Policing in the United States Essay
Policing in the United States
Does homeland security issues influence the way police enforce the law? Please give an example. I agree with the statement that homeland security issues do influence the way the police enforce the law. My reasons for doing so will make most people agree with me. If a country is very strict about its homeland security issues example the United States after the 9/11 attacks, the police will have a more autocratic role to play.
In contrast to this, a country which is seemingly lax about its security issues such as India (where policemen are not equipped with weapons but with sticks to deal with any anomaly in the law and order situation) or even the United States before the September 11 attacks, will see the police play more of a peace keeping role than a reformatory and punishing one. If the country is at high risks from terrorists, policemen will be influenced such that they will be more stringent in their duty performance, will check every suspicious person or suspicious looking immigrant etc.
similarly, if the country is at risk from bomb threats or hijacking threats, the policemen will be more then strict in the performance of their duties. So the circumstances of a country do affect police enforcement of the law. An apt example over here (if an example of a country other then the US can be given) can be given of Pakistan and the emergency it imposed in November 2007. The police were given sweeping powers such that they could arrest people without proper investigation all in the name of maintaining proper law and order in the country (Thomas , 2006).
Does Policing in the United States presents a dilemma between the rights of the individual and the need to maintain public order? Please explain and give an example. To this question, my answer would also be yes. I would say this is mainly because of the September 11 attacks and the big affect it has had on our country’s security. On one hand, the United States condones the rights of individuals and declares human beings’ sanctity to be above that of the Higher Being. But on the other hand, its law enforcement methods, particularly in regards to immigrants, especially Muslims, leave a lot to be desired.
If the Human Rights act gives everyone permission to freely practice their religions, then this country has no right to subject certain people to greater suspicion only on the basis of their religion (Anthony, 2001). Similarly, the rights of an individual grant him the freedom to live his life as he seems fit. At the same time, police often interrupt bar room brawls and arrest drunkards. So this is not following the human rights act to its letter. An example of this conflict between the rights of individuals and the need to maintain public law and order is of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp on the shore of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Rights of individuals are abused there such as keeping them in indefinite detention, torture, beatings, locking in confined cells and sleep deprivation. But the United States government under George Bush argued that such measures were necessary if the American Public was to sleep safe at night as the men were all dangerous terrorists and criminals. Now President Obama has ordered the detention camp to be closed but it is still an apt example when discussing the above statement. Q3: How does the era of Homeland security affect community policing? Please explain and give an example.
Community policing involves expansion of police functions and no longer a stress on traditional police duties. It proposes big changes in the way things have always been done including organizational change, liaison with external sources to solve problems and a more proactive approach to solving problems. It deals in many different areas such as school safety where it recommends assigning police officers to schools and educating teenagers on the danger of possessing firearms to police integrity which targeted trust between the community and the police.
It was a relatively adequate policy until the disastrous September 11, 2001 attacks where the police were forced to rethink their strategy. They started concentrating more on pressing security concerns and terror attacks and suddenly this Community Policing system was termed inadequate (Wesley , 2003). I disagree with this current policy because in my opinion, Community Policing was a very balanced approach, where service provision, crime control and order maintenance were given equal weight age.
It is followed now to a lesser extent because policemen are now too busy addressing security concerns to concern themselves with building a healthy relationship with the community. But seeing the benefits of this method, the country has started adopting it in its spirit again such as the number of people being employed by the US Police Department is steadily increasing over the years. References Book Thomas, F. A. (2006). Police Field Operations. Prentice Hall. Anthony, M. (2001). Public Order and Law . Boydell Press. Wesley, G. S. (2003). Community Policing. Wadsworth Publishing.