Unreasonable Force: Police
Law Enforcement and Unreasonable Force
Local Police Department
The local police department’s critical mission in the area is to ensure the preservation of peace and order by preventing and identifying criminal activities as well as apprehending the criminal offenders. It also provides the protection of its citizens and their properties. According to section 117 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984, the law enforcement officers are expected to use reasonable forces while executing their mandate according to powers that are conferred on them by the Act (Smith & Holmes, 2014). This police department also works to promote and maintain a safe and secure environment within the community through the installment of skilled and dedicated officers. However, it is important to note that despite the missions and objectives of local and national police departments, police officers face a number of increasing challenges and dangers while in line on duty.
Challenges in Local Police Department
The key challenge includes police brutality and harassment of criminal offenders during their arrests. Despite the general expectation by locals that law enforcement officers should guarantee the safety of individuals within the society through an effective fight against crime by using reasonable force to defend themselves, property and defend the community from criminals as well as make the lawful arrest of offenders certain. Police brutality and use of excessive are attributed to the psychological stress resulting from the environments working conditions which include exposure to death among other dangers. Police brutality has further led to an increase in police corruption activities as well as wrongful arrests innocent victims due to race, religion or ethnic discrimination.
Similarly, the use of law enforcement policing has increased demands within the various police departments thereby leading to increased pressure in their working conditions. This further puts the officers at risk of various mental and physical ailments, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and post-traumatic stress disorders, as well as lead to some of them committing suicide.
According to Smith and Holmes (2014), the increase use of brutality or excessive forces mainly target the minorities within a given community, thereby infringing on their civil rights due to the physical harassments they are forced to face. This has further led to an increase in racial, religious and gender as well as ethnic discrimination of minority communities; this is due to the exact size of the race gap between the department of law enforcement officers and its surrounding population.
However, there is a number of factors that contribute to the brutality and use of force by the law enforcers within this region. This includes instances of robbery where the offender is not armed, but the police officers still use force in arresting them which is considered unconstitutional. Although the general expectation is to use reasonable force, there are various instances where police brutality in carrying out lawful police directives to match the offender's level of expertise in order to try and avert the crime (Smith & Holmes, 2014). This includes instances where the lives of innocent victims are threatened or when a suspect is armed and shows clear signs of harming those around him, then the law enforcers are constitutionally allowed to use force to stop them.
However, there have been various attempts to give explicit directions on the amount of considered reasonable for use by the law enforcement officers. In 1985, a landmark ruling by a supreme court established that the use of excessive force by law enforcement personnel is not justified unless the offender poses a threat to the life of the officer. The use of excessive force in apprehending criminal offenders has caused poor relationships between various members of the community and the law enforcement officers. It has further ensured the lack of corporation from the community members in the fight to reduce crime, thus making it hard for the officers to operate effectively in providing a safe environment. The inability for the officers to receive community support towards combating crime makes the officers the target instead of a symbol of safety and protection (Sciencedaily, 2015).
The challenge of police brutality within the law enforcement department has further led to the increased social disorganization of the community’s neighborhood hence leading to an increase in both criminal and rogue police officers (Hay, 2011).
Stakeholders in Local Police Department
Stakeholders refer to individuals who have an enthusiasm for an undertaking a particular risk. They are frequently interested in how a project is planned and whether it is effective, yet they might not have direct obligations and assignments that impact its completion.
They are characterized by three main divisions (Community Toolbox, 2014). They includes the primary stakeholders who can be affected positively or negatively by the actions of a given organization or institution. While the secondary stakeholders are individuals or groups of organizations that are directly affected by the various policies and brutal operations of police officers within the law enforcement departments. The key stakeholders are those who either or neither belong to the first two groups. They include the organization's staff, managers or other community leading figures.
The external stakeholders within the police-driven activities are generally the members of the public who are greatly influenced by the issues of police brutality and the use of excessive force, as well as the benefits from the project. The concerns of these members are frequently voiced by the different stakeholders through human right groups and associations. Similarly, the internal stakeholders include individuals within the law enforcement departments, such as lawyers, police detectives, patrol officers, and judges. Both internal and external stakeholders in the police-driven project have come forth to form a community policy that helps in identifying and solve crime-related community problems.
The ability of both internal and external stakeholders to cooperate by establishing community policing that are geared towards solving the issue of brutality and extensive force by police officers has positively influenced the behavior and cultural operations of police officers. This has encouraged the police to think differently about their work and see their role as problem resolvers and not a problem creator. According to the community policing, the police identify key causes of problems with an aim of eliminating or minimizing them, instead of only addressing the outcome.
Conversely, stakeholders are viewed as the key limitations towards achieving a successful implementation of this community policing. The reason for this consists in the fact that there are both internal and external stakeholders on either side of this equation with their own different beliefs, prejudices or grudges that must be cleared away before a trusting relationship can be developed as this usually take a lot of time to be realized. Similarly, there are 60 per cent stakeholders waiting to see possible fluctuations in the social life (Gerdes, 2004). The general rule used by various corporations in defining their capability of change has further limited the various stakeholders’ ability achieving a successful implementation of this community policing.
As part of a solution to this of police brutality and extensive use of force as well as stakeholder’s interference, an internal open communication channel needs to be incorporated into the departments working system. The internal open communication channel will allow the effective communication as well as improve a free flow of information within the various police departments as it helps to lower and break the rigid chain of command. It further helps ensure the flexibility in the organization's operations. Similarly, the use of open communication channels ensures effective supervisions. In addition to that, it enhances the interaction between both the internal and external stakeholders thus leading to careful and immediate responses. The establishment of performance evaluation and reward structures within the organization ensures a focus on community-oriented activities as well as appreciating and recognizing their efforts towards the policies objectives. The performance evaluation and reward structures within the organization is done by creating a workable stakeholder program which requires education, creativity, and understanding from all the parties involved (Hays, 2011).
In order to motivate both the internal and external stakeholders to adopt this particular solution, they should be directly involved in the communication and decision making process. Therefore, it is important to note that the police officers cannot succeed in achieving their basic goals without both operational assistance and political support of the external stakeholders. This will further enhance the community’s understanding of the “need” for police officers to use force in some situations.
Technology Innovations in Local Police Department
The establishment and development of technology innovations have helped enhance crime prevention tactics as well as increase the performance of police officers fight crime (Vandana, 2012). Conversely, the development of technology has vastly affected the efforts and processes of both the internal and external stakeholders need to establish community policing as well as the alteration of police working process. According to Waddington (2007), the use of technology as a way of boosting community policing practice has led to social distancing of police officers from the community, thereby compromising the efforts of police officers’ ability to detect and enforce laws. Similarly, the development of new technology has increased law reliance on various data from social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. This has limited their ability to give accurate data on criminal evidence. The establishments of new technology have increased free platforms that have enabled massive and disastrous communication, thereby giving room for criminals to organize unlawful activities.
As a solution to the technological influence on the various efforts towards the effective implementation of the community policing practice, modernized technologies techniques, such as E-reporting, should be used to achieve efficient community policing. Similarly, the use of mobile watch towers as a modernized technologies techniques due to their ability to provide surveillance in high crime areas as this limits police guess work (Fletcher, 2005). It also enhances the accuracy in police investigative and evidence data through criminal video recordings.
Research on Police Brutality
Due to the increased complaints about police brutality and use of extensive force, it became sufficient to investigate the various individuals who have fallen victims. This essay used secondary methods of data collection, such as books and journals, to find out and identify as well as analyze the individuals who faced brutality and physical harassment from police officers. It is essential to note that data collection on police abuse is important in identifying the effective ways of combating police brutality and use of force. According the Bureau of Statistics (2015), an interview conducted in 2008 of randomly selected individuals on the treatment by police officers, an estimated 74 percent of them believed that police use extensive force in their operations. This is a clear indication that the use of excessive force by the police is a problem across various countries in the world. In addition to that, 84 percent of individuals who felt a shot of police brutality and use of extensive force felt that police actions were inappropriate. In order to ensure a reliability of the data collected, the survey sought for the use of additional supportive information from the Department of Justice. It could analyze as well as identify major cases that involved police use of excessive force and brutality in handling its citizens (Human Right Watch, 2015). These cases were further considered special due to the amount and intense of headlines they made in the United States and beyond.
Conversely, a research contacted to determine whether community policing was indeed affected by the advancement in technology. The research involved sampling of a random selection of different individuals. According to Murphy (2014), from a selection of 100 people, 64 of them said that the introduction of computerized automobiles within various police departments has greatly enhanced their ability to combat crime. The computerized automobiles have been viewed as less efficient towards fighting insecurity. A number of them further indicated the three-way communication devices and the mobile computers in the patrol cars distanced the police officers with the community members.
After a careful consideration of the two instances described above, the essay study to conclude that there is a problem in both community policing and the use of the excessive force by the law enforcement officers.
Strategies for Addressing Police Brutality
In order to ensure an effective and efficient solution as well as a plan of action that addresses police use of extensive force during their operations, police departments should be able to reintroduce the civilian review of police activities. The reintroduction of the civilian review will ensure the establishment of the principle of police accountability. It is further used to encourage citizen participation and ability to exercise their rights by acting on their grievances (ICLU, 2015). It also acts as an important source of information on the various patterns of police misconduct.
Similarly, the establishment of police oversight policy provides opportunities for police officers to educate the public about the various activities being undertaken by the police. This has greatly helped in the identification and detection of problems within the police departments as well as its preventive measures. The police oversight policy has also increased community understanding of the functions and duties of police officers. It has further enhanced the flexibility of the police department due to its ability to incorporate an open communication channel within its system that allows feedback from the members of the public. As a result, it has improved and developed relationship between the police department and the various communities it operates.
Furthermore, improving the level of police training will be an effective and efficient solution as well as a plan of action that deals with the issues of police use of extensive force during their operations. A comprehensive training for police officers will help reduce violent techniques, such as brutality and use of force exercised by police officers during their fight against crime. The training will not only enhance their use of weapons, but also enable them learn new special skills such as the use of effective communication skills. The incorporation of the officers new special skills will help increase their knowledge and awareness of criminal activity in the community. This will further give them the opportunity to resolve as well as avoid situations that might lead them to use excessive force or brutality. A comprehensive training of police officers will further increase their understanding the community's social and cultural practices. This will help enhance respect between the department of police and its surrounding population, thereby bridging the gap between them. Similarly, a comprehensive training of law enforcement officers will help reduce both gender and racial discrimination due to the establishment and development of strict and flexible working system and environment for both police officers and members of the public. The comprehensive training has further enabled the police officer to react properly to a possible threat and respond with the appropriate tactics to address the situation as well as the reduce police brutality and use of excessive force.
Moreover, the establishment of an equal working opportunity within both the community and police force will further help in the reduction of discrimination while increasing understanding of various individuals within the particular community. The establishment of equal opportunities will ensure the integration of police departments which will help break away the isolation within the various police departments thereby making them visible within the communities in which they operate. The integration of police departments demonstrates the police commitments towards serving the public. The establishment of equal job opportunities within both the community and police force, and the integration of police departments have also increased the public’s confidence on the abilities of the police.
Identification of Problems in Local Police Department
Identification of problem within the police department is one of the key assessment methods that will ensure effective solutions towards police use of excessive force in their operations and discrimination. The identification of the problem ensures practical and realistic solutions to the problems. It also helps to reduce pressure on the working environment of police officers by ensuring the implementation of various police reforms, which has further enabled the police adaptability within the community. Secondly gathering facts or obtaining relevant information of the various activities within the law enforcement departments. This provides an independent audit of the working systems of the police departments and an accurate estimate of the crime rate within the community as well as the long term trend of criminal activities within the region. In addition to that, the ability to obtain relevant information of the various activities within the law enforcement departments further ensures accurate reflection on the law enforcement officers. The above assessment methods have helped in determining appropriate and proper response in addressing police brutality and the use of excessive force.
Do not know exactly what you need?
Free Quote is what you need when you have some doubts regarding your assignments or the services we offer. Send us your instructions and guidelines and we will evaluate it for free!Evaluate