Policy issues affecting the police Essay
Policy issues affecting the police
Just like any other department in the government, the police force is largely influenced by the policy issues that the government adopts. Be it new laws or strategies, they have to adjust their operations so as to fit what the policies dictate. The duty of the police is to maintain law and order and in doing this they have to incorporate policies set by the government. As it will be shown in this paper, these policy issues may affect the activities of the police force such that they may have to completely change their modes of operations to fit the government’s requirements.
Many policies concerning police conduct, human rights and police duties are have been put forward in many forums and conferences addressing national security. Analysis Unlike in the past where the police had an absolute power, a police officer nowadays may find himself or herself being sued for violation of human rights such as police manhandling or assault (Freund, 2006; Meadows, 2000). There are several policies that have been put forward following revision of several laws which affect the police directly. Policy issues on human rights requiring specific procedures of arrest and handling of suspects have been made.
The fourth amendment has limited police power especially with the private law that protects citizens from unwarranted searches and seizures. This means that before a police officer can search or seize private property, there must be a warrant which is given when the need to search premises is of great importance to protect security. Individual liberty and human rights protects citizens from false detention. The fourth amendment comes as a civil liability to the police officers which limits their activities since they have to pay attention to avoid breaking the law (Freund, 2006).
This has affected the police in that it has limited their ability to obtain as much information as possible concerning a crime. Some officers have also found themselves in court over what can be referred to as assault during arrest. Perhaps one of the most current policy issues that has affected the police is the government’s anti-terrorism policy. A strong policy especially after the 9-11 attacks on the U. S brought out the importance of the need to heighten security to prevent such attacks from happening in future.
The government aims at keeping the possibility of any terrorist attack which must involve the police (Pleck, 2004). The involvement of the police force in the war against terrorism has led to the need for more training on the police officers on incident management and terrorism intelligence. As the government noted, the police force was not well equipped to handle such severe incidents hence the need for training on incident management. Again, there the need to develop intelligence skills to counter any form of threats calls for proper training of the police.
In order to ensure that the needs of this policy are met, the government has introduced special training schedules for the police which they have to attend to keep updating them on better skills and intelligence on avoiding terrorism attacks as well as how on how to deal with terrorism incidents if by any chance they occur (Pleck, 2004). Community policing is a policy issue that has come up as a result of the need for the community to take part in their own security through reporting any suspicious act to the police.
This is because the community is at the best position to identify those that live among them (Palmiotto, 2000). The government requires that the police officers work hand in hand with the community so as to curb crime activities in the society. The effect of this on the police is that there has been need for training to help them be able to deal with the community and aid in identifying between potential danger and normal happenings (Palmiotto, 2000).
The police have also been given the extra duty of training and educating members of the public on how to identify potential threats within the community and how they can deal with them in conjunction with the police. The community policing mostly focuses on vulnerable groups such as children and women who are likely to be victims of violence. Policy issues concerning rape have been put forward which has necessitated for trained specialists to handle rape calls as well as interaction between the police and medical practitioners to help in solving such cases (Palmiotto, 2000).
The government advocates for advancement in technology for sustainable developments. As a matter of national security, there has been the rising need for the police to upgrade their technology so as to meet the ever increasing crime rates. Technology has been used by criminals to steal from numerous citizens and this has raised an issue of concern. Cyber crimes, phishing and identity theft have been on the rise. The problem with these kinds of crimes is that catching the perpetrators can be quite hard due to the advancement in technology that is used to conduct the crimes.
Keeping up with these developments poses a challenge to the police who have to come up with more advanced methods to locate cyber thieves, hackers and identity thieves. More often than not, the police are subject to the laws of prosecution and provision for justice. Policies on the procedures of prosecution highly affect the police. For example, the police are bound by law to only file a prosecution when there is substantial evidence for the occurrence of the crime. Different policies exist for different kind of prosecutions.
The juvenile justice for example has undergone many changes and new policies have come up following proceedings from various cases. Juveniles have a wide range of rights and detention of a juvenile can only be under serious suspicions of delinquency. Proof that is beyond reasonable doubt must also be established to ensure that the juvenile offender poses a threat to the community (Rick, 2003). Policies on juveniles also require that they be put under preventive detention according to the standards set by the law (Rick, 2003).
This differentiates juvenile offenders from adult ones. The police therefore should pay attention to such details so as to be on the safe side of the law. It is also part of their duties to act according to the laws. Conclusion It is evident that the police’s activities are highly influenced by policy issues. The government which also determines the rules of a country constantly comes up with policies for national development. These policies may alter a department’s activities or increase its responsibilities depending on how the policy issue is to be tackled.
It must also be noted that apart from government policies, each police department has its own policies which guide the officers (Miller, 1997). These include the code of ethics that must be followed by the respective officers. Rules on duties rosters, dress code and punishment for police misconduct within the department are strictly followed. Breaking of these laws may result in serious circumstances and hence the police officers must follow them to the letter. Word Count: 1179 References Freund, E. (2006). The Police Power, Public Policy and Constitutional Rights.
New York: Callaghan & Company. Meadows, R. J. (2000). A Study of Police Misconduct and Litigation: Findings and Implications. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice. 41(2), 77-92. Miller, S. et al. (1997). Police ethics. London: Allen & Unwin, 1997. Palmiotto, M. (2000). Community policing: a policing strategy for the 21st century. New York: Jones & Bartlett Publishers. Pleck, E. (2004). Police in the fight against terrorism. American Journal of Police, 25(1), 38- 45. Rick, A. (2003). Juvenile Justice. New York: Odhams Press.