Ethics, Discretion and Professionalism in Policing Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 16 May 2016

Ethics, Discretion and Professionalism in Policing

Abstract: This paper is going to cover the unlawful behavior that led to harmful discretionary acts that had taken place in several different police departments; from the big cities of Los Angeles and Chicago to the small department of East Moline. This will cover, in detail, how these officers went down the wrong path to self-destruct their own departments. “Police discretion refers to the authority granted to a police officer that allows him to decide how best to deal with a certain situation. This is aimed at increasing the flexibility of the justice system as punishment may not always be the appropriate mode of dealing with crimes. Discretion may empower a police officer to overlook a minor offense giving the offender a warning” (Alec Korsmo). Police discretion has been observed to be common in domestic violence, drugs and traffic offences. In matters to do with domestic violence, the police have been on the. They have treated domestic violence as a private matter better left for counseling, cooling off periods. Discretion is used especially when both parties are seen as equally involved in the violence and are either arrested or asked to separate for a few days or sometimes longer to dissipate the anger.

Now In traffic, cops can allow a driver who has failed to stop at a red light to walk away as it is normal to sometimes make mistakes. The cops can also use discretion for the drivers caught driving drunk or high on drugs. The police officer will call a cab for the driver or take the civilian home and have the car towed away. All of these things are in the police officers discretion whether to arrest the suspect of try and show them that they got away with it this time and next time the officer will not be as nice. Drugs have been involved in police discretion for a long time. One of the main reasons behind why officers go corrupt is because the amount of money and opportunities that they see in the drug market. It is the officers’ discretion at this point whether to use his badge for corrupt reasons.

One famous example of police discretion and drugs would be one in the mid nineteen eighty’s. The officers’ name is Joseph Miedezowski, also known also known as the most corrupt Chicago police officer of all time. This man was on the payroll of the Latin kings while serving as a trusted officer and protector of the people of Chicago. Miedezowski sold the names and addresses of every gang tact officer to the kings in the midst of his unlawful discretion. He would also use his knowledge of the streets to shake down drug dealers and then turn around and sell the drugs to make own personal gains. His fellow officers later would turn and in two thousand one, he was convicted of ten counts of drug conspiracy and racketeering that landed him a sentence of life in prison.

Most of the larger cities have a bad reputation for bad police discretion with Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans being among the worst of them by far. This bad discretion and set of morals have left some departments with bad names that they will quiet never get off their backs. An example of this is Louis Eppilito and Steven Caracappa we on the New York police department organized crime investigating unit. The shocking part was that the people they were being paid to investigate was the very ones they had decided to turn their back and work for. Now these two officers had become moles in the department so they could get access to stuff nobody else could outside of the department.

The officers soon were into deep and would have to kill whoever the mafia told them too just so they wouldn’t be killed. In two thousand six, both men were tried and convicted of racketeering, obstruction of justice, extortion, eight counts of murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. These charges stemmed from the nineteen eighties to the rarely nineteen ninety’s and the two thousands in Las Vegas they were sentenced to life in a federal prison

The Los Angeles Police department continued their bad reputation for bad discretion leading into corruption in the nineteen ninety’s. Rafael Antonio “Ray” Perez was involved in seven hundred and twenty thousand dollar bank robbery where he shot and framed Javier Ovando. Perez was also accused of stealing at least eight hundred thousand dollars’ worth of cocaine from police lockup. The former officer was also a member of bloods, a violent street gang. Perez would shoot rival unarmed gang members and frame them to make it look like there was a fight and he was just defending himself.

After he was caught, seventy other police officers were tried for corruption being that they were under the orders of Perez. In February of two thousand, the former trusted police officer pleaded guilty to stealing eight pounds of cocaine, which got him sentenced to five years in prison. Pérez said this before hearing his sentencing “I cheated on my wife. I cheated on my employer, and I cheated on all of you, the people of Los Angeles.” A little over a year went by and he was released from prison on parole only to land back in court in December of two thousand one, this time one federal charges. Ray was now being charged with violating Ovando’s civil rights and having possession of a fire arm with serial numbers that had been manipulated. He would go on to serve five more years in federal prison with no chance for parole this time, because in federal prisons, parole is not an option.

In August of two thousand five, New Orleans saw one of America’s worst natural disasters ever to occur. Hurricane Katrina had just ripped through the big easy, looters were running wild through stores and streets, and hundreds of homes were being broken into and their valuables being stolen. Local police officers were told that they could shoot the looters on site. Captain Lane Deacon stated “When I told the officers that I was in command of at that time to shoot or fire at threatening looters I did not think they would act so aggressively.” Three officers Robert Gisevius, Sergeant Kenneth Bowen, and Anthony Villavaso, were stationed on Danzinger Bridge when a young, black man by the name of James Brissett tried to cross. This is when the officers did not use the right discretion and turned down the wrong path. Brissett was unarmed with nothing but his wallet and keys. A confrontation broke out in which the three police officers jumped on the young man and continued to beat him near death, finally just shooting and killing him. It turns out that Brissett was just looking for shelter. The three officers were then charged with falsifying reports, false prosecution, conspiracy to cover up murder, second degree murder.

All three once creditable officers two of them being ranking now face the death penalty. These bad discretionary acts do not just occur in large cities. They happen right in our own small communities and towns. One example of this was recently when an East Moline police officer, Joey DeCap, was caught stealing thirty thousand dollars from his mother in-law who suffers from various mental illnesses. DeCap and his wife were put in charge of the finances when she was declared incapable of doing so herself. They set up an account at bank of America branch in davenport, Iowa around January two thousand ten. DeCap made it possible for his mother-in-laws bills to be paid from that account while he was drawing out large sums of cash without permission from her or his wife. Along with this deliberate act of injustice, he made money off other peoples cars. DeCap was close friends with the towing company that was on contract with the city of East Moline. They would tow cars to their impound lot after accidents, DUIs, and other various dealings, and wait for the owners to come pick the car.

If the car sat for too long they would illegally sell it to DeCap for cheap and he would then take it to be scrapped or sold. All of these crimes led him to be charges with five felony counts of official misconduct and one felony count of financial exploitation of the elderly or disabled. These five examples of how discretion can lead to unlawful acts and corruption have left their various departments with bad reputations. The various cities that they come from are known as having some of the most corrupt officers of all time. It does not matter the well discretionary acts by the policemen there now. Instead they will carry the names of those that have committed those acts in the past. These few rotten seeds have caused the larger cities to be labeled as having the worst policing, the departments are so big and vary in diversity that it would go unnoticed for the most part if there was such unlawful discretionary acts. The larger cities are slowly building their reputation back and becoming more community oriented. Although now we are seeing corruption in our small towns and it can’t go unseen.

As bigger cities are making a turn for the better, small towns, like around here are making a turn for the worst. So, what causes bad discretionary acts? What makes these figures that are held so high in society turn against their peers, their city, and the people in it that they are supposed to protect? It really can be broken down into four categories based on a study done by T. Newburn. The first and obvious one being police discretion. If the officer has discretion and it is used wisely then the job should not be a problem and they will not take advantage of their position. Another one is the amount of low supervision. Nobody is there to catch all your mistakes and you feel like you can get away with a lot more for a longer period of time. The next one is cops that are in constant contact with criminals. This gives an easy opportunity for unlawful acts. The last one is the environment surrounding the police officer. We see most of these bad discretionary acts that can lead to corruption happen where there is high population in drug activity and gang activity, where there is a lot of money flowing that can easily be uncounted for.

Police also have a strong bond with their fellow officers so they feel secrecy is a part of the police culture, which means most of what happens that is illegal by other officers is sworn to secrecy. Statistically, bad discretionary acts by officers have gone down recently from the early two thousands when it was at an all-time high. Sixty-two percent of police officers are involved in some sort of police corruption. That means about three out of every five cops are, in some way, being unlawful. Record numbers of officers are being investigated, almost two hundred and forty five a month. With all of these crazy numbers you would think more of it would be in the public eye.

But it’s the complete opposite most of the bad discretionary acts go unannounced to media so it doesn’t look like the cops are the bad guys. Having good police discretion is a must, because we need loyal law enforcement that can support the community through the good and bad. We can make sure these officers are properly trained in discretion by taking a look at their past and providing classes for the new incoming cadets. I believe the only way you can control corruption in a law enforcement society is teaching them these discretionary ways and the correct morals. Although you cannot change their morals, because they bring in their own set I believe you can show them what’s right and they can do it themselves.

Police Ethics

Police Discretion
G

Abstract: This paper is going to cover the unlawful behavior that led to harmful discretionary acts that had taken place in several different police departments; from the big cities of Los Angeles and Chicago to the small department of East Moline. This will cover, in detail, how these officers went down the wrong path to self-destruct their own departments. “Police discretion refers to the authority granted to a police officer that allows him to decide how best to deal with a certain situation. This is aimed at increasing the flexibility of the justice system as punishment may not always be the appropriate mode of dealing with crimes. Discretion may empower a police officer to overlook a minor offense giving the offender a warning” (Alec Korsmo). Police discretion has been observed to be common in domestic violence, drugs and traffic offences. In matters to do with domestic violence, the police have been on the. They have treated domestic violence as a private matter better left for counseling, cooling off periods. Discretion is used especially when both parties are seen as equally involved in the violence and are either arrested or asked to separate for a few days or sometimes longer to dissipate the anger. Now In traffic, cops can allow a driver who has failed to stop at a red light to walk away as it is normal to sometimes make mistakes. The cops can also use discretion for the drivers caught driving drunk or high on drugs.

The police officer will call a cab for the driver or take the civilian home and have the car towed away. All of these things are in the police officers discretion whether to arrest the suspect of try and show them that they got away with it this time and next time the officer will not be as nice. Drugs have been involved in police discretion for a long time. One of the main reasons behind why officers go corrupt is because the amount of money and opportunities that they see in the drug market. It is the officers’ discretion at this point whether to use his badge for corrupt reasons. One famous example of police discretion and drugs would be one in the mid nineteen eighty’s. The officers’ name is Joseph Miedezowski, also known also known as the most corrupt Chicago police officer of all time.

This man was on the payroll of the Latin kings while serving as a trusted officer and protector of the people of Chicago. Miedezowski sold the names and addresses of every gang tact officer to the kings in the midst of his unlawful discretion. He would also use his knowledge of the streets to shake down drug dealers and then turn around and sell the drugs to make own personal gains. His fellow officers later would turn and in two thousand one, he was convicted of ten counts of drug conspiracy and racketeering that landed him a sentence of life in prison.

Most of the larger cities have a bad reputation for bad police discretion with Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans being among the worst of them by far. This bad discretion and set of morals have left some departments with bad names that they will quiet never get off their backs. An example of this is Louis Eppilito and Steven Caracappa we on the New York police department organized crime investigating unit. The shocking part was that the people they were being paid to investigate was the very ones they had decided to turn their back and work for. Now these two officers had become moles in the department so they could get access to stuff nobody else could outside of the department.

The officers soon were into deep and would have to kill whoever the mafia told them too just so they wouldn’t be killed. In two thousand six, both men were tried and convicted of racketeering, obstruction of justice, extortion, eight counts of murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. These charges stemmed from the nineteen eighties to the rarely nineteen ninety’s and the two thousands in Las Vegas they were sentenced to life in a federal prison

The Los Angeles Police department continued their bad reputation for bad discretion leading into corruption in the nineteen ninety’s. Rafael Antonio “Ray” Perez was involved in seven hundred and twenty thousand dollar bank robbery where he shot and framed Javier Ovando. Perez was also accused of stealing at least eight hundred thousand dollars’ worth of cocaine from police lockup. The former officer was also a member of bloods, a violent street gang. Perez would shoot rival unarmed gang members and frame them to make it look like there was a fight and he was just defending himself. After he was caught, seventy other police officers were tried for corruption being that they were under the orders of Perez.

In February of two thousand, the former trusted police officer pleaded guilty to stealing eight pounds of cocaine, which got him sentenced to five years in prison. Pérez said this before hearing his sentencing “I cheated on my wife. I cheated on my employer, and I cheated on all of you, the people of Los Angeles.” A little over a year went by and he was released from prison on parole only to land back in court in December of two thousand one, this time one federal charges. Ray was now being charged with violating Ovando’s civil rights and having possession of a fire arm with serial numbers that had been manipulated. He would go on to serve five more years in federal prison with no chance for parole this time, because in federal prisons, parole is not an option.

In August of two thousand five, New Orleans saw one of America’s worst natural disasters ever to occur. Hurricane Katrina had just ripped through the big easy, looters were running wild through stores and streets, and hundreds of homes were being broken into and their valuables being stolen. Local police officers were told that they could shoot the looters on site. Captain Lane Deacon stated “When I told the officers that I was in command of at that time to shoot or fire at threatening looters I did not think they would act so aggressively.” Three officers Robert Gisevius, Sergeant Kenneth Bowen, and Anthony Villavaso, were stationed on Danzinger Bridge when a young, black man by the name of James Brissett tried to cross. This is when the officers did not use the right discretion and turned down the wrong path. Brissett was unarmed with nothing but his wallet and keys. A confrontation broke out in which the three police officers jumped on the young man and continued to beat him near death, finally just shooting and killing him. It turns out that Brissett was just looking for shelter.

The three officers were then charged with falsifying reports, false prosecution, conspiracy to cover up murder, second degree murder. All three once creditable officers two of them being ranking now face the death penalty. These bad discretionary acts do not just occur in large cities. They happen right in our own small communities and towns. One example of this was recently when an East Moline police officer, Joey DeCap, was caught stealing thirty thousand dollars from his mother in-law who suffers from various mental illnesses. DeCap and his wife were put in charge of the finances when she was declared incapable of doing so herself. They set up an account at bank of America branch in davenport, Iowa around January two thousand ten. DeCap made it possible for his mother-in-laws bills to be paid from that account while he was drawing out large sums of cash without permission from her or his wife. Along with this deliberate act of injustice, he made money off other peoples cars. DeCap was close friends with the towing company that was on contract with the city of East Moline. They would tow cars to their impound lot after accidents, DUIs, and other various dealings, and wait for the owners to come pick the car.

If the car sat for too long they would illegally sell it to DeCap for cheap and he would then take it to be scrapped or sold. All of these crimes led him to be charges with five felony counts of official misconduct and one felony count of financial exploitation of the elderly or disabled. These five examples of how discretion can lead to unlawful acts and corruption have left their various departments with bad reputations. The various cities that they come from are known as having some of the most corrupt officers of all time. It does not matter the well discretionary acts by the policemen there now. Instead they will carry the names of those that have committed those acts in the past.

These few rotten seeds have caused the larger cities to be labeled as having the worst policing, the departments are so big and vary in diversity that it would go unnoticed for the most part if there was such unlawful discretionary acts. The larger cities are slowly building their reputation back and becoming more community oriented. Although now we are seeing corruption in our small towns and it can’t go unseen. As bigger cities are making a turn for the better, small towns, like around here are making a turn for the worst. So, what causes bad discretionary acts? What makes these figures that are held so high in society turn against their peers, their city, and the people in it that they are supposed to protect? It really can be broken down into four categories based on a study done by T. Newburn.

The first and obvious one being police discretion. If the officer has discretion and it is used wisely then the job should not be a problem and they will not take advantage of their position. Another one is the amount of low supervision. Nobody is there to catch all your mistakes and you feel like you can get away with a lot more for a longer period of time. The next one is cops that are in constant contact with criminals. This gives an easy opportunity for unlawful acts. The last one is the environment surrounding the police officer. We see most of these bad discretionary acts that can lead to corruption happen where there is high population in drug activity and gang activity, where there is a lot of money flowing that can easily be uncounted for. Police also have a strong bond with their fellow officers so they feel secrecy is a part of the police culture, which means most of what happens that is illegal by other officers is sworn to secrecy. Statistically, bad discretionary acts by officers have gone down recently from the early two thousands when it was at an all-time high. Sixty-two percent of police officers are involved in some sort of police corruption. That means about three out of every five cops are, in some way, being unlawful.

Record numbers of officers are being investigated, almost two hundred and forty five a month. With all of these crazy numbers you would think more of it would be in the public eye. But it’s the complete opposite most of the bad discretionary acts go unannounced to media so it doesn’t look like the cops are the bad guys. Having good police discretion is a must, because we need loyal law enforcement that can support the community through the good and bad. We can make sure these officers are properly trained in discretion by taking a look at their past and providing classes for the new incoming cadets. I believe the only way you can control corruption in a law enforcement society is teaching them these discretionary ways and the correct morals. Although you cannot change their morals, because they bring in their own set I believe you can show them what’s right and they can do it themselves.

Free Ethics, Discretion and Professionalism in Policing Essay Sample

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 16 May 2016

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