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May 11, 2023

Week 4 Assignment – Discretionary Use of Authority: Scenarios

 

In this assignment, you will be asked to respond to five different scenarios. Answer each scenario (about 1 page per scenario). You will need to:

Decide what action the responding officer should take and provide an explanation/justification for your response.

In your explanation, explain the role that discretion played in your decision. Choose at least five factors from the list below to include in your explanation.

When considering your response for each scenario, remember that because of the nature of law enforcement work, police officers have always maintained a certain amount of discretion. Due to the amount of interaction that officers have with members of the public, this discretion must be fair, equal, impartial, and legal. As such, the use of discretion by officers is both a foundation of police work and a component of community policing.

Note: You may make any and all assumptions necessary to answer these scenarios as long as they do not conflict with the details provided.

FACTORS (CHOOSE AT LEAST 5 FOR EACH SCENARIO):

Environmental factors
>Nature of the community.
>Socio-demographic characteristics.
>Level and type of crime in the community.
>Police/Community relations.

Organizational factors
Department Rules and Regulations.
Policies and Procedures.
Department bureaucracy.
Officer experience.
Dimensions of policing: philosophical; strategic; tactical; organizational.

Situational factors
Seriousness of crime.
Weapon involvement.
Victim – Desire to prosecute.
Group/gang crime.
Suspect’s demeanor.
Age/gender/race of involved parties.
Suspect’s criminal record.

Ethics
Moral values.
Cultural/Societal norms.
Accountability.
Friends/Family/Coworkers.
Experience/Upbringing.

Legal
Laws.
Past practice.
Evidence.
Victim signatures.
Landmark Supreme Court cases.

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