February 14 2012
For the exam: POLICE DISCRETION - you'll need to define each of the terms, separate them into the 4
categories, and say where discretion is the greatest
Major factors involved in discretion
- police enforcement: involves a violation of a law in which guilt has to be assessed - here the officer
has to make a decision about whether or not to charge a person.
- order maintenance: a legal interaction, usually in a situation where a dispute has occurred and the
law must be interpreted and assessed. They have to make sure that something, such as a protest, is
done in an orderly fashion. The police have discretion to decide whether or not you were behaving
- police invoked response: where the officer makes the decision on his or her own accord to apply the
law - proactive policing - They see an issue that could arise and they take measures to prevent it. (not
many cases fall here. it is usually reactive - the police reacting to a call or something - next one.)
- citizen invoked response: a case in which the officer acts on specific complaint from a citizen -
reactive policing - most cases fall here.
police invoked law enforcement (see people fighting and break it up)
police invoked order maintenance (crowd control, parades, the officers are responding to a situation)
citizen invoked law enforcement (call the police and say someone was shot)
citizen invoked order maintenance (call the police and complain about a loud party) - citizen calls the
police and they arrive, have a choice to lay a charge or not.
POLICE HAVE THE LEAST DISCRETION WITH POLICE INVOKED ORDER MAINTENANCE. during a riot or
something. there are always standards of conduct that need to be evaluated here, so the police officers
do not have much say in what they can/can't do to the people.
POLICE HAVE THE MOST DISCRETION with police invoked law enforcement and citizen invoked order
3 different styles of policing -
1) Watchmen Style : emphasizes order maintenance over law enforcement. Most of the time watching
people instead of charging people -they are just present.
2) Legalistic Style: ticket quotas - only real way to control what the officer does. Make sure that he's out
doing his job instead of going and spending all day at a coffee shop. Saying that they need to give out
___ many tickets during a shift.
3) Service Style: found in homogeneous communities. Provide crime prevention - out there doing things
like talking to kids in schools, going on the news to send out messages to the public. THIS IS
UNREALISTIC. Kind of like if you attach a camera to a police officer during a day on the streets, he'll
make sure to do everything by the book because he knows people will be watching.
People are usually arrested based on defiance - the attitude of the cop and demeanor of the person.
1) challenge to authority - worse for visible minorities. they already see themselves as better than the
person, so they use their authority over them.
2) police demand for submission- have to show that you are remorseful
3) response to the demand - if the cop says "you're a wise guy" if you just say yes you are being
compliant. If you are rude to them you are being defiant