers should be fully committed to effectively provide the selected approach to policing.
DeSilver, D. (2014). Feds may be rethinking the drug war, but states have been leading the way.
Gupta, V. (2014). Drug Policy Needs More Than a Jurisdiction Shift.
Natarajan, R. (2014). Racial profiling has destroyed public trust in police. Cops are exploiting our weak laws against it.
Street-Level Drug Law Enforcement. (n.d.).